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tween article from Mothering a few years back - Page 3

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenheart View Post

On the opposite side of early puberty, I was super-late.  I didn't even begin developing breasts until about 15 (yeah, that was fun), and I got my period at 17.  I went to 2 specialists and was told there was nothing at all wrong with me and I was just a slow developer.  For the record, I drank Kool-Aid and milk and ate Oreos and mac and cheese.  I was formula fed from a bottle.  All my toys were plastic and I chewed on lead pencils.  nut.gif   At 13 I still loved dolls (I played with Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies).  Yet I also reallllllly liked boys.  So no clue what was going on with my hormones.


Just wanted to mention there hasn't been lead in pencils since 1500 or something, maybe there was some in the paint on the exterior if you were chewing them in the 70's, but graphite replaced lead a loooong time ago winky.gif.  Ya know, while I'm going OT, I was just thinking recently about how Kool-Aid is a much healthier drink than many on the market, these days.  Mixed up at home, it's made with honest to god sugar rather than HFCS!  The Oreos you ate were possibly before they switched them to being made with trans fats (depending on whether you were young enough to be chewing those pencils with lead paint).  I suspect the milk industry increased their hormone use at some point, certainly after my 70's childhood...  Our childhood environment was not the same as our children's.

 

Anyway, I have noticed some people seem in a rush to have their children grow up, almost as if they think it means their kids are somehow advanced if they like things intended for older kids.  I see it with very young children and it keeps going.  Parents are eager to share their interests with their kids and show Star Wars to their toddlers or whatever.  Parents buy things a couple developmental stages ahead of their child.  Some might even spend hours coaching their kids in how to use those items for which they are not developmentally ready.  You hear people tell preschoolers that they can't have a certain toy because "it's for babies."  I can see where some "tweens" might get the message that they should stop playing with toys...

post #42 of 48


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

I think think that tween *is* used as a marketing tool. And I think that the term was made up for that purpose.  Growing into adulthood is a long and wonderous process.  I hate how it has been used by companies to make money by applying labels.   And I do believe that people that buy into that consumerism kind of throw their young daughters (and yes, I think the focus is more on girls than boys) into growing up faster than they are probably emotionally and socially ready to.  I really think that media EXPLOITS the changes that are happening to these young girls by promoting a certain type of mainstream "popular" girl and all of the trappings associated with it...  and they call it "tween".

 

I don't care for the term, personally.  I really just hate the drive to get girls to be boy-crazy and popularity-crazy and clique-crazy at 9 years of age in order to sell more posters and t-shirts.  That's really what it's about.  That is the "tween" craze in a nutshell.  Instead, I think we should just help our children along the path to adulthood which is a VERY long process and it can't be packaged and labeled.

 

FTR - my dd will be 9 soon and she shows not one single sign of entering puberty.  She is still VERY much a child.  She knows the name of popular "tween" trends (although she still thinks his name is Justin Beaver, lol) from her friends at school, but she is absolutely not interested in them.  She still likes Curious George and other PBS programs and has never seen any Disney or played video games. Then again, we don't have media influence in our home like many do.  I'm planning to let her be a child as long as she needs to be.  I won't let a label or the marketing companies grow her up any faster than she will on her own.


This post really resonated with me. I think it is more realistic to think of childhood as a continuum of processes that gradually progresses toward adulthood. You can't put labels on it ESPECIALLY since every child develops so differently. In this way I think tween is such a marketing ploy trying to ensnare mainly 8 and 9 yo girls into the Hannah Montana mentality when many are in no way ready to progress to that level of "tween" with the training bras and provocative clothing.

 

FWIW, I developed ahead of all of my peers and although I looked like a teen, and had all the hormones of a teen I was still very much a child, played with dolls and toys, watched Care Bears, and emotionally was very childlike despite my physical development.

post #43 of 48


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

But it IS actually happening for some kids.  It sounds like our kids are the same age.  That is the problem--there is no concrete age.  The media did not rush my child into puberty before yours--it's genetics and environment.
 

No, the media doesn't cause puberty to happen.  But it does attempt to shape how tweens should behave and look.  They should behave like little teenagers (according to pop culture).  That's what I have a problem with.  Not all 10 year olds have breasts.  And it shouldn't matter if they do or not.  A 10 year old should not be wearing clothing designed for a 16 year old even if they DO have breasts.  It just looks so wrong (to me, anyway).  And I hate the snotty, sarcastic attitude the media portrays them as having.  Sure, a lot of them may act that way in general, but do they need to watch "role models" acting like that too, making it the norm?  I know an 8 year old girl who has breasts (she happens to be on the heavy side).  She's obviously going through early puberty as she is much taller than the other girls in the class. But despite needing to wear a bra, she is just a little girl.  She plays with dolls and stuffed animals.  Yet if her mom dressed her in skinny jeans with Ugg boots, a black rhinestone top and put a cell phone in her hand, she could pass for 14.  Much better than she is wearing kid-clothes and looking age appropriate.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2mygirl View Post
What I'm talking about is how it took me twenty literal minutes to find an outfit in Old Navy for my just turned eight year old.  Her aunt, who never buys her things for her birthday or Christmas, surprised us by buying two pairs of skinny jeans. My little girl is not wearing skin tight clothes so I took them back but they would only give me store credit. If I was in a different financial place. I would have bought the baby onsies and just got my dd a lovely Land's End dress instead. (Or two on sale because these horrible jeans were pricey.) But I can't do that so I looked and looked and looked for an outfit for her that didn't look, well, like something a teenager would wear. 

