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anyone got a precocious 9 year old daughter?

(28 Posts)
sparkybint Sat 15-Aug-09 20:41:41

My sweet-natured, innocent little girl of 9 (an only child)has started behaving like a moody, selfish teenager. All she's interested in is clothes, shopping and watching TV and she's so concious of her appearance it worries me. She's gone off her lovely best friend because she's "boring" (ie she prefers doing more age-appropriate things like crafts, reading and generally just running about)and only wants to be with older, cooler girls.

I'm a single mum but she has a good relationship with her dad who she sees a lot of. She has great extended family too. No talk of boys yet but I can see that's only round the corner. I know she has to grow up but this seems far too soon. Is there anything I can do? If she carries on at this rate, by the time she's 13 she'll be totally grown-up. I try to be a fairly sensible parent and am reasonably tough on discipline when I need to be. It's got so bad I feel like sending her to boarding school....

squilly Sat 15-Aug-09 20:45:27

Bump. Sorry. No advice to give, but am interested to see what people say.

I have an 8yo dd who, though she hasn't done the shopping/appearance thing, has been like a pre-menstrual teenager several times over the last few weeks. It's driving me nuts.

I suspect it's a fairly standard development phase, rebelling against authority and asserting your own personality.

I'm just hoping you get some constructive feedback on how to deal with this, or at least tolerate it!

Good luck!

generalunrest Sat 15-Aug-09 20:51:11

Lol I've got an 8 YO DD who's just starting to be be precocious! She keeps trying to talk to me like she's an American, and like she's an adult talking to another adult, and I'm not having any of it grin

She's also going off her best friend because her friend is tomboyish and talks about spiderman, when my DD wants to be with the 'cool' girls at school and talk about girly things. The 'cool' girls don't like my DD's friend, so she thinks she shouldn't!

From where I'm standing, there's not alot you can do as a Mum but try to explain to them that 'cool' is not all it's cracked up to be, and encourage them to be themselves. I think she's just trying to fit in and try out different personas. I'm hoping it'll all iron itself out in time...yeah right smile

sparkybint Sat 15-Aug-09 20:56:11

glad I'm not alone....and I especially hate it when she talks to me like an adult too.

trollbeadaddict Sat 15-Aug-09 21:03:00

What is she watching on TV? My two DDs (now 11 and 13) both went through phases of behaving like this and I'm sure it was because they watched lots of US kids programmes on TV featuring spoilt little princess / cool girl type characters. I'm sure they were just copying them for a while. I think I just made sure they didn't watch too much TV and pointed out how dreadful (ie shallow, spoilt and totally unreal!) these girls were and how in real life, they really wouldn't be that popular. Both mine are fine now (in fact my 11 year old asked for a castle and pirate ship for Christmas last year although she still wears lipgloss when playing with them!!)

sparkybint Sat 15-Aug-09 21:09:50

That's reassurring, trollbead. Yes mine does watch those godawful US programmes and I say exactly the same things you did. Do you remember how much TV they were allowed to watch and when? Her favourite prog though is Sponge Bob, so that's something.

Glad that for your two it was just a phase.

generalunrest Sat 15-Aug-09 21:26:31

Yup, my DD likes Spongebob, but I think she only watches it now cos she knows I love it grin It's ICarly and Drake and Josh that she sees the teenage/American thing on.

They usually have a moral to the story, and she hates it when the children act like brats, but there do seem to be alot of children on there who talk to the adults like sh1t and nobody says anything. I don't see the point in stopping her watching them, 1 she likes them so much 2 she's going to see stuff like that somewhere/sometime and 3 it gives me a chance to let her know that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

She's not a total brat...yet lol but unless she's really really cheeky, I just try and tease her about it and point out how ridiculous she sounds, she usually sees the funny side of it and goes back to being gorgous again.

greeneyedg1rl Sun 16-Aug-09 07:28:32

this thread makes me glad that I'm not alone in being on the receiving end of this kind of thing grin

piscesmoon Sun 16-Aug-09 07:44:37

It makes me glad that I have boys! I suspect that squilly is right and it is a fairly standard development phase with some girls and all to do with rebelling against authority and asserting you own independence. It has always been the same-I can remember girls like that when I was at school. I don't think there is too much you can do-keep the lines of communication open, use a sense of humour and try and get her interested in something that takes her beyond it.

