Q • Our daughter is 10 and in fifth grade. She wants to wear inappropriate clothes like her friends do. They all want to look and dress like the Kardashians. How can we get her to tone it down without constantly nagging or feeling left out of the group?
From a reader • I had a similar problem with my daughter when she was 10. She's now a senior who will be entering college soon. She often reminds me about the times in her younger years where we disagreed on many things but her attire was the main focus for a while. It wasn't pretty. There comes a time in every parent's life where they just have to say, “No!” and stick with it. It certainly wasn't easy, but we can laugh about it together now. — Allison K. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
From Jodie Lynn • In today's society, kids are exposed to many more ideas and choices thanks to the internet, TV shows, movies, etc. Don't even get me started on the Kardashians and the like and how they're affecting today's youth, especially girls.
All of these distractions can make their minds fuzzy, and they think they can actually pull off shoes, makeup, jeans, tops or whatever the latest cool thing happens to be, without a hitch, just like many of their friends are trying to do.
Unfortunately, it puts serious pressure on them as well as on the parents.
While they think they're grown-up, they're actually far from it.
You don't want your daughter to be made fun of or teased about her clothes, but there may be a few compromises that can take place.
For example, if she wants to buy a blouse that you feel is too low, tell her she will need to wear a T-shirt under it, which may make her give up the idea. Conversely, if she agrees, it could simply fix the problem altogether while allowing her to even further customize her look. It will at least fill in the neckline and also cover her tummy.
If she wants to wear a shorter skirt, be sure that underneath she either has on tights for cooler weather and shorts for warmer weather.
Talk with her about the real world and what celebrities wear compared to regular people. Helping her to understand that they dress up because that's their job might help to put into perspective the urge to look like them.
Above all else, never let her forget that she's 10 and you are the parent; your rules are final.
If the above sentence seems hard for you to adhere to, just think about where you'll be with the same topic in only three or four years if you don't get control of things now.
CAN YOU HELP?
I have 9-year-old twins. The girl is self-confident and gets along with everyone and if not, she doesn't have a problem with her feelings. Her brother tries to please everyone. Lately he's been complaining of headaches, upset stomach and not wanting to go to school. I think he's being bullied but he won't talk about it. Are these signs that he's a target of someone or possibly a group of bullies? How can I get him to open up about it and how can I help him?