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11 year old girls

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My homeschooled 11yodd is friends with an 11yo girl from down the street. The girl is a nice girl and I don't mind having them play over here, at her house, or outside in front of our houses where they like to draw with chalk or just hang out. My concern is that this girl has some freedoms that I'm not always comfortable with and I am wondering if I am just out of touch. She is allowed to just take her bike without asking her parents and ride around the neighborhood to parks that are a 10 minute ride away, or to walk to a convenience store that is about a 15 minute walk away.

My dd was asking me about Facebook, what it is and what you do on it, and said that her friend is on it and "talks to people". She has told me that her friend gives her "fashion tips" and the other day she put some mascara on her. For the past couple of days there has been a couple of 12yo boys coming around and chatting with the girls and my dd came in to ask if she could walk to the convenience store with them. I said no and my dd said that everyone her age has way more freedom than her.

So, am I overprotective? Is this typical for 11yo girls? Facebook? Mascara? I just am not comfortable with the hanging around the neighborhood/convenience store thing, and a few things that just seem a bit too grown up to me.
post #2 of 19
Um NO, at least not for my 11 yo. No makeup and no Facebook!

Having said that, it does sound very similar to one of her friends - but I really do not encourage that friendship, and have told my DD to please carefully consider anything this friend thinks is a good idea, and to come to me with things that do not sound like our family's idea of acceptable.

ETA: I don't say she can't play with this friend, but I prefer it to be here, not at her house, since her parents clearly have different ideas of appropriate than I do.
post #3 of 19
My 11 (soon to be 12) yo DD is not into mascara, boys or Facebook, but she does have the freedom to ride her bike around the neighborhood. In fact for the past year she has ridden the city bus to both school and to rock climbing. She is even allowed to ride to a downtown pedestrian mall and today she rode her bike to the local pizza place to meet a couple of homeschool friends, both of which happen to be boys aged almost 12 and just 13, (all very innocent) for lunch. She always tells me where she is going, and has a cell phone to keep in touch. She relishes the freedom and is totally trustworthy. I should also add my DD is still very much a child and not a precocious pre-teen.
post #4 of 19
My 10yo DSD (just about to start 5th grade) complains that all of her friends have Myspace and everybody Twitters and it's SOO unfair because we won't let her! I'm sure she's exaggerating, EVERYBODY doesn't, but there must be some kids in her 4th grade class last year that did.

She's not into makeup or boys at all yet. She did have a friend that came over a couple times last year that did seem to want to talk about boys a little too much, but DSD didn't seem too interested in that friendship.
post #5 of 19
My dd is about to turn 11 and going into 6th grade. Here "everyone" has a cell phone and texts to each other, goes to the mall to hang out (sans parents) and hmm, haven't heard about Facebook, but hangs out in the neighborhood, often with older (like 14) kids.

DD is fairly independent (and a bit young, emotionally), but she's allowed to email people we know, or friends from school, but no cell phone, and if she wanted to go the movies or the mall, we'd arrange for her to meet a friend and we would go "meet" at the mall.

So no, no Facebook, and no makeup, but she wouldn't be interested. We'll see what she asks about as she's about to start middle school. She hasn't asked if she can walk anywhere yet. (Doesn't really ride a bike yet--how do you teach an older kid?) We think we're OK with walks out of the neighborhood at about 12, i.e., over to the grocery store/strip mall.
post #6 of 19
As to facebook - if you wanna blame it on something besides you not being comfortable with it you can just say that she's not old enough according to FaceBooks rules. COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, states that websites can't collect and sote information from people under 13. So tell her that she's not allowed to lie about her age online and therefore she can't have a FB.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply. I was told that facebook requires that you be at least 13 to sign up, so that means the girl and/or her parents lied to get her registered. I mentioned this to my dd and she seemed upset that her friend would do that.

DD is very much a child and not really interested in make-up or fashions, but seems to really like spending time with this girl and I'm concerned that she is being influenced in ways she's not ready for. I'll keep a close eye on them for the next coupleof weeks. When school starts they don't see each other as much so it's a bit easier.

