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when should i let her shave? - Page 2

post #21 of 116
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses! I talked with dd for a little while about this and she told me that her friends are allowed to use Nair, gross! I told her that if she feels like she's ready, then I'm ok with it. Anything to keep her from using that Nair at a friend's house!
post #22 of 116
IMO, a child old enough to have body hair, and be concerned about its appearance, is old enough to shave.

I've had talks with my daughters about how I no longer shave and why, gently encouraging them to follow my example but empowering them to make their own choices about their bodies. I'm willing to buy the razors and shaving cream and teach her how to shave safely (though as it turns out, DD1 didn't really need help figuring it out and DD2 has no interest in shaving.)

DD1 didn't want to shave until she was around 11 or 12. I wouldn't have prevented her from shaving at a younger age if she'd wanted to. However, from what you shared in your first post, I'm not entirely sure your 9yo really wants to shave right now, or if she's simply curious about puberty and body changes. Talk to her about how she feels about her body- is she feeling self conscious about body hair in summer clothes? If so, it's time to let her shave. If she's simply curious about when she'll be old enough to "need to shave" then talk to her about body hair growing, different people having different comfort levels, etc.
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by nummies View Post


My mom agreed to let me shave whenever I wanted to. I was a gymnast and in leotards a lot. I needed to shave. I can't imagine forcing your 12 year old daughter to endure name-calling and forbiding her to shave to build character.
: I don't understand the "don't grow up too fast" mentality. If she's being called names and being teased about being hairy, clearly, she's already that grown up, and needs to shave.
post #24 of 116
My mom's rule was not until I had to shave my underarms.. however, my dad's side is not very hairy and I didn't have to shave my underarms until I was nearly 17 I think and I went to a uniform school so it was kind of mean imo to make me wear a kilt with hairy legs in the summer

Eventually my mom gave in to getting my legs waxed by an esthetician before I ever shaved them so for the first few years, I never shaved! If I would have continued I might not have leg hair today apparently.. just another option to consider.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
: I don't understand the "don't grow up too fast" mentality. If she's being called names and being teased about being hairy, clearly, she's already that grown up, and needs to shave.

My mother took the "don't let her grow up too fast approach". As a result i was doing sports age 12 with 34DD breasts unsupported inside my polo shirt. I cannot tell you how painful and humiliating that was. My DD will be old enough to shave when she's old enough to be worried about it.
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpott4 View Post
I let my dd shave her underarms at 11 and her legs at 12.
One of my teens is a swimmer. I didn't get to "let" her...she just started shaving without telling me. It's a swimming thing. I told her it would have been polite to LMK because she was using DH's razor.

My now-12yo started right after her sister did. We had a big discussion (just us girls ) about whether it's necessary, how the hair on never-shaved legs is so much finer and downier, what a pain it is...

But she shaved anyway. I figure it's their hair, it's their business. I just wish razors weren't so freaking expensive!!!

love, penelope
post #27 of 116
My mother made me start shaving when I was eleven. I stopped when I was 17.
post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
: I don't understand the "don't grow up too fast" mentality. If she's being called names and being teased about being hairy, clearly, she's already that grown up, and needs to shave.
This is where I had issues with shaving...I don't see it as part of "growing up," and certainly I don't want my kids to do what all the other sheeple do *just because*. YK?

So we did a lot of talking about things like shaving legs and underarms, and how it really can help the smells of growing bodies but it isn't for everyone...we talked about people we know who don't shave, and a lot of people we know who do. (Hey, we live in Alaska, and lots of the women we know consciously choose to NOT shave...anything).

I don't ever want my girls to feel like their bodies aren't right without modification. It's all a choice...shaving, piercing, dreads or not, etc.

I also think lots of us look on rituals like shaving legs as a sort of sexually becoming act...for instance, I often only shave when I am planning some private time with my husband.

My daughters, however, want to shave for other reasons, and I had to learn not to put my own thinking on them. They shave because growing bodies are naturally smelly, and they are very aware of that. They shave because they are very sports-oriented, and yeah...because every other girl with hair growth shaves, also. That's okay, as long as they think it through for themselves.

love, penelope
post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CompostMom View Post
We made my daughter wait until this past spring, when she started her period. A big factor as well was people making fun of her calling her Sasqatch etc. I told her to hold her head high, as in character building however it hurt me deeply to do so. I worked on my husband until he relented (she is becoming more and more mature looking and he is really worried about her growing up too fast) and finally we allowed her to shave but not past the tops of her knees. This has worked well and she is content. She was already shaving her under arms at my suggestions-we didn't wait for Dad on this one whoops. I feel like we have to let go a little but we don't want to put her in any situations that require mauture decision making yet. She is 12 not 16. We may be a little harder on her than some but she really has a good head on her shoulders and I like to think that we have contributed to that.
My mother had issues with me "growing up too fast". For some reason, she thought that preventing me from shaving my legs, wearing a bra, wearing hose instead of knee socks, etc well past the point that the other girls had started doing so would prevent me from growing up. Guess what? Just as all kids do, I grew up anyway, because that's what kids do. They grow up.