 

Exactly.  This is my frustration as well.  It shouldn't be so difficult to find cute, age-appropriate clothing for little girls!  Society just seems to have an attitude that by 8 they should be ready to move into the teen category (size 7 - 16).
 

post #44 of 48

I don't think the clothing and music thing is new.  I was a kid in the 80s and my mother still talks about how impossible it was to find non Madonna inspired clothes.  I remember a girl in my 2nd grade class has one of those oversized off the shoulder cropped shirts that showed her belly button and her bra strap (she had no bra strap).  I thought it was sooo sophisticated and begged my mother for one.  Ha!

 

And I remember walking my little sister down to the drug store to buy a bottle of Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth perfume that she had saved her own allowance for.  I don't know how old she was, but it was 2nd grade or earlier because that's when we moved and I know it was in our old house.

 

I agree that tween is a word invented by marketers, but I don't think that the idea of little kids as consumers is new, and I don't think that everyone suddenly woke up one morning in 2005 and a sea of play-appropriate lose knit dresses had been replaced by Hanna Montana wear. I think maybe we didn't notice it so much when we were kids because we didn't get it. I remember a girl in elementary school (maybe 4th or 5th grade) had a T shirt that said Boy Toy on it, and we all asked her what it meant and she answered that it meant that she liked to play with boys.  We all agreed that we did too.  Trust me, none of us meant "play" in ANYTHING other than tag, soccer, and monkey bars.

 

And I'm not saying these things are harmless: I have to admit that I'm in the "keeping my kids little as long as possible" camp. I just want to make the point that this isn't new.

post #45 of 48

For those looking for non-"teen" looking clothing for kids, I have had the most success at JC Penney and Sears, Hanna Andersson (though I live near an outlet, that's the only way I can afford that!), as well as getting creative with layering, esp. for tops.  (It seems like a lot of the teens and women do that around here too, since most t-shirts or whatever are cut so close with your rear and cleavage hanging out).  Occasionally we have found some good stuff at Kohls (though DD has to try it on), and I know there are good basic sweats and stuff at Target (we don't shop there though).  I don't live near an Old Navy so we have never shopped there, but I have heard a bunch of complaints about the larger kids sizes there from other moms as well.

post #46 of 48

I'm thinking people here would probably judge my almost 9-year-old's clothes then.  She has skinny jeans, and she has shirts with sequins on them, but she doesn't look even remotely sexual in them.  But then of course she hasn't started developing a figure at all.  I didn't know skinny jeans and sequins were sexual?  Everyone wore skinny jeans in the 80s and I don't recall them being considered sexy then either.

post #47 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

For those looking for non-"teen" looking clothing for kids, I have had the most success at JC Penney and Sears, Hanna Andersson (though I live near an outlet, that's the only way I can afford that!), as well as getting creative with layering, esp. for tops.  (It seems like a lot of the teens and women do that around here too, since most t-shirts or whatever are cut so close with your rear and cleavage hanging out).  Occasionally we have found some good stuff at Kohls (though DD has to try it on), and I know there are good basic sweats and stuff at Target (we don't shop there though).  I don't live near an Old Navy so we have never shopped there, but I have heard a bunch of complaints about the larger kids sizes there from other moms as well.



Hanna Anderson clothes are wonderful. Sometimes I can find them at our consignment store and dd loves them too. I am so jealous of people who live near the outlets.

Sears had Land's End dresses on sale for around ten dollars! That is part of what annoyed me so much about the whole Old Navy trip. Because it was a gift receipt, they said I had to accept store credit. I would have loved to have taken the money from returning the skinny jeans and gotten two Land's End dresses. My dd loves them, I love them, it would have been so perfect. 

Thanks for the JC Penney tip.  My husband is a student, though, so usually we just shop second hand. Maybe sometime I'll be able to check it out though.

post #48 of 48

I hear ya on the consignment thing.  I am really sad that because of DD's growth spurt she got knocked out of our handmedown loop (as a recipient anyway) and the kids/general consignment and thrift stores seem to be pretty light in her size (she is a 14 in most things, could really do 16 for length, but 16s fall off of her waist), since it's at the "end" of kids sizes but really before juniors (not that I'm looking forward to that price bump).

 

Luckily we are also able to make dresses "stretch" with leggings and jeans/slim pants.  And layering with long camis has really saved $$ too and it looks cute, esp. in the middle of a rapid growth spurt where literally they can be busting out the bottom of their shirts not because of girth but because their torso seems like it lengthened by 4 inches overnight.  :D

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