One other thing I notice is that this girl doesn't do many extra-curricular activities. Most of her time outside of school is hanging out around the neighborhood. My dd, on the other hand, is very busy with activities. I've been wondering lately about the value of all of these activities, but if it means keeping her away from hanging around the neighborhood doing nothing then I'm all for activities!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
As to facebook - if you wanna blame it on something besides you not being comfortable with it you can just say that she's not old enough according to FaceBooks rules. COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, states that websites can't collect and sote information from people under 13. So tell her that she's not allowed to lie about her age online and therefore she can't have a FB.
Yes, we must have been posting at the same time. Someone else pointed this out to me last night. My dd was upset that her friend would do this. It just goes to show how much her parents are monitoring her!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokea View Post
One other thing I notice is that this girl doesn't do many extra-curricular activities. Most of her time outside of school is hanging out around the neighborhood. My dd, on the other hand, is very busy with activities. I've been wondering lately about the value of all of these activities, but if it means keeping her away from hanging around the neighborhood doing nothing then I'm all for activities!
My DD is also busy with activities. She is a sport climber so is training at least three days a week. I am a firm believer in extra-curricular activities and encourage them. My eldest (19) could never stick to anything and I am sure if she had something she really loved doing things would have gone a lot smoother for us when she was a preteen/younger teen.
post #10 of 19
You've mentioned a few different "freedoms" and I consider different factors for each of them.

Freedom of movement - I like to know how to contact my tweens/teens in an emergency, so I ask them to let me know where they are going. Similarly, I let them know where I am going to be. It's a matter of courtesy. Mobile phones help with this. Having said this, I think it's fine for an 11 y.o. to ride her bike around the neighbourhood. I imagine the neighbourhood/town/city makes a difference - how big it is, how safe it is, etc. I've lived in a city where a majority of the children attend private schools - they don't necessarily attend school near their home. At first I was surprised at the very young children - 9 and 10 y.o.'s - who ride public trains without adult supervision - they usually travel in groups and are picked up at the train station by parents or nannies. These children are traveling by train for half an hour or more without adults on a daily basis. As a result, I think they have a more relaxed attitude in general to being on their own at a young age, and I often see children this age on their own at the neighbourhood park. It's a cultural thing - I think North Americans tend to more "helicopter' parenting styles.

Freedom on internet - My ds started a Facebook account at age 14, to keep in touch with overseas friends and family. DD just turned 13 and signed up for Facebook for the same reasons. Until then she used e-mail and MSN, but photo-sharing is a little less convenient among groups, so she was happy to get her own Facebook account. We're as careful as we can be with what gets posted, what information is shared etc. - maybe the girl's parents are have her passwords and are monitoring her Facebook use. When you have friends who live all over, Facebook really helps with homesickness.

Freedom of appearance - generally, I let the children choose how they dress and whether they use make-up etc., with a few strict limitations (no permanent tattoos, no piercings except a single hole in each ear lobe, and dress must be appropriate to the occasion - so no ripped jeans when we take Grandma out to dinner). If my dd wanted to wear mascara, I'd roll my eyes, but I wouldn't make an issue out of it, although I wouldn't encourage it. We do have a lot of fun with mother/daughter spa days though, getting manicures and pedicures together - and we've done it since she was fairly young - 10 y.o. or so. In fact, she has no interest in eye makeup. I'd just rather let her express herself and I prefer to battle over things that are more important to me.

The tweens can be a tough time if parents are constantly in a battle over the tween's need to express their own identity and test their independence. I think each family has to find their own way, in the context of their own values and the cultural norms around them.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
You've mentioned a few different "freedoms" and I consider different factors for each of them.

Freedom of movement - I like to know how to contact my tweens/teens in an emergency, so I ask them to let me know where they are going. Similarly, I let them know where I am going to be. It's a matter of courtesy. Mobile phones help with this. Having said this, I think it's fine for an 11 y.o. to ride her bike around the neighbourhood. I imagine the neighbourhood/town/city makes a difference - how big it is, how safe it is, etc. I've lived in a city where a majority of the children attend private schools - they don't necessarily attend school near their home. At first I was surprised at the very young children - 9 and 10 y.o.'s - who ride public trains without adult supervision - they usually travel in groups and are picked up at the train station by parents or nannies. These children are traveling by train for half an hour or more without adults on a daily basis. As a result, I think they have a more relaxed attitude in general to being on their own at a young age, and I often see children this age on their own at the neighbourhood park. It's a cultural thing - I think North Americans tend to more "helicopter' parenting styles.

Freedom on internet - My ds started a Facebook account at age 14, to keep in touch with overseas friends and family. DD just turned 13 and signed up for Facebook for the same reasons. Until then she used e-mail and MSN, but photo-sharing is a little less convenient among groups, so she was happy to get her own Facebook account. We're as careful as we can be with what gets posted, what information is shared etc. - maybe the girl's parents are have her passwords and are monitoring her Facebook use. When you have friends who live all over, Facebook really helps with homesickness.

