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Eight year old daughter- acting out and wants to do things that I find inappropriate. AIBU?

(124 Posts)
needcoffeemeow Tue 10-Dec-19 03:38:24

Hi all! longtime lurker, first time poster here.

I'm at my wits end with my daughter. First off, her Dad and I aren't together, but we live in same town and have 60/40 custody. I'm a young mum (24) which is its own thing.

My daughter is usually lovely, sweet and generally well-behaved. However, recently we've been having a lot of tantrums, strops etc. This can be from getting ready for school, going to after-school club/going to her Dad's...
She seems to want to do things/get things that I find inappropriate. Today we had a fight about being on instagram (I said absolutely not!) she wants clothes that are very tight/revealing. And for xmas, she wants a load of tat (LOL dolls) high heels (?????!!!!!) among other things.

She is in year 4 and is one of the youngest in her class. I've noticed that she has started to become interested in things that are more 'grown-up'. Last year I couldn't get her out of jeans and into her school uniform to save my life, and this year she is suddenly really into how she looks, what people think of her.

She seems to be embarrassed that she has young parents and said just last week that "she is the only one with a weird family". Most of her friends come from two parent households, parents are older. Her dad and I have explained that all families are different, and that some parents are younger than others. I wonder if some of this acting out/wanting to grow up quickly is due to her wanting to 'fit in' as she feels out of place due to her younger age and different family set up.

Part of me wants her to stay tiny forever, and another part thinks that I should just be easier on her. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to let her dress more like her friends, or let her join in with makeup, those strange 'unwrapping toys'. I just miss who she was only a few months ago. I keep hoping that this is a stage, but I can't see my little girl anymore. It feels like we are entering this awful tween stage, and her behavior is totally unexpected for an eight year old!

I guess that the point of this very long-winded post, is that I really need advice. My daughter is embarrassed of her family and wants to grow up really quickly.

Am I being unreasonable/mean for refusing to let her be on the internet, dress up (wear boots with heels in public!) and generally join in on things that I think she is much too young for?

Also, what is the attraction of these LOL dolls and shopkins??? They seems ridiculously overpriced, but suddenly she desperately needs some for xmas...

lyralalala Tue 10-Dec-19 03:44:11

Also, what is the attraction of these LOL dolls and shopkins???

What’s the point of any kids toy?

8 year olds like tat. They often also like dressing up and high heels. None of that jumps out as weird.

It’s also prime age for the “everyone” thing starting. Last year my then 8 year old was sure “everyone” lived in a bigger house than us, “everyone” was allowed to go to the big park by themselves ad “everyone” got at least £20 a week pocket money.

AfterSchoolWorry Tue 10-Dec-19 03:49:21

Lol dolls and shopkins at 8!?

In surprised by that as my 7 year old and her friends would have played with them at 5/6...!! But not now!!

Somewheredreamingofcheesecake Tue 10-Dec-19 04:00:28

Dad's 8 and still loves LOL dolls. I don't think that's unusual.

WatchingTheMoon Tue 10-Dec-19 04:01:58

Kids toys are all a heap of shite really, just buy her what she wants for Christmas.

I was embarrassed by my parents being too old. Kids are always embarrassed by some shit their parents do at that age.

needcoffeemeow Tue 10-Dec-19 04:06:11

Okay, thank you!

My only real comparison is my niece (7 yo) who is total opposite, bookworm, quite young for her age.

I'm glad that none of my dd's seem concerning. Probably reading too much into it.

Laserbird16 Tue 10-Dec-19 04:12:36

You have to ruin their life/embarrass them somehow so choose your poison. For me social media at 8 and some years later would be a no. I'd rather my daughter have the excuse of my mum is lame than expose her to the internet which frankly hates women. LOL dolls, probably a lesser evil but I'm with you in not understanding the attraction. They grow up so quickly sad

StinkyVonWinky Tue 10-Dec-19 04:22:43

She sounds normal to me. My daughter loves similar stuff and when you think about it they are just dolls! Enchantimals are a similar thing but they have an animal theme, perhaps have a look at those!? But I agree with previous posters, stay off the social media for as long as possible.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 10-Dec-19 05:16:06

I’ve said yabu because all the behaviours are normal bar wanting to be on Instagram. My dd had high heels for special occasions and wanted makeup at this age. It was just a stage she went through. At 11 she wouldn’t be seen dead in heels. Doesn’t wear makeup. Loves branded goods. She bought herself one lol doll but realistically was too old for them with they cane out. Never liked shopkins. But her friends did.

As for calling your family set up weird. Time to teach her about different sorts of families. She’s telling you she feels an oddity in her classroom and wants to feel included. This is not a punishable offence and it is for you to help her through this

Stooshie8 Tue 10-Dec-19 05:26:58

Would Judy Blume books let her read about other lives?

GiveHerHellFromUs Tue 10-Dec-19 05:32:19

I'd let her have the LOL dolls and boots but not make up or instagram.

Skittlesandbeer Tue 10-Dec-19 05:33:26

If your budget stretches to it, sign her up for an out of school hobby group- preferably co-ed or at least not one full of girly gear.

It helps dilutes the school ‘cool girls’ influence, and shows her that other families do things differently. Take any opportunity to show her that different can be fun and interesting. Volunteering is also a good antidote to plastic tat.

...and in response to earlier in the thread, anyone who buys high heels for an 8yo (even under the guise of ‘dress ups’) is clearly not reading the zeitgeist very well at all.

My just 9yo is getting her first ‘lip balm’ (no colour) this year, as part of a diy kit. Anything else is referred to as face paint, and not makeup, at our house. One ‘crop top’ as part of her basketball uniform.

