Pressure on kids to be "cool" conflicting with parenting values - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are relatively strict parents and limit a lot of things that kids tend to brag about to each other. For instance, DD does not have a video game system, an iPod, a TV in her room, an Ipad, handheld gaming system, etc. She does not watch TV really at all (a few movies). She does not eat many treats or get junk in her lunch. Her allowance is small and she goes to bed early (by necessity--she wakes up super early no matter what and shr really needs her sleep). We also live on a pretty strict budget and don't "splash out" on "stuff" or trips or parties.

It has come to my attention recently that this leaves DD with nothing to "brag" about with other kids. This hasn't been a huge deal before because we run with similar people and DD's former school had similar demographics, but she is transferring to a more mainstream school, and these issues did come up this summer at camp.

I am pretty darn committed to these values, but I do find myself feeling some sympathy with DD when she talks about how other kids show off their iPads, brag about how they get to stay up late and watch whatever they want, go to Disneyworld all the time, etc. It's not that I have any plans to change our life so that we are like this, but I do realize this puts her out in the cold a little. She feels somewhat excluded and "odd" in some kid circles.

Thoughts? Can anyone empathize? I am trying to think of a few ways we can bend so she has some "kid currency," but am not sure what. We do have a Wii, but all we have on it is WiiFit (which she likes, but I doubt it's "cool" material). I am pretty laissez-faire on clothes and appearance, but her new school has a uniform, so that's kind of out. I was thinking of letting her dye her hair some weird color, something she has occasionally brought up. Or maybe she's ready to pierce her ears, which she's also asked to do (I hesitate only because I'm not sure she's ready to take care of pierced ears yet).

I guess some part of me is trying to come up with something she can say when the other kids are going "My mom and dad let me..." smile.gif I know that's a little silly!

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#2 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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Wow, those are some spoiled 7 year olds! An Ipad? Really? That is insane for a kid that age. Those things are $300+ for refurbished ones! I want one for myself , but refuse to afford it. I cannot imagine giving one to a 7-10 year old.

I dont think its cool to brag or encourage bragging, but I can see (as I grew up as the poor kid on the block) that it makes a kid feel really left out when other kids have/do stuff that your DD doesnt have or cant do. I would probably bend and get another Wii game (I mean if you already have the system....), let her get her ears pierced if she wants, maybe get her an mp3 player so she can listen to music and audiobooks?
For me, it was always little things like how all my friends saw a movie in the theater and I had to wait until it came out on video. Id probably make sure she got to see a movie in the theater on Sunday matinee (and we'd bring in our healthy snacks undercover).

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#3 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I thought the iPad was a bit nuts! This was at camp, which was 7-13, so it was probably an older kid, but still.

Anyway, yeah, you hear me. I don't want her to feel like the poor relation or the kids whose parents are zero fun.

Maybe I need to think of ways to be more...safely zany or something. Fun surprises. Harmless goofiness. Occasional nutty rule-breaking. Like...what...having ice cream sundaes for dinner? Maybe something like that?

I would love it if other parents with similar beliefs/values would sorta brainstorm with me.


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#4 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Well my dd is your dd's age (well, slightly younger but same grade age) and she doesn't even have a Wii.  I am totally on the same page as you.  She does have some friends who have their own handheld gaming thingies, but I don't know of any classmates with iPads (!).  I think a lot (most) kids in her class probably watch a lot more tv than her, and she is sometimes left in the cold with certain movie references (mostly things that she chooses not to watch because she feels they would be too scary for her).

 

I'm up for brainstorming ideas with you, but am feeling pretty brain dead at the moment.  I'll be watching this thread for ideas though, as I sometimes worry about the same sorts of things in regards to my dd.  Like you I'm not about to go out and buy her every extravagant gadget or do away with bedtime, but I don't want her growing up feeling like an outsider/weirdo or something.


