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DD (4) wants to wear dresses so people will think she’s beautiful.

(19 Posts)
icebearforpresident Sun 18-Feb-18 20:55:28

And i’m not sure how to play it...

She goes to playgroup and nursery 5 days and does a lot of running around and messy activities so typically wears jeans and T-shirts. I was never a girly girl so she doesn’t have loads of casual dresses, just some party ones.

If she wants to wear dresses i’m happy to buy some for her but it’s her thinking that people will only think she’s beautiful if she is wearing a dress that’s getting me. Have been telling her it doesn’t matter what she wears and it’s things like being kind and considerate that makes a person beautiful. But she’s adamant that she needs dresses. She actually said people won’t think she’s beautiful if she’s wearing jeans and hoodies which nearly made me cry.

She doesn’t watch a load of princess type programs or films and I’m conscious of making sure she knows girls can be anything and do anything they want regardless so I don’t think she’s picking up on anything in the media.

Any suggestions?

ShatnersBassoon Sun 18-Feb-18 20:59:30

She thinks she'll look beautiful because she thinks dresses are beautiful. It's OK to find things aesthetically pleasing, and we all choose clothes that we personally like.

It might not tally with your idea of beautiful, but it doesn't really matter as long as she can still do all the things she wants to do while wearing her choice.

Dizzybintess Sun 18-Feb-18 21:00:08

My daughter wears a combo of pretty much anything which is good. I always tell her she looks awesome or cool in whatever she wears as this boosts her confidence.
She went out the other day in a kiss t shirt dM boots and hot pink leggings and she she looked awesome x

Longdistance Sun 18-Feb-18 21:00:42

I used to let my dds wear what they wanted in nursery. Dd2 would wear a dress with leggings. The dresses were the H&M jersey dresses, easy to wash. My dd2 isn’t princessy either, she likes karate, so I don’t know what the problem is 🤷🏼‍♀️

Buglife Sun 18-Feb-18 21:03:50

What little girls like at that age doesn’t have to affect how they are in later life! She sees them as being beautiful and therefore thinks she’ll be beautiful in them, she’s not thinking about her physical looks I imagine. Let her have a sparkly princess phase if she wants one, just keep encouraging other interests as well. It’s all very well not forcing a girl to be girly but when a 4 year old expresses a clear preference for something I think it’s unkind to override her fairly innocent wishes.

Teaandbiscuits35 Sun 18-Feb-18 21:05:11

I would take her shopping and let her choose "beautiful jeans/casual clothes". Also ask her if mummy looks beautiful while you're casually dressed, show her casual can be beautiful. I think you're saying all the right things to her, all you can do is reinforce that she's beautiful no matter what she's wearing.

icebearforpresident Sun 18-Feb-18 21:06:03

It’s not that she wants to wear dresses that worries me, as I said I’m happy to take her shopping to choose buy some. But she’s associating what people think of her with what she’s wearing. I don’t want to reinforce that idea in her head which is why I’m asking for advice.

Movablefeast Sun 18-Feb-18 21:08:33

You must know kids have very fixed ideas at this age that are not about reason. Doesn't mean you're not raising them right and won't appreciate all aesthetics as they grow.

Clothes are about playing with identity and pleasure but it usually changes all the time. My teen girls have gone through phases of loving dresses, hating them and now they wear them occasionally. My ds dressed in his sister's "princess" dresses with them at 4 and now the only "dress" he wears is his uniform for Kendo the Japanese martial art of fencing which has a long "dress-like" robe. Don't sweat it.

Movablefeast Sun 18-Feb-18 21:10:58

Just tell her she is beautiful in her dress! She's just picking up on the glamour and pleasure associated with fem dressing. Tell her she's gorgeous in everything she wears and also strong and funny and smart smile

Nyetimber Sun 18-Feb-18 21:11:28

She’s Four. You’re overthinking it. Let her wear what she wants.

Orangepear Sun 18-Feb-18 21:12:21

I think it's a peer pressure thing - my 4yo won't wear joggers anymore as apparently only boys wear joggers and girls wear leggings, even when it's freezingsad

OfficerGrant Sun 18-Feb-18 21:13:00

Keep with your current parenting messages. It just shows you how quickly children pick up on how they are treated. They are not stupid! Maybe try leggings and long-sleeved t-shirt- but with a loose dress over the top. That's the compromise I have with my now 4yo DD. And only the really soft jersey type jeggings, she won't even consider actual jeans.

NoSquirrels Sun 18-Feb-18 21:14:21

I think you just reinforce the “you’re beautiful all the time” idea, but let her choose some things to make her happy.

They grow out if it, and their understanding gets deeper. As long as you don’t reinforce it, or panic and talk about it too much, then it’ll be ok.

Oly5 Sun 18-Feb-18 21:16:42

My 4yo is the same.. I think people have commented on her clojes and she associates them with feeling pretty. I’m just going with it for now.. but I also give her lots of other messages about how clever she is, how she too can be like one of the Olympic snowboarders we were watching, how the Prime Minister is a woman.
My daughter is much more girly than I ever was.. she loves froth and pink. I’m not going to try and change that about her

SD1978 Sun 18-Feb-18 21:17:09

I do see your point, but I think kids are more literal at this age. Wear a tail and ears, you’re a dog. Wear a pirate hat and eye patch, you’re a pirate. Wear a ‘pretty’ dress and you’re a beautiful princess. I’d buy the dress, but continue to tell her that clothes don’t make us beautiful, how we treat people does.

OneEpisode Sun 18-Feb-18 21:17:52

We had this and I had lots of ideas about the precedent/societal pressures & etc & etc. So mine went clothes shopping (in the big supermarket & similar) with dh. He didn’t apply any value judgment whatsoever to her colour and clothing choices, just fit and comfort. The years have passed and DD now wears only trousers/leggings and tops she wants to look at.

NerdyBird Sun 18-Feb-18 21:18:04

They're odd at this age. My dd insists she's not beautiful, she doesn't really know what it means! I would let her wear the dresses and just continue to reinforce your message but without laying it on too thick.

XmasInTintagel Sun 18-Feb-18 21:22:54

I think it's a peer pressure thing - my 4yo won't wear joggers anymore as apparently only boys wear joggers
I think you're probably overthinking it - its most likely other little girls at nursery saying that if you wear a dress you look beautiful, because thats what little girls do.

We may all think gender stereotypes can be limiting, but little girls (and sometimes boys) see pretty things, and see princesses in Disney films, and want those things. I think you shouldn't worry too much, and should within reason let her experiment with what she wants to wear.

lljkk Sun 18-Feb-18 21:23:10

It's okay for you 2 to disagree. You can even tease that she's the one who makes the dress beautiful, the dress is boring without her in it. Let her work thru in her own way what a dress adds or doesn't add to a person.

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