My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.

Preteens

8-9 year old girls

5 replies

LifeAssurance · 15/04/2018 09:49

Hi, my daughter is turning 9 in october and has started saying some things that worry me a bit.

"I don't like the way I look?"
"I don't like my lips?"
"Am I adopted?" (because she looks rather like dh than me)
"I want to be like you mummy, why don't I look like you?"
"Am I being a good girl mummy?"

She is experiencing a few things at school, where she has been strongly reprimanded for talking in class. She is high achieving but displays some impulsive behaviour in class. She has 1-2 friends (no best friend'), and she has started doubting herself.

I just wondered what happens for girls at this age, what sort of development do they go through and how is this expressed? How can I best support her thorough what may be the beginning of pre-teen experience? Thanks

OP posts:
JacintaJones · 15/04/2018 10:01

My DD was nine in January and I'm finding this stage difficult to navigate too.
Lots of her friends are socially, although not intellectually more mature than her.
For example they have mobile phones, discuss boys and clothing brands which DD isn't really interested in yet and so she feels quite isolated.
Like your DD she has one or two friends in the class whereas previously she was part of a much larger circle.

From what I can understand, lots of girls start to comment on each others' appearance at this age and I know it has made my DD more self conscious.
She has also been comparing herself to me, I feel as if she needs to identify closely with me right now and if she mentions similarities between us I reinforce them. It seems to help to make her feel secure.
I'm aware that given five years or so being like me will be anathema to her so I'm making the most of it now Wink

I've also started to prioritise 1-1 time with her as I do feel this is the precipice of the 'teen experience' even though physically she is years away from it.

Its socially driven imho and I don't like the pressure placed upon girls at this age. I have a twelve year old son and it wasn't even a consideration at this stage.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 15/04/2018 10:05

Your poor DD. Does she have access you the internet. My DD became much more interested in her looks when she started watching YouTube. Not interested enough to start showering regularly, but that’s another story...Grin. Do you or DH talk about your looks too or maybe it’s coming from her friends?

Ricekrispie22 · 15/04/2018 11:49

Help her to recognise for herself when and what makes her feel good, so she'll become less dependent on you for assurance. Basically, you've got to foster 'self-assurance' and 'self-esteem'. You can model it by saying out loud in front of her "I feel really good about myself when.... I finish a book/wear my favourite dress/do yoga/go for a walk/cook a yummy meal etc..."
Introduce her to lifebabble: www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/lifebabble
Encourage her to pick up one or two sports as hobbies, so she'll be more focussed on how her body is performing rather than what it looks like. I probably need not say that sport makes people feel good about themselves.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 15/04/2018 12:52

I can second doing sport. My DD does climbing and Cricket. She also goes to Guides. She is focused on how she looks a lot less than sone of the others in her class.

While the Commonwealth games have been on we’ve been commenting on how healthy and strong the athletes look.

LifeAssurance · 15/04/2018 18:45

Thank you for your insightful and kind replies. It hadn't occurred to me that the girls would talk about looks among themselves at this age but that's a really good point. Before she talked about wanting to look and be like me she said that she wanted curly hair like one of her friends and started looking at the mirror more often, probably comparing herself to the other girl in her class. She is naturally sporty and will start a couple of new sport clubs this term.


Lifebabble is a good resource, We'll take a look at it.

You can model it by saying out loud in front of her "I feel really good about myself when.... I finish a book/wear my favourite dress/do yoga/go for a walk/cook a yummy meal etc..."
That sounds like a good idea.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.