juuule Sun 16-Aug-09 07:59:28

You think that some boys don't do similar, Piscesmoon?hmmwink Hormones and all that, you know. Boys not immune.

piscesmoon Sun 16-Aug-09 09:23:00

I expect they do juuule, but I don't think it is quite so common at 9 yrs. Also to be really 'cool' a boy needs to be good at sport, so at least they are likely to spend part of a week on a muddy field! A girl can be 'cool' and never do any sport or get dirty. There are exceptions of course-that it a very general, overall view. I think, observing friends with girls, that boys can be much easier.

juuule Sun 16-Aug-09 09:29:43

I agree, that's a "very general, overall view."
Perhaps your boys will oblige and 'fit' your view wink

piscesmoon Sun 16-Aug-09 09:46:03

They do juuule! I have 3 and I can't think of a single boy in their year at school who was 'cool' (for want of a better word)and not good at sport of some kind. They have to do the sort of thing that boys look up to; the boy who is the fastest runner or the ace skateboarder will be looked up to, whereas the girl who does the same will be dismissed by those who disdain such things and have moved on.
As a supply teacher who teaches a lot of 9 yr olds, it is quite possible for the most popular girl in the class to refuse to try in a games lesson-if a boy didn't try I doubt whether he would be the most popular boy. (someone will no doubt give the exception-there are always exceptions).

juuule Sun 16-Aug-09 10:24:18

2 of my 3 wouldn't have fit your view.

piscesmoon Sun 16-Aug-09 10:43:11

Always exceptions juuule. I come across hundreds of DCs in the term and in general I would say that I am correct. If a 9 yr old girl is going to be popular with the boys she would have to be a bit of a tomboy and able to hit a rounders ball hard.
Once hormones set in it is perfectly possible to be popular with the boys without being good at rounders!!!

juuule Sun 16-Aug-09 10:49:31

Mine have been reasonably popular with the girls despite not having much interest in sport . I don't think they were exceptions as their friends seemed much the same.
Depends who they are trying to be popular with I suppose. They had some good friends but weren't really in with the sporty in-crowd.
It's just that we would notice behaviour that was a bit out of character and then when we stopped and thought about how old they were (dss and dds) we realised they were around 8-10yo and then things fell into place and we would give them a bit of leeway for any seemingly irrational emotional outbursts. Have noticed the same with friends children at school.

piscesmoon Sun 16-Aug-09 11:10:13

Probably if you are the leader sort you can do what you like. I think in case of OP's DD she is more a follower, she has worked out who she thinks is 'cool' and wants to fit in, therefore is finding her 'lovely'friend, boring. She may discover that the 'in crowd' are boring and her old friend is much nicer or, she may revel in being part of the 'in crowd'. She is finding her feet and experimenting. All OP can do is keep communicating, use a sense of humour and try and interest her in something absorbing, that is age appropriate.
I'm not sure why I am commenting-I have never liked 'in crowds,' either as a DC or adult! I think my DSs are similar, they aren't highly popular, they aren't unpopular-they just have their own circles of (thankfully)very nice friends.
OP's DD has 2 loving parents and a great extended family so I don't think she needs to worry too much-you have to worry more if the home life is difficult and friends are a substitute instead of an addition.

shockers Sun 16-Aug-09 11:27:53

My 9 yr old son has become really cheeky recently but I have noticed his schoolmates acting similarly with their mums ( both girls and boys) nothing really major... low level stroppiness and cheek but really annoying when it's constant. I think it's an age thing but I have explained to him that I am his mother, not another 9 yr old... I can be his friend too but I feel less inclined to be so when he treats me disrespectfully. I am hoping that he doesn't do it with any other adults! We did have a lovely evening yesterday when he let his stroppy guard down and we played games together.... I hold onto those moments at times of stress!!!

squilly Sun 16-Aug-09 11:34:21

I like the friend argument, shockers, but unfortunately I I blew that one when I was younger when I told her 'I'm your mum, not your friend' in the middle of an argument.

Now, if I try to imply frienship is present in our relationship she says, 'you're my mum, not my friend'. I then have to tell her 'exactly, so you have to have some respect for me!' It doesn't always work, but we have our moments.