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#5 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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Well you could get a regular iPod, and not an iPod touch. Some iPods don't have games on them, in which case it's just for music and audio books. It's basically like a Walkman was when we were kids. You're trying to avoid screen time it sounds like, so that kind of an iPod would seem to potentially fit into where you are?
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#6 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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Oh I'll add where we are. No way would I spend as much as an iPad costs on a kid. My dd does have use of a computer sometimes, we have a wii we got as a gift and a few games but it doesn't get used much, we have a very old DS that I had for myself on a long trip that has ended up being used by dd but also doesn't get used much, and she does watch some TV but has little interest. IMO there's room for moderation, but YMMV.
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#7 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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An IPod still seems like an expensive and delicate thing to give a 7yo, to me (arent they at least $100?). She isn't a careful kid and tends towards spacey...she would be pretty likely to step on it, lose it, etc. If I thought she really desperately wanted one it might be different, but she isn't even into pop music (well, uh, we don't listen to the radio, either, except NPR). Mainly she just likes the idea of having a cool "device."

She is allowed to use the computer, but her time is limited and it's definitely our computer, not hers.

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#8 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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Hi Guys!  Sorry to thread crash, but I thought you might be interested in reading "Bringing up Geeks" by Marybeth Hicks.  It's basically the EXACT issue you're having, and her take on it (which, to summarize, is that "geeks", or the "uncool kids with uncool parents" are actually better off for it).  

 

Hope that helps!  I don't agree with EVERYTHING written in the book; she seems a bit inflexible on most things.  But it's definitely an interesting read, and one that I'm glad I read.

 

 


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#9 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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loraxc: sometimes it fun to let the kids pick the meal. We did backwords day one time and had dinner stuff and ice cream in the morning, then like tacos or something for lunch and breakfast for dinner. We all wore our clothes backwords, 'yes' was 'no' and 'no' was 'yes'. It was super silly and we all talked about it for weeks and weeks.

 

Maybe let her stay up late one night and have a 'dance party'. Put on some favorite music and dance your pants off! 

 

Go exploring somewhere new. Go check out a new town, go hike somewhere different, learn about a new country (cook some food native to their land, learn to speak some of their language, watch a cartoon from there). 

 

We also really like to build stuff. Maybe a catapult would be fun to build (for outside play if you like). Do some tie-dye. Sew something. 

 

Start a fund for a special trip. Put all of your loose pocket change in a jar and ask DD if she'd like to do some chores she doesn't normally do to earn some money for the jar. Then when you have enough money go to an amusement park or out to a movie or for dinner or whatever she wants. Right now we're saving for horseback riding and for Hawaii! 


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#10 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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I got my 8 year old an ipod shuffle ...was 46 at target and he has to give it to me when he isn't using it because he would lose it in a heartbeat ...you could also look on apples site at refurbished ipods

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#11 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Just some perspective as I think it is common to see only glimpses of peoples' lives:  my firm gave each of us of an I-Pad for a holiday gift last year.  DD plays with it more than any of us, and sometimes I'll take it on the subway with us as she likes to practice 'typing' and stuff.  While appearances may suggest that she's a 4.5 year old toting I-Padder,  the reality is is that it is a family device and we try to use it to our advantage.  An expensive toy?  Yes.  But it has also come in very handy.  

 

I guess overall, though, we're not hugely materialistic and we're surrounded by folks who spend a lot on electronics and whatnot.  I think the thing that has worked for us so far (although I'm sure it is going to be much tougher when DD is a teenager) is the fine art of distraction.  DH and I are exhausted most of the time with this method but finding creative, fun things to do with DD has helped us with these various hurdles.  One thing I do spend a lot of money on are art supplies, tools, musical instruments, stuff that one must use with one's hands.  One could say that these sort of things would add up to the expense of an I-Pad.  Figure in the cost of musical instruments, on-going art supplies, etc. and essentially I've bought several I-Pads over the years.  I guess it is all about where you set your priorities.  DD seems satisfied with that so far, and it is helpful to reinforce her successes in these areas.

 

We do allow DD appropriate computer time and honestly I would rather she explore on the computer than watch television or some other passive activity.  


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#12 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the book rec, HopefullyMama!

smilingsara, I LOVE those suggestions. Man, I am so much less fun than I used to be. Old and tired, I guess.