I do see some little girls around wearing clothes that’d make porn stars blush. Yes, I judge their parents. Conditioning girls that that stuff is normal does them (and their wallets) no favours in life.

OceanVillage Tue 10-Dec-19 05:54:16

What's the problem with Shopkins?confused

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Tue 10-Dec-19 06:13:05

Except for the Instagram all that’s she’s doing is age appropriate.

If she’s the only one from a split family then of course she’s going to feel “weird” as a parent you need to address this and make her see that their is different types of families and that she’s loved by 2 parents even if they are in different homes.

OldElPasoHadAChicken Tue 10-Dec-19 06:18:37

My year four dd has been desperate for inappropriate clothing, footwear and make up for years and has always been obsessed with babies. It's come under her schools radar because she appears a lot more vulnerable than the usual eight year old. So I understand, because it's frustrating and I don't know where or who she has gotten so many of her ideas and expectations from.

Would your dd be at all interested in joining Scouting? They're crying out for girls at the moment and this would help her focus on something completely different.

underneaththeash Tue 10-Dec-19 06:21:18

My 8 year old has asked for LOL dolls for Christmas too! She also significantly more vain than both my boys....

donttellmetwice Tue 10-Dec-19 06:23:29

I'd say those toys are spot on for her age.
At 8 years old girls have their first surge of puberty hormones, this could be something to consider?

CeeceeBloomingdale Tue 10-Dec-19 06:26:01

It call sounds totally normal and what my Y4 DD and her friends are into. I've said no to insta but some friends have it. She lives shopkins and lol dolls. she also has make up to play with but doesn't go out in it. By next Christmas she may be too old for toys so I'm embracing the tat

JustaScratch Tue 10-Dec-19 06:33:32

I would stand your ground on the social media front (a genuine risk) but find some other ways to give her more independence - the toys, letting her choose more of her clothes, and taking a role in family decisions. She's going through a phase, yes, but she won't go back to who she was before, she'll move on to something different. Give her a chance to grow.

SunsetBoulevard3 Tue 10-Dec-19 06:40:06

Make up and shoes with heels and Instagram.. just no.
Let her dress up at home and have fun with those things but only as dressing up as a game.
The dolls are fine. It’s just a stage. She sounds a bit insecure. As someone suggested Brownies might be a good thing, or some other activity?

TFthatsover Tue 10-Dec-19 06:50:31

Your DD sounds quite normal to me. My DD was very similar at 8, suddenly vain, wanting high heels and make up, what "everyone else" had when they clearly didn't have it, was determined to follow the crowd. Her attitude was very demanding and sour and sorry to say it got worse as she hit puberty at 10. BUT! She's now 15 and totally different, doesn't want what everyone else has, happy in joggers and trainers, wants to become a child psychologist. She is still capable of the odd demanding hissy fit but they're short lived grin Hang in there OP, chances are DD will turn our just fine.

BillHadersNewWife Tue 10-Dec-19 06:50:34

Mine have both gone through LOL phases, wanting makeup etc. It's only shallow...they're not really 'grown up' they're just playing the part.

I don't see any harm in letting them have a bit of tinted lip balm and some clear mascara...both mine did. They don't wear it to school or anything...just around the house!

Soontobe60 Tue 10-Dec-19 06:51:27

in response to earlier in the thread, anyone who buys high heels for an 8yo (even under the guise of ‘dress ups’) is clearly not reading the zeitgeist very well at all.

I must admit I never bought my girls dolls, but they played with them at their friend's homes and after school club.
I've only ever bought them make up as adults, never bought them shoes with heels, crop tops or anything remotely of a sexual nature. They always wanted those things, and moaned about not getting them, but I'm the parent, so I made the decisions! (I was also a young mum first time round).
I don't think it's cute to see a child dressed as an adult woman, wearing inappropriate clothing and a face full of make up. That's just teaching them that to be liked you've got to do those things! Interestingly, both my adult DDs now wear make up, but don't feel like they have to put their face on before they leave the house, my eldest wears very high heels, especially when she's got a crucial meeting at work because she feels more empowered towering over some of the men she has to work with, my youngest seems to dress like a Cos advert but they are both very strong women. My youngest treats her DD the same way I treated her. As a child.

You stand your ground, OP. You know what's right, your DD is still very young! BTW, I agree getting her to join Brownies or Scouts is also a great idea. They are the very antithesis of sexist!

CatteStreet Tue 10-Dec-19 06:55:01

There's a thin line between enabling them to fit in and permitting inappropriate/damaging things, and it's one more typically aged parents don't always negotiate successfully either. I know that the extent to which my two older dc (teen and preteen) use devices/social media isn't particularly good for them, but their use is not atypical and we are very much at the 'strict' end among their peers' families. Insisting on RL activities alongside is really valuable, although it seems an uphill struggle sometimes.

I think rather than coming down negatively hard on what she is interested in right now (obviously you retain control of what she does and doesn't do), I would be clueing her up - talking a lot (age-appropriately) about the negative side of social media attention and showing a lot of RL role models whose capabilities go far beyond their looks. There are a lot of really good books out atm about strong women and girls (Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and so on).

LOl dolls, fine (albeit through gritted teeth). Instagram (!), make-up and heels, no way.

MinTheMinx Tue 10-Dec-19 07:01:19

'Know Your Brain' and 'Blame My Brain' (for teenagers but really useful for parents too), both by Nicola Morgan, are excellent books that take all the mystery out of childhood behaviours. I wouldn't recommend living with a teenager without having read at least one of these! I know your DD is younger than this OP but it's never too early to start as hormone surges can start surprisingly early.

As others have said though, your DD sounds completely normal to me although I totally agree that you should start teaching her about 'other' families if she thinks everyone is living in the 'husband, wife, 2.4 children' set-up. Not anymore I'm afraid.

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