Strangely, she had no problem with my younger sister growing up, and allowed her to do everything at the same time as me, even though she was two years younger.
post #30 of 116
My mother forbade shaving and so I used her razor and did it anyway- I even shaved my arms when really young, like nine, because I was self-conscious and messing around. Eventually I just bought my own razors and did it anyway, but it was ridiculous for her to forbid me. You'd have thought I was doing something filthy. She also had a real problem with the idea of shaving above the knees, a strange boundary that I have never, ever understood. All this meant was that I did what I wanted and tried not to get caught, until she really couldn't stop me anyway. Then I got into the Dead and stopped shaving for a few years, at which point (late teens early twenties), she thought it was nasty that I *didn't* shave.

I've removed hair or not, and my daughter has been around plenty of women friends who shave or don't, and she didn't want to shave for a long time, and now she shaves- maybe starting around 12, and I don't see how I'd have stopped her, either. I don't monitor her in the shower, and at 13/14 these things have largely become her own business. It doesn't make her less of a fully-developed female not to shave!

Personally, as involved and relaxed a father as my dh is, I don't see even asking for his input on this kind of thing, unless a daughter is, like, 8 or something. A father forbidding a daughter from shaving her legs? Just kind of weird to me, if there's a female role model/guardian around.
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
This is where I had issues with shaving...I don't see it as part of "growing up," and certainly I don't want my kids to do what all the other sheeple do *just because*. YK?

So we did a lot of talking about things like shaving legs and underarms, and how it really can help the smells of growing bodies but it isn't for everyone...we talked about people we know who don't shave, and a lot of people we know who do. (Hey, we live in Alaska, and lots of the women we know consciously choose to NOT shave...anything).

I don't ever want my girls to feel like their bodies aren't right without modification. It's all a choice...shaving, piercing, dreads or not, etc.

I also think lots of us look on rituals like shaving legs as a sort of sexually becoming act...for instance, I often only shave when I am planning some private time with my husband.

My daughters, however, want to shave for other reasons, and I had to learn not to put my own thinking on them. They shave because growing bodies are naturally smelly, and they are very aware of that. They shave because they are very sports-oriented, and yeah...because every other girl with hair growth shaves, also. That's okay, as long as they think it through for themselves.

love, penelope
I understand what you're saying. I guess my issue is in the situation where the DD is being made fun of...If you have a discussion with her, and she understands where you're coming from but still wants to shave, I don't think she should be prevented from doing it.
post #32 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
This is where I had issues with shaving...I don't see it as part of "growing up," and certainly I don't want my kids to do what all the other sheeple do *just because*. YK?

... That's okay, as long as they think it through for themselves.
But part of growing up is precisely going through phases of needing to do what one's peers are doing- that, in itself, is perfectly normal and healthy, as long as it's only a phase. The level of thinking through for oneself is obviously something to model and encourage, but it's not always reasonable to expect or demand it of preteens and teens.
post #33 of 116
I'd think she could start shaving whenever she feels like it?
post #34 of 116
I honestly never thought about asking permission to shave. That would've been weird. Kind of like asking permission to use a maxi pad or tampon when my period started. Or deoderant when I was concerned about my odor. I just did it, matter of factly and without fuss. If my DD feels a need to ask, I'd certainly be fine with her doing it.

CompostMom,
would you mind clarifying what situation leg shaving is going to put your daughter in that require mature decision making? I'm confused on that point. I started shaving at about 11, and being called names on the playground would have been way harder than any situation I can imagine shaving putting me in. I mean, I cut myself a few times shaving, but putting on a bandaid isn't beyond most preteens...
post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD View Post
But part of growing up is precisely going through phases of needing to do what one's peers are doing- that, in itself, is perfectly normal and healthy, as long as it's only a phase. The level of thinking through for oneself is obviously something to model and encourage, but it's not always reasonable to expect or demand it of preteens and teens.
Another part of growing up in a loving family is learning that you DO NOT have to do everything your peers do.



I do hear what you're saying, that part of the experience is being led along by peer pressure...but I want to encourage the other part of the experience...the thinking and doing BY CHOICE, not just because.

I don't disallow things like shaving because "everyone is doing it," or because of age issues ... In fact, my 12 yo began shaving much, much earlier than my now-15yo just because her older sister shaved.

But she brought it up first, we talked about it, and she made a conscious choice about it. It wasn't a "Because every other kid with body hair shaves" thing.

