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RE 11yo DD's hair-do?

(156 Posts)
NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 12:43:27

I am feeling dreadful because I got cross with 11 yo DD today and want to ask if IABU.

We were rushing for school and I called out to ask if DD was ready to go, she then emerged wearing some plastic ear rings, a sparkly head band and a massive high pony tail sprouting out of the top of her head. (Now, I like children to dress like children and really hate a lot of the precocious fashions marketed at young girls.) I have probably made the look sound quite comical but she looked really cheap sad and tbh it gave me rather a shock.

So... rather than explaining calmly why I wanted her to re do her hair etc, I shouted saying she looked a fright and did she want to look like a rough teenager etc etc. I am a bit ashamed of how I dealt with it tbh, but was so taken aback by how my little girl looked sad.

Now, I know that I handled it badly, so I am NOT asking AIBU to have got cross, because I know that I was wrong. BUT... was I wrong to make her re do her hairstyle because of concern about how it made her look?

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:20:38

It is wrong to be snobby.

Tarty? With a ponytail? You are not going to have happy teenagers if you think a ponytail can be tarty. She is eleven- this is far more about you than her.

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:21

Agree with Binky's last line. It seems about your issues.

Either make a decision to let her experiment with your gentle guidance or being more strident and lay the law down over what you will allow.

Both are fine, just choose one path. is this so difficult? I wouldn't get all hung up on tarty/chavvy type words if i were you.

Like i said - fuss over nothing.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:30

Narked, this from my OP
"Now, I know that I handled it badly, so I am NOT asking AIBU to have got cross, because I know that I was wrong. BUT... was I wrong to make her re do her hairstyle because of concern about how it made her look?"

So i think included the idea of whether we should "influence our children's clothing choices/ appearance, out of concern for how they are presenting themselves to the world" in my OP. also, i know i handled it badly, as i said!

I agree it started of as a discussion, but got a bit debate- like later on dont you think, following BIrds post and mine/ others responses to it?

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:41

I'm really worried that you keep saying an 11yo in school uniform with a ponytail and headband looks tarty. Tarty is such a horrible word for describing a child, especially one in school uniform with no make-up.

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:08

I think at 11, she is old enough for a basic explanation of why you don't want her to go out looking like a tart. My dd is 12.5 now, and we've had lots of such discussions! When she gets it right, and wants to wear a very small amount of light make up to compliment her features, I compliment her. If she looks like a tart, i tell her tone it down.

I think sit, down have a chat, explain why you reacted like you did, apologise for hurting her feelings and maybe help her do her hair in a more appropriate nice style.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:23

I cannot believe you think a 11yo in school uniform with a ponytail looked tarty. I sence major rebellion in her teenage years.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:26:20

but does no one else think that earrings and a sprouting side ponytail could look a bit bratz like? maybe tarty is the wrong word.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 14:26:29

Did she look "common and chavvy" or too grown up?
You do sound like a snob who is trying to back peddle her way put of it.

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:29:22

and yes, she does sound like it was ott, thought possibly more 80s than tarty! grin and I would have told my dd to change it. DD often comes down looking like a state, but (hopefully) she does respect my opinion, for now at least, and we reach a compromise.

SpicyPear Fri 25-Jan-13 14:30:25

I think it's a better strategy to let her get on with it and realise herself it's not a great look. A lot of my friends reacted quite strongly against parental snobbery, dressing more and more like that and finding unsuitable boys to knock around with as they got older to wind their parents up. Probably hard to envisage now but she will be changing a lot over the next xouple of years and you do need to pick your battles.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:31:11

um... agreed i am being a snob- no back peddling there . poshcat, i didnt realise those are mutually exclusive.

tarty was the wrong word. i will back peddle that one...

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:32:19

I can see where some posters are coming from with the chav thing too, and I don't think you can dictate about that, if that is what it is.

DD absolutely adores her Paul's boutique coat - khaki quilted thing with PB across the back in bright pink. DH hates it, thinks it is the height of chavdom, but so long as she doesn't try to team it with a short skirt and face full of makeup, I think it's fine.

Chandon Fri 25-Jan-13 14:33:37

Oh, just a girl experimenting with her looks.

