Princesses Are Real, Unicorns Are Not: A Timely Lesson on the Bounds of Reality for Preschoolers

A princess has been born in England!  Of course, princesses also abound in our preschool classrooms.  Cartoon princesses are on shirts.  Children put on dresses and twirl around hoping we will say they look like princesses.   They dress as them on Halloween, visit them at amusement parks and watch movies about them.  The same can be said of superheroes and unicorns.  Today is a wonderful day to teach young children something about the bounds of reality.

Early childhood learners have a difficult time separating fantasy from reality.  In their world, anything can happen.  This magical thinking supports the existence of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, superheroes, unicorns and princes & princesses.  They do not know which characters on this list are fantasy and which can really exist. 

Bring your children to the TV and show them today’s news – princesses, princes, kings and queens are real.  They live in our imaginations as well as in our world.   Create one of the first lessons your child can learn about reality.  Show them the real life prince and princess who are parents to a prince and, today, a princess.  Show them that in real life, they exist but they are different than in the movies and the stores.  Tell your children that real princes and princesses do not have magical powers.  They cannot freeze things with a twirl of the wrist.  They do not fall under sleeping spells. They do have special, beautiful clothes but they wear typical dresses and sweaters, too.  They live in a castle but they have also can have jobs. The prince was in the military.  The princess is a mommy.  They both go out, sometimes when they do not want to, and have to pose for the cameras (there’s no way I would have done that on the day my children were born!).

I hope your conversations with young children this week include information about the royal birth.  Good news is so hard to find.  Good news that teaches young children about their world is even harder to find.

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