That's all I want to ask of them...that they think and that we can talk before they make big choices.

I wish I'd never shaved my own legs...I almost cried when my 12 yo showed me she had shaved off that baby-fine leg hair. Sigh.

love penelope
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
: I don't understand the "don't grow up too fast" mentality. If she's being called names and being teased about being hairy, clearly, she's already that grown up, and needs to shave.
That happened to me when I was 13 or so. Kids would walk past me in gym and bark. My mother went ahead and let me shave. I wish she hadn't, though, truthfully. Yeah, kids are cruel, but these girls obviously weren't my friends, and who really cares what people like that think? It was awful that I was being teased, but man, when that hair started growing back all dark and thick, I lost out on having leg hair that was blonde and fine and barely noticeable. I wear mostly long skirts and jeans, so over the past 16 years (I'm 31), I've only shaved about 3/4 of the way up my calves (when I shave at all, now, which happens only a few times a year), and there's this line between the dark, thick, coarse hair on the lower calf and the light, fine, wispy hair on the upper calf. I know not everyone's hair turns dark after shaving, but mine sure did.

I guess I would be okay with a daughter shaving (I only have a son) if she really wanted to and understood the possible consequences. And I certainly would tell her why I wish I hadn't ever started. But it would obviously be her decision since it's her body.
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Hill View Post
It was awful that I was being teased, but man, when that hair started growing back all dark and thick, I lost out on having leg hair that was blonde and fine and barely noticeable.
..shaving is incapable of altering the hair follicles in such a way that would cause a change in color or texture. All shaving does is snip off hair close to the skin. Sorry, but that dark hair wouldve come anyways, shaving just causes pubescent girls to notice it more because we went from being temporarily hairless to having hair grow back in. The hair on my legs is coarser and darker starting around the knees and down and is fine and blonde up from there. It doesnt matter if young women shave or not, their hormones are going to cause the hair to change until they reach maturity.

As far as "allowing" girls to shave, just show her how and give her a daisy bick. If she wants to experiment, she will, and may forget about it until later in life. I never asked my parents, I just did it. (I also never told my mom about my periods until two years after the fact because she made me feel self conscious about them, going on and on about how "you'll change, you'll see.. you wont be so nice, blah blah blah" so i just smiled and kept it my secret.)

I will encourage my girls to use electric clippers to save them from the horrors of ingrown hairs (common problem in my family, made worse by shaving :/).

compostmom, that post was just plain depressing. Throughout my teen years I had a sever underbite. I was teased mercilessly and humilliated. Finally when I was old enough that my skeleton had finished developing, I had the problem surgically corrected. Had my parents forbiddon this, especially on the bs grounds of "developing character" I would have killed myself. Teasing isnt something any of us should willingly subject our kids to, its just too cruel.
post #38 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
: I don't understand the "don't grow up too fast" mentality. If she's being called names and being teased about being hairy, clearly, she's already that grown up, and needs to shave.
I'm on the fence about this one.

I think dsd is growing up too fast in many ways, but I don't see the shaving as an issue.

If you don't like the hair, you can shave it, absolutely. But if you think you're gonna go on dates at 10, nooooooooo!

And yes, it is that weird at my house.
post #39 of 116
I started shaving with out permission at 11 because the hair on my legs HURT- seriously and it still does if it's too long. Pulls and yanks on my legs- yuck! I shaved my pits too because they were SO flippin itchy and I got major heat rash. Once I shaved- it all stopped.

I know most mom's see this as loosing your baby- but I didn't see it like that when I was a kid. I thought "It's a comfort issue- not a teenager thing" and when my mom found out she was pissed - it had been 6months. I told her it was about me being comfortable- not her wanting me to be a baby. She didn't agree, but I didn't care.

My girls will shave when they "need or want" to. DH thinks I'm setting myself up for trouble with this- but he's got a sweater of hair! He has no room to talk about hair. Just my story, and my plan with my girls.
post #40 of 116
What on earth is the "growing up too fast" and "only below the knee" and "maturity" theme here all about? I'm so confused.

If dd wants to shave, she can shave (she's not at a point of wanting to yet, being only 5). If she doesn't want to, she doesn't have to. I'll probably caution her about shaving above the knee, because the skin on my thighs went a bit weird when I experimentally shaved them at about 14, but she can certainly go above the knee if she wants to.

I guess I'm just not getting the issue. I don't think it's up to me whether someone else - my child or otherwise - shaves. I don't tell dh whether he should or shouldn't wear a beard, either. DS1 recently shaved off the mustache that's been becoming gradually more noticeable for the last two years - his choice, and he didn't even mention it to me until he was done. I don't care if he keeps it shaved, or grows it back. I just don't get this.
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