DD's best friend went through a stage of being 'cool' which involved her sticking her tongue in the corner of her mouth and scowling...it was her cool look. I told DD that if you have to 'try' to be cool, or fake being cool, you ain't cool.

It lasted a couple of weeks, dd wouldn't play and it disappeared. Thank Gawd! I'm just waiting for it to reappear soon though.

sparkybint Sun 16-Aug-09 12:19:59

Well, I've limited TV to one hour a day max as a rule and made sure she knows how important "tone of voice" is. As in, if you speak to me in that tone of voice, I want you to go to your room and only come down again when you treat me respectfully! Would welcome views on amount of TV watching/online time etc.

I'm really sad about the fact that she and her best-friend are growing apart but there's not much I can do about it. My DD is much more chatty while BF is happy to draw and read when they're together, much more introverted. I love her to bits and don't want to see her hurt. I'm really good friends with the mum too and hope it doesn't affect my relationship with her.

Piscesmoon, thanks for your advice, I am going to try and find things for her to do and we are talking. She def isn't a leader but seems to know what she likes. But hopefully it is all part of finding her own feet and eventually she can be more of her own person.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Aug-09 04:25:55

Please do not let your DD watch any of those American TV shows. They are truly disturbing to the younger set at which they are aimed. Kids who have reached the age the characters supposedly are on the show have no interest in watching... The shows are all concocted to sell merchandise associated with the characters, and sell breakfast cereals and other items advertised during the breaks. Hence the slick presentation of the young kids as supercool and sophisticated (by extension the products are too), while the adults are often portrayed as nincompoops and they put up with terrible treatment on the part of the children. The world that your children experience on a daily basis, where there are rules and expectations and the adults try to maintain healthy boundaries (hopefully) does not exist in these shows. And despite the sugary moral aspect of the story, all the viewers are picking up is the 'tude. It upsets them because they know what age they really are and they love their parents and deep down they respect them. Exposing them to these shows also makes the cool crowd in school that much more desirable, since the cool girls are often indistinguishable in dress and attitude from the US TV girls. I lived in the US for a bit and many American parents also hate these shows; it's not just a Brits hating the Americans thing.

There are definitely natural hormonal things going on anywhere from 9 to 12, and the resulting havoc often rips friends apart. Most school classes experience deep rifts and realignment of groups, but the exposure to American pop culture exacerbates this horribly, imo

mathanxiety Tue 18-Aug-09 04:29:36

Need to add that when faced with all the goodies and the cool stuff, made-up faces, tans, etc of the American TV kids, average sweet natured 9 year olds (even American ones, LOL) feel inadequate, unsure of themselves and less confident than they could be.

duchesse Tue 18-Aug-09 04:46:31

I'm afraid this appears to be fairly standard behaviour in most schools among girls of 9-10, and is why we picked our children's school very carefully... Until they were 11, ours were getting muddy and climbing trees at school and were utterly uninterested in anything mainstream. My only advice I think would be to severely limit her TV and computer time, and insist that that she do more sporting activities outside school. She is only 9 and I don't think you need to treat her as though she were 16 and let her get away with behaving age-inappropriately. Plus I feel a little sorry for her lovely-sounding BF.

Sonnet Tue 18-Aug-09 12:48:21

My DD1 became the "Lovely BF" at age 9! Her friend at the time suddenly became "very cool conscious" and DD1 did not!
It was very hard for her at the timer and I have a vivid memory of her asking me why people had stopped liking her!
DD1 who is now 12 has developed a lovely new set of friends and whilst not in the "in crowd" is still popular.(as Picesmoon says about her DC's)

Paolosgirl Tue 18-Aug-09 13:00:09

The vast majority of parents are not in a position to choose their schools very carefully, and instead send their children to the local state schools - which means that children will come up against all kinds of positive and negative characters.

I've got a 10 year old dd and agree that these American programmes do no good at all. I try and limit them as much as possible and she's not allowed to dress inappropriately - although fortunately she's into black skinny jeans and converses rather than skimpy stuff. Agree also with ensuring that she's kept busy with sports and play.

Kids - who'd have 'em?!

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