Freedom of appearance - generally, I let the children choose how they dress and whether they use make-up etc., with a few strict limitations (no permanent tattoos, no piercings except a single hole in each ear lobe, and dress must be appropriate to the occasion - so no ripped jeans when we take Grandma out to dinner). If my dd wanted to wear mascara, I'd roll my eyes, but I wouldn't make an issue out of it, although I wouldn't encourage it. We do have a lot of fun with mother/daughter spa days though, getting manicures and pedicures together - and we've done it since she was fairly young - 10 y.o. or so. In fact, she has no interest in eye makeup. I'd just rather let her express herself and I prefer to battle over things that are more important to me.

The tweens can be a tough time if parents are constantly in a battle over the tween's need to express their own identity and test their independence. I think each family has to find their own way, in the context of their own values and the cultural norms around them.
Well put, Mama.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokea View Post
My homeschooled 11yodd is friends with an 11yo girl from down the street. The girl is a nice girl and I don't mind having them play over here, at her house, or outside in front of our houses where they like to draw with chalk or just hang out. My concern is that this girl has some freedoms that I'm not always comfortable with and I am wondering if I am just out of touch. She is allowed to just take her bike without asking her parents and ride around the neighborhood to parks that are a 10 minute ride away, or to walk to a convenience store that is about a 15 minute walk away.

My dd was asking me about Facebook, what it is and what you do on it, and said that her friend is on it and "talks to people". She has told me that her friend gives her "fashion tips" and the other day she put some mascara on her. For the past couple of days there has been a couple of 12yo boys coming around and chatting with the girls and my dd came in to ask if she could walk to the convenience store with them. I said no and my dd said that everyone her age has way more freedom than her.

So, am I overprotective? Is this typical for 11yo girls? Facebook? Mascara? I just am not comfortable with the hanging around the neighborhood/convenience store thing, and a few things that just seem a bit too grown up to me.
Yes, it is typical for my 11 yr old and her friends to walk 15 minutes away or bike around the neighborhood or to a park 10 minutes away.

It is normal for them to experiment with make and clothes. It is normal for them to talk to boys, just as it is normal for them to talk to girls.

It is not normal for an 11 yr old to have a facebook page, as I believe the age stipulation is over 13.
post #13 of 19
I made my kids wait until they were 13 to get FB. And they have to friend me.
As to the other things...mascara and neighborhood freedom...sure. My mom was so uptight about make up and I ended up spackling it on for years.
I've always been pretty laid back about make up, leg shaving and DD hardly wears any. Like me, she hates the feel of make up on her eyes.
My kids roam pretty freely. We have one teen cell phone that they share. No texting. No tweeting.

Check this out. It may help.
http://www.freerangekids.com
post #14 of 19
The boys may not even be a "boy" thing. While I started having crushes at about 11, I also had close male friends throughout my preteens (well...and my childhood, teens and adulthood). That wasn't the norm - at least not around here - but it certainly wasn't any cause for concern, either.
post #15 of 19
My DD will be 11 in Nov. She is going into the 6th grade. She is a year younger than everyone here becuase she started school in a state with the starting age/date of 5 by Dec. 5th and we moved to one later with the date age 5 by Sep. 1st.

So with that said, yes she does wear make up from time to time. I expect she will put it on more when school starts this year because everyone else is. I started wearing make up in the 6th grade, but my birthday is late Dec. so I was 11/12 in the 6th.

As for going to parks and stuff, she does go but she has to ask and take her cell phone., (which is missing right now. We don't have a close store so that is not an issue. She does ask to walk/ride her bike to Grandma's a mile away but she has to cross a highway at a non-cross walk and I don't think she is ready for that.

DD is not interesting in Facebook, she is more interested in Club Pinguin right now. She also only really plays it once or twice a week or so. She has email but rarely checks it.

As for boys.. DD isn't interested in them at the moment but BOY are two of the other girls in her girl scout troop!! One is going to be 12 on Halloween and the other just turned 11 in May. I remember being interested in boys at that age too.

So I do think a lot of this stuff is normal. The riding off without asking permission or at least telling her parents where she is would be my biggest concern with your DD's friend. It is very important in my opinion to know where your kids are all the time. My 16 year old doesn't even take off without letting us know where she is going.
post #16 of 19
I third Ollyoxenfree's post.

My 11 year old is not interested in make up, but if she were, we would allow mascara and colored lip gloss.