I do sometimes try to do secret things with her that DS is too young for, or sorta too young for. Like, we woke her up late at night to watch fireworks and left him in bed. I keep meaning to do a big-kid movienight. I want to let her stay up as late as she wants on her birthday, too.

Catscradle, it isn't so much that she needs ways to be entertained. She's really good at entertaining herself with books, art materials, pretend play, games, ect (I of course like to think that this is because we so drastically limit screen time). It's really more the peer pressure/peer currency thing at school.

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#13 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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loraxc, I was thinking some more! Do a 'spa day' with her. Paint your nails, do homemade facials, do your hair and then have a photo shoot! 

 

Also, at Lowe's just about every other week they do kids workshops where you build stuff. You sign them up online and then just show up and follow the directions. Its free and a fun way to spend an hour (if the store is close to you). Is there a farmer's market you guys can do your shopping at? 

 

How about going to a thrift store and letting her spend 5 dollars and pick out a new 'fun' outfit, anything she wants?! 

 

We also LOVE to freezer paper things onto our plain shirts, pants, and even other clothing. We do it a bit differently than that site. We trace whatever we want off of the internet (or the kids free draw it). Then we trace that onto the freezer paper. Cut it out with your exacto knife, iron that onto the clothing and paint your fabric paint on. After it dries, peel the paper off, put the clothing in the dryer for about 15 minutes and its ready to wear! Here's an example: IMG_0798 2.jpg I guarantee her clothes will be the coolest clothes on the block after that! 

 

Scavenger hunts are fun too! If you decide to do the freezer paper thing or something, hide it in the house and give her clues that make her think to find it and then do the project! 

 

That's all I've got for now. If I think of more, I'll report back!


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#14 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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Catscradle, it isn't so much that she needs ways to be entertained. She's really good at entertaining herself with books, art materials, pretend play, games, ect (I of course like to think that this is because we so drastically limit screen time). It's really more the peer pressure/peer currency thing at school.


No, I totally understand where you coming from, my own DD is just not an age where we've had to deal with that (although a lot of her preschooler friends have made trips to Disney World, and she expresses and interest but we quickly change the subject).  

 

I can only speak from my experiences as a young adult/teen growing up in the 70s (for all the youngsters out there...this issue is not new...just different stuff and different technology).  My parents were very upper middle class, but they were very strict with regard to acquisition of stuff.  Maybe this would sound harsh to a lot of mainstreamers out there, but my mom and dad made it a rule that anything I wanted beyond necessities and holiday gifts was strictly my own responsibility.  I got bitter every  now and then, but it gave me a lot of drive.  I became a penny pincher and found ways to earn money and saved the money I got as gifts.  My initial goal was to keep up with the proverbial teen Jones...but once I had amassed a small fortune (for a teen), I had matured in a lot of ways and found that the stuff I had previously wanted was outdated or I had lost interest.  There were definitely growing pains (the pain of feeling different or deprived or whatever).  Although I disagree with a lot of parents' other parenting techniques, this one area was really good for me.  Maybe I felt like a loser at the time but then again, I knew that I had to achieve certain goals to get where I wanted.  In the end, I wanted something different.  Funny how things work out!

 


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#15 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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What about pets? Currently, we just have fish, but in the past, cool animal experiences have been pretty useful for DD as "kid currency." During this past school year, we rescued an abandoned litter of kittens. It was a great experience for her. She took some pictures to school with her and her friends thought it was pretty cool. She was excited about them long after they found homes. At a recent play date, the most exciting attraction in the house was not a gadget, but the girl's hamster. Fostering for the local shelter could be awesome if you're open to having animals.

 

Fun trips (even small ones) can also be brag-worthy. Think week end camping or hikes. Maybe putting in some volunteer time at a local wild life sanctuary.

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#16 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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snilingsara--Yes, I was thinking some kind of spa day type of thing as well...well, or just letting her paint her fingernails, which I have also resisted. After some thought I am okay with that.

