Dressing too sexy at 9.....(20 Posts)
I would dearly love the view of other parents who have been through this stage. DD best friend who is also 9yrs old wears crop tops, hot pants, full make up and mini skirts and is heavily influencing my dd to do the same. Her parents are very relaxed about these things, and that is their call, but I am not comfortable with my own DD wearing any of this. My DD is a tomboy by nature, does not feel comfortable in make up or sexy tops etc, but loves her friends and does not want to be the odd one out. My view is that we should not be sexualising children particularly at this age.
I have tried compromising with clear lip gloss (rosy vaseline) and shorts with tights but feel I am fighting a losing battle, when she comes home with a face full of make up, back combed sprayed hair and has been wearing a bra (!) when out with friends and their parents. I do not want to isolate her from her friends, and make life difficult. We have always encouraged her to choose her own style and clothes, but I do have my limits. DD is very tall already, developing and in a age 13-14 clothes, it is really worrying me as she looks twice her age. My instinct is to put my foot down, level with her on what is acceptable and stick with it, and to follow her own style. DH sitting on a fence, and I could do with some support. Any thoughts?
I would go for the compromise; tights under shorts, vest under crop tops etc., less is more lecture on make up, give her a lesson and tell her she'll get spots if she keeps piling it on. My DD is a rather curvy, sporty and gorgeous just 11 year old by the way.
Does she have no other friends? Because it doesn't sound good that she is spending so much time with someone whose interests are contrary to hers, and that suggests a difficult patch socially.
I think this is also an early indication that she needs help on withstanding peer pressure. If she is unhappy experimenting with make up etc (and it usually is an experiment/novelty at that age) then she needs to learn it's OK to say no and how to say that kindly but effectively.
Also, what does she do with this friend when at your house, not hers? Can that be extended in the short term?
I'm horrified that whilst in the care of her friends' parents she's being painted and dressed (including underwear). What is your reaction when she returns home in this state?
Heart, I'm perhaps inaccurately inferring that she now wants to dress this way at home, is that correct? If that's the case my original advice stands, if it's just at the friends house then it's a completely different scenario. Which is it?
No, we have similar battles with 12 yo DSD. We have thrown out her mini skirts because she doesn't have the maturity to not flash her under carriage while wearing them! We still insist on reasonable clothes and minimal make up only. She absolutely shouldn't be treated like a sexual object because of how she dresses, but she probably will, and her well being is paramount. She can dress how she wants when she is no longer a child, and has the confidence to deal with the outside world
Mine grew out of the mini skirts by 10, she was always made to wear leggings under them though. Thank goodness for skinny jeans.
I would gently suggest she finds other friends tbh. I would feel awful if that was happening to my dd. its too precocious for 9 year olds imo
I'm probably the one who inferred wrongly. I was picking up on the 'heavily influencing' bit.
I told my DD that young girls spend all their time trying to look older, whilst older women do the same trying to look younger.
And left her to stew. She came back and said: that's stupid, how come nobody picked up on that before. I asked her what her opinion was, what should she do: appear older or enjoy the youth. I also reiterated that grooming is different from slapping on caked cheap nasty rubbish and that she's too poor to wear cheap clothes that she wears once and then has to throw away.
I am not going to fight with her. She is entitled to make her own mistakes, just like I did mine. I also don't believe in : 'whilst under my roof you will...'
But I can steer her, I think. Subtly.
At this age friends will push each other to push boundaries etc. A really good get out is to say that your parents will go mad. The way I see it, we've given DSD the perfect excuse to not push her boundaries. In truth though, her boundaries are the ones of concern, not her friends
Peer pressure is a pain in the arse isn't it? Our 9 year old dd really wants a mobile phone. We've done a blanket 'not until you're 10'. I still think it's too early but most of her classmates have one.
It's a funny age as some of dd's friends look younger than 9, others look like teenagers. Some are still into toys, others talk about boys.
The big subject in our house right now is puberty. Dd is always asking about it. Dh is very good at answering her questions. I need to adjust my view of her as a little girl. I'll get there, i just wish it didn't have to be so soon.
