This article is about children growing up too fast and the role of dolls in their lives. In my opinion the situation seems bleak, and I have little to offer by way of solutions, but I have been so bothered by what I see going on in the world that I feel compelled to write on this topic.
I have been thinking about the topic of this article for some time, for about 18 months, at least. My own children are all adults, so I no longer live with young children, but I have a few nieces that are still of an age to be considered children, and I work in a daycare, so I have daily contact with young children. Most of the information I write, in this article is from my own experiences, but some is from research I've been doing on the topic.
About 2 1/2 ago I took part in a craft show, shortly before Christmas, hoping to sell some of my cloth dolls and doll clothes. At the booth next to mine were hair bows, purses, belts and various accessories for girls. I was shocked when girls, under the age of 10, rushed past my display of dolls, to look at the accessories for their appearance. While I understand that most people don't continue such an avid interest in dolls into adulthood as I did, I did expect that little girls and some "tweens" would be interested in dolls. I was quite surprised that a few moms stopped to look at my booth, and even tried to point out a few of my items to their young daughters to no avail. Not a single girl was the slightest bit interested in my dolls.
I remember getting my last new baby doll for Christmas at the age of twelve. I was still very interested in my Barbie and sharing her clothes with my sister and friends. In fact, I received my Barbie when I was eight years old. I think my daughter got her first Barbie at four, but it was a simplified "fist Barbie" with clothes more easily handled by little fingers. As she grew she received many more and remained interested in dolls well into her tween years.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my ten year old niece who laughed when I mentioned Barbie, because apparently only "toddlers" are interested in that! At the day care where I work, one of the most popular movies with the 3 to 4 year old set is "High School Musical". I searched online and was able to find bras available for children in size 6 and 6x!
It saddens me to see that children are skipping right over childhood and going right to "Teen" interests. What happened to little girls playing with dolls, having tea parties with their dolls and teddies? It seems to me that by letting children grow up so fast, they are losing out on time spent with one of my most fulfilling life interests....Dolls.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.