Age 12 I tried to look grown up using orange face powder, blue eye shadow and big plastic earrings, and....the high ponytail ( are the 80s back?!)

My mum was a teacher but just said nothing. A bloke came up to me and asked " been playing with yer mums make up kit?!" that was a knife through the heart!

I remember being really sensitive about my appearance at that age.

About it being "chavvy" or common, in my experience only people with social class anxiety worry about this. Just using the label "chav" to me shows someone to be socially insecure. Try not to impose your own insecurities on your daughter.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:35:44

Even so IME being to strict about appearance which moaning at a ponytail is IMO is likely to make her really resent and push her boundaries much further than if you just give her a little control over her apperance.

Out of my friends the ones who were controlled too much often behaved/dressed the worst during thier teenage years. If you dont want a major teenage rebellion ease up now.

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:35:50

She'll just look like an eleven year old who's been playing with her hair.

madwomanintheattic Fri 25-Jan-13 14:37:20

It was nothing to do with precocious ness or puberty though, was it? It was snobbery, pure and simple.

There was no make up, no rolling over of the school skirt waistband, no over the knee socks being held up with elastic bands, no unbuttoned school shirts.

You just thought she looked common, and had a hissy (for which I realise you have acknowledged is wrong)

To try and turn it into a feminist argument about being tarty or precocious a la Lolita is just avoiding the issue that you don't want your kid looking like a chav.

The poor child. Kids often don't make wise sartorial choices when they are experimenting with style. Get over it, and ask her to lose the plastic tat for school.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 14:38:42

"Noo", I thought you started this thread because you felt bad about shouting at her?
You sound like that woman from the Bucket woman from "Keeping up Appearances."

Looking "a fright" and "rough teenagers." FFS.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:39:32

Oh and they learned to hide it too e.g hitching up what was a perfectly reasonable length skirt to showing arse cheeks and undoing blouse buttons when out of the house. If you give some freedom shes unlikely to resort to such desperate measures.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:39:34

chandon, it's really interesting you should think that i have class insecurities smile. i'm not going to embarrass my self by trying to prove you wrong and giving details about background, but this is really not about my own insecurities.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 14:42:31

So, would she have been allowed to wear the earrings and the headband at school?

ShadyLadyT Fri 25-Jan-13 14:43:31

OP - anyone who is terrified by the sight of a child with a high, lopsided ponytail to the point of screaming at them that it looks rough or common, is clearly dogged by some pretty major hang ups about class.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:49:20

Birds said earlier that "I hate the idea that a woman is judged on her morality/lifestyle by what she is wearing." from that point on, the thread took a twist as there was a sort of sub topic that about precocious children's clothing. not all of my posts relate to this morning's events. some are more general observations about children's clothing in general.

Cezella Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:12

I feel bad for you OP because it was probably a bit of a shock to see your little girl looking so different, in whatever way.

All I wanted to say was to please be gentle on her, comments which you might feel are kind or harmless can stay in the mind for years to come, I can still remember comments my mother made to me at that age and they really affected my self esteem.

The fashions she tries and looks she goes through are all just her finding her.

Chandon Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:27

Ok, fair enough, I based that assumption of the sort of parents I know, who worry a lot about chaviness and their girls looking " common" ( in my, granted limited, experience mainy upper middle class privately educated people, or aspiring to be perceived like that).

I am not sure whatyou could say about your background that would "prove" me wrong, as class anxiety exists at almost all levels.

However, I am obviously not SURE you have class anxiety, just that it seemed likely from your words.

Pandemoniaa Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:38

binky, yes i am being a snob. is that ALWAYS wrong?

It's not an attractive characteristic. My dm for all her very good points was an irredeemable snob although not because of class insecurities. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, her misplaced horror about anything "common" made her reactions to any perceived "commonness" in my appearance was completely counterproductive. I rebelled constantly and deceitfully and it took far longer for me to be comfortable about my own sense of style than if she'd been less snobbish and more sensible.

I dislike young girls dressing precociously and inappropriately for their age but you don't manage the problem by being heavy handed or allowing your own prejudices to emerge too blatantly. Compromise is needed.

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