Anyway, stick to your guns and give her the know how and resilience to stand up to peer pressure. Not easy I know.
Thank you all for such a great response. We moved here not so long ago so making good friends has been key for her, hence her need to 'fit in' and we have tried very hard to support all of her friendships to now. The make up and dress thing is a brand new problem, before this they were climbing trees, playing football just a few months ago. They do still do this, and have other things in common such as animals and wildlife, horse riding and are great friends, the fly in the ointment is their new found love of everything trailer park. My DD doesn't want to wear this at home with us or with family/ non school friends etc thankfully, but when she spends time with them feels very stressed about what to wear, and I can tell she is under pressure to conform. We had tears this morning and we are simply going skating later. I don't want to be so distressed. The suggestions about compromise were great thank you and also thinking about peer pressure I will do that Auntiestella, any tips on how to handle peer pressure??? I was too rebellious as a child to care, so do not have personal experience of this.
You've got a few things going on there. Sorry if I am misreading into anything you say. I have 15 & 10 yo DDs, and also prefer them not to grow up too soon wrt clothes.
First with a tall 9year old it can be very hard to find 'suitable' clothes if you have to go up the age range. But they are out there if you look. My 15yo
You said your daughter is tall and 'developing'. So it sounds as if she may well need some sort of 'support' for her new breasts. Supportive crop tops (e.g. M&S) may well be the way to go. These are a half way house between a short vest and a bra. She may well be very conscious when changing for PE, and it may be uncomfortable with just a normal vest.
You are unclear as to whether your daughter wants to wear 'sexy clothes and makeup' or is being pressurised to by friends (or a bit of both).
Being pressurised - Give her the tools to say No:
- You can dress like that, I'm more comfortable how I dress
- Mum won't let me
- I'm only 9, I think they are a bit old
- I find my clothes more easy to climb and bike in
- because I'm tall I don't want older boys thinking I'm more their age by dressing too grown up
Wants - Set your boundaries e.g.
- Short skirts OK with thick leggings. Skirts at least half way down thigh.
- No makeup or Make-up only for discos
- Nail-polish OK at weekends
- No showing midriff except on beach
- No shirts with words like 'sexy' on them
Generally - try to spot clothes that meet your criteria but still have some level of trendiness/funkiness about them.
I've found if I give in on things I mind less about, I can stand firmer on the more important things.
xposted with your reply - got distracted by GCSE work for DD1.
Optimist1 when she came home like that I was quietly horrified but smiled brightly and said after hearing about her day that I think she looks far more beautiful without make up, and she agreed and we went up for an early shower! I have since bought crop tops and felt particularly stressed out, when we went to a bowling alley and some teenage boys started hitting on her. She is 9! That really didn't help. I just the think the children are reacting strongly to a culture that has unhealthy levels of sexualisation and not enough powerful female role models.
Teen's suggested approaches above are very wise, IMO. Mothers of girls have a really hard time now; as you say, OP you want to strike a happy balance between "Sexy Teen Siren" and "babyish" for your daughter. (Mine is adult now, and her chosen style was "Tomboy" so I didn't have to grapple with these issues.)
There are a lot of really helpful responses on here... My only other suggestion is to see if there are any activities which encourage her interests in wildlife etc like volunteering at a community farm, forest school club, where she might meet more friends and not feel the need to fit in with friends when they go off on a tangent she's not interested in. I felt able to take or leave crappy school friendships because I had out of school friends.
Teen and tween - thanks so much for that - I am definitely going to work on those tips with her. I feel so under prepared as I thought this all started at 14! Just to clarify I think her friends wear that sort of thing to be cool - and so she feels obliged to be the same. She is a gentle soul and you are so right we need to equip our girls with the skills to manage situations even at this age!
I don't think this is right? I mean if she wants to wear that stuff then she is clearly comfortable in her own skin and she's happy with her body and I think it's wrong to punish her for that I mean if it's warm enough for it then why not? It sounds like even though you don't want it to sound like you're sexualising her body it sounds very much like you are and I think as look as her lady parts are covers she should be allowed
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