I expect my 11 year old to tell me where she is going, and she expects the same of me. We live in a town of about 100,000. She rides her bike everywhere, within a certain area. There are some natural boundaries that she doesn't cross, but more because there isn't anything beyond them to do, and the biking is more dangerous due to traffic. She regularly goes to a couple of different parks, accompanied only by friends. She plays at the park next door to us all the time, with friends or alone.

She's been trustworthy, has good judgement, and can handle herself well. I trust her to make good decisions.

I do not allow her to have a facebook, because of the 13 year rule which I happen to believe is appropriate. If I felt she would benefit at an earlier age from having a facebook page, I would lie on the account to set it up for her--the age rule is arbitrary and I don't think it is terribly important one way or another. With my older child's facebook account, I am her friend AND I have her password to her account. By virtue of the fact that I use the same password, my older dd also has the password to MY account. Fair is fair, I think, and I have nothing to hide.
post #17 of 19
I honestly don't get the issue with make-up. my dd is almost 10, and she isn't super girly and precocious (not that there is anything wrong with that) -- she likes hannah montana, but doesn't want to BE hannah montana, if that makes sense... she has been wearing make-up on occasion for the last few months (mostly on wednesdays, for some reason )... I should mention that she's homeschooled, and she doesn't have any activities on wednesdays, so I guess that's why she picked that day for "dress-up" day. at this stage, it's like facepaint to her -- in fact, she frequently painted her face right up until we moved here, and then she switched to make up for whatever reason. it's fun, it's harmless... it usually looks silly and godawful, but whatever. she's still an innocent little girl, she just happens to put colors on her face, I don't get why people make rules about make-up... it bugs me that she'll have friends over, and they'll make each other up (it's super innocent and fun, not at all about being sexy or grown-up) and then the dad comes to get the friend and it's awkward because the friend isn't allowed to wear make-up... it's just silly, imho...

and I don't understand why boys suddenly become off-limits when they hit a certain age... my kids have always had friends of both sexes, and I would never dream of telling my kids they couldn't be friends with someone (or talk to them, or go for a walk with them) based on their gender. I think the more casually and respectfully you handle these things, the less of a problem they become.

as for freedom of movement, that's based on your neighborhood, the kids she's with, if she'll just go along with whatever or come home if they start doing things she doesn't like, etc... it's pretty individual, and it sounds like your neighbor girl's parents trust her to make good choices.
post #18 of 19
My 7yo has permission to ride around the neighborhood on his bike, but he's not allowed to cross certain busy streets. He needs to let me know when he's leaving the house (I won't let him out if he has to finish cleaning up his toys first or something similar) but I don't need to check up on whether he's at the park or visiting a friend down the block.

I see nothing innapropriate about an 11yo having similar freedoms, plus the freedom to go into local stores independently. Nor do I see anything harmful about makeup. I'm not sure at what point it goes from "playing dress up" to "wearing makeup for real" but there's certainly nothing inherently wrong with mascara.

I wouldn't let my kids have a Facebook account before age 13 because I don't want to teach them that it's OK to break the rules. I agree that the age limits are arbitrary. I don't have a problem with my kids (the girls before age 13 and DS now) signing up for sites, so long as they enter their real birth years. I'm happy to click on something in my email if it's necessary to complete the signup process. I really don't see anything wrong with Facebook per se, or why it's any safer for a 13yo than for an 11yo, but "lying for my kids" is just outside my personal moral code.

It's fine to have different rules for your kids than the rest of the neighborhood has for theirs. You know your child better than anybody else, and if you don't think she's ready for those freedoms, then don't allow them! Just be aware that the neighbor mom isn't "being negligent", and if your DD does seem mature and responsible, you might want to consider giving her a little more freedom now.
post #19 of 19
I have an 11 yo homeschooled girl.

She does have a Facebook account that she made this month. We are on each other's friends lists and her friends are all on my list as well. Her relatives, my best friends, my best friends' kids, etc.

My kids are allowed to go out and wander the neighborhood as long as they let me know where they're going and for how long. We live in a town of 1500 so "neighborhood" pretty much comprises the entire populated section of the town, LOL. The furthest they go is about a mile down the road to the country store/my son's friend's house.

I think I'd be a little nervous about her hanging out with boys who are older than her without her brother around. I guess that's hypocritical since I was a tomboy and always had friends who were boys, but it's just how I feel. Fortunately she has no interest in boys in that way yet.

I would let her wear some light makeup if she wanted but after a phase around age 7-8 when she experimented (at home) with it, she hasn't been interested in it. I'm sure she'll pick it up again within the next year or two as she's a big time girly girl.
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