precocious 5 year old DD - wants makeup, grownup everything!

(6 Posts)
barefoot Sun 28-Apr-13 22:40:16

I am finding it hard to draw consistent boundaries for my strong willed 5 year old daughter - I gave up telling her what to wear at about 2 - it was too much of a struggle and I figured - pick your fights - but since she started year one and is in a mixed class with years 2s, the pressure is pretty relentless, specially to have makeup - she's obsessed! She loves this drapey grey cardigan - a mini version of what a 40 year old would have (me, I guess!), has a handbag (I did give it to her from a jumble, but it was meant to be for the dressing up box!) with an old phone, lipstick (sort of - I gave in and bought her a 'party' box), a perfume bottle etc in. She and her friends love Barbie (I know what's new!) and she seems to be their role-model - I asked and she said she thinks all women should look like that. I asked her about why she likes makeup and she said she thinks it makes her look prettier, which we discussed. I tell her she's beautiful quite often - just "hi beautiful daughter" that kind of thing and obvs I said she didn't need it when we chatted about it.

I bought this box with vaugely pink lipsalve in, 'body glitter' play tattoos and nail varnish - I was feeling expansive and easy and didn't check what was i there too closely - now she wants MORE for her birthday. One of her friends has a makeup set with proper lipstick in, though two of her other friends are not allowed it at all. I confiscated the nail varnish, but I noticed she'd got hold of it again today.

She's also being what I call 'a proper little madam' a lot of the time, and really pushing me in many ways regarding helping out, paddies and mini tantrums about stuff, insisting on stuff until I''m ready to break. I know you may think I'm being incredibly inflexible, but it seems so sad that she's trying to be so old, indoorsy, mini-adult, when she should be running around being a kid! I want her to be able to express herself, and I don't want to say no all the time, but this is wearing me down. I guess you could say I'm dismayed because she's not more like me - I was a tomboy when I was a kid, I paint for a living and am often in work clothes - that would be a valid criticism, but it's more I see her childhood flashing by and the teen years creeping closer and she's only five!! I am a lone parent and we don't have a great garden, her friends have horses and huge places (and dads) so I feel pretty insecure that I'm not giving her a good childhood - nothing like the one I had anyway!! Has anyone else here struggled with these issues? (confused)

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sun 28-Apr-13 23:14:25

Well over half of that sounds very familiar! I too have 5yo girl who has pestered for make up since coming home with a hideous amount inc yellow eyeshadow after a play date. I only wear it for rare evenings out and am not overly girly but she like yours picks all own clothes, loves jewellery, always chooses dress and has a fave pink bolero with jewelled clasp ( i didnt buy it!) also have same wilful streak and friends in bigger houses...
At first i said no make up but had to cave for ballet show, she now has coloured lip gloss and child nail varnish in rainbow colours, oddly since getting them has rarely worn but likes to carry gloss in handbag or raid my bag. The less i say the less interested she is getting at mo, i am assuming it is a role play stage rather than serious pre teen. Behaviour i find more challenging, argues back, tone of voice of the little madam... I have put her in her room twice today for thinking time and she lost her bedtime story for arguing about getting out of bath... Am trying really hard after thinking time to have good chat and tell her what to say and how, tedious and wearing but am sticking with it, she has always been v verbal so easy to forget she's only 5 and doesn't understand tone of voice etc esp hard without back up parent.

barefoot Sun 28-Apr-13 23:31:54

Thanks BALB, a friend came round today and said I should stand firm, because it's not going to get any easier, but she's got a boy (in fact most of my friends do) and they don't have these issues at all! Another friend wondered aloud if it could have anything to do with the oestrogen in drinking water!!! I think I am partly so badly equipped for this because my childhood was sooo different - It wouldn't have crossed my mind to have had makeup at five, and I remember my mum being vv disapproving when I was given mascara at about 12...mind you I was plastered in makeup by my teens in the 80s! It really discombobulates me...

Yes I am finding the behaviour a real challenge too, and recently I realise I was shouting a lot - I found a great blog online called the Orange Rhino, which is about one woman's pledge not to scream at her kids for a whole year - I recommend it - it's very helpful (if you're a screamer) she seems happier since I've ben less scratchy.

My daughter is so precious to me - she's my only child and I had her at 40 - and I'm conscious that I run the risk of smothering and wanting time to stand still (like "where's my little giirrrlll gone!!??) but I feel I need to re-orientate for this new turn of events.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 29-Apr-13 00:09:03

That's so funny re the water!! My dd is half a set of twins and the boy half is much easier to handle right now, total mummy's boy.
My friend who is a child dev expert and has two girls says that at 6 i will see a real diff in behaviour and will become much more rational. She also gently suggested my dd is battling for power and boundaries, dh left recently and she had always been a daddys girl. Extra hugs is really helping her. I also vowed to stop shouting last month after two months of being shouty following departure of dh. I stick to it most days... Will check out the blog, thanks.

barefoot Mon 29-Apr-13 10:13:12

Ok, so I wasn't sure if you were on your own too or not...there are times when I'd like to have someone around to help me make decisions about what's appropriate for this age and what I should just say no to, and to back me up, but hey it's simpler too on your own...it must be a hard adjustment for them, but your policy of more hugs is great - works for us too, and my daughter needs to constantly know that I love her.

I think I need to chat with the other mums about what they are allowing - that would be a good guide, also now the weather's getting better (haha) we can get out and be more outdoorsy.

Yes re the water - I was reading a kids picture book from the 1930s, and the 5 year old twins were walking around in babygros and looking completely like babies! It did make me wonder if it's profoundly affected our kids for decades - it's changing the sex of fishes!!

Good luck with the non shouting - it's helped me a lot to get a handle on it. Thanks for replying.

Ladybee Mon 29-Apr-13 10:39:02

You could try looking at a book called 'Raising Geeks' - it's American and not all of it may be right for you but it sounds like you're having trouble working out what your values are in terms of dress, play and behaviour and having confidence in putting these into practice with your daughter. The book is really strong on helping you identify what you think is important and giving some strategies for sticking to it. You do say 'I gave in' quite a bit so maybe that might help. You can't blame your child for pushing and pushing for something if in the past you've taught her that pushing will eventually get you to give her what she wants :-) when you set boundaries or put up fences kids run straight up to them and give them a metaphorical shake - they're checking they're strong and real. It's up to you to make sure they are. Good luck!

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