Love the freezer paper thing. We have fabric markers and I do let her draw on her jeans with them (wait, I AM fun!), but alas, she can't wear those to school. She is very artsy and artistic and has a unique sense of style.

Love your energy and ideas. smile.gif
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. My parents were very upper middle class, but they were very strict with regard to acquisition of stuff. Maybe this would sound harsh to a lot of mainstreamers out there, but my mom and dad made it a rule that anything I wanted beyond necessities and holiday gifts was strictly my own responsibility.

It's funny you mention this. I also grew up in an upper-middle class home where my parents did not buy me a lot of stuff and where I had to earn my own money for frivolities or go without. I think this was very good for me (and believe me, my parents made a lot of mistakes).




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#17 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pets--she does have a pet fish, but that's not thrilling, really, although she was super psyched to get it. We also have a snake. Fostering is a neat idea, but we have a cat who hates other cats and we don't really do dogs. However, she loves animals, and this is a good one to think about. We have been considering getting chickens.

I also am wondering if we could cool-ify our back yard some more. Honestly, it is kinda cool already--she has her own garden, a tree fort, a trapeze, a swing...but we could up the ante, maybe. I would love to get a tire swing or a zip line...

In general, we are pro-mess and pro-chaos. That could count in our favor. wink1.gif I wish I had room for a workshop area for her. Hmm..maybe teaching her to use hand tools and build stuff...she also wants to learn to cook, which we are working on...

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#18 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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One thing I wanted to add is that the kids whose parents always hosted playdates, slumber parties, and backyard watergun fights never needed currency. We all knew they were cool.
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#19 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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I'm going to ask you to question your premise: Does she need "stuff" to brag about?

 

Ds' best friend spent a year at a private school where the kids had a lot of money. One day when he was over, he started playing a 'game' with them that went something like "I've got X that you don't have." The kind of stuff that he was saying sounded a lot like what you're hearing from camp. "I've got an iPod and you don't." My kids, completely misunderstanding the game, came back with "I've got a stuffed penguin." "I've got 3 sharpies." The game petered out pretty quickly. Not all kids care.  (Thankfully, ds' friend's parents moved him to a school that was a better fit for their family values.) 

 

She was the youngest kid at a camp with really wide ages. (7-13 is too broad an age group, IMO.) Wait until next year. See what the school is like. She if she ASKS for stuff. As she enters 6th-8th grade, it probably is more important to fit in a bit more, but sometimes that's as simple as buying a few of the 'right' shirts. If she asks for stuff, help her save up her allowance, birthday money and/or earn extra money for chores. One of our good friends' child just got an iPod touch. She saved for 12 months to get it (and she's 10). 

 

 

 


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#20 of 76 Old 08-02-2011, 10:36 PM
 
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I was brought up without "cool stuff" too - a mixture of ideology and us being poor. :p I didn't have fancy sneakers, virtual pets, Chatterings or any of that stuff (dating myself here!). It honestly never bugged me, as I wasn't into most of that stuff (I played with a friend's virtual pet a few times and didn't see the appeal). I did sometimes get jealous of my friends' packaged lunch treats, like chips, but... meh. Better for my health. Anyway, once I was old enough to cook I brought brownies and things, and everyone got jealous of those!

 

Back in my day, at least, the kids in my class were decent/cluey enough to quickly learn that I had "that" kind of family and would never have birthday parties at a theme park or a house full of awesome toys. I still had friends, and it made going over to their houses SO much cooler. :p

 

If you really want to give your DD something to brag about, you can probably find some stuff that doesn't conflict with your values.

 

-A trip somewhere? "My dad took me kayaking" surely has pretty good brag potential?

-How about a special necklace or something? I inherited my grandmother's old locket when I was a kid, and it was pretty cool - had black and white photos of her and Grandpa inside. Could she be trusted with something like that? Or if you're short on heirlooms, maybe something with her birth stone?

-Yep, letting her dye her hair would probably do it! "My mom lets me do XYZ" is generally a pretty safe bet, right? Would her school dress code be a problem? I've heard Manic Panic is pretty good, if you want to go (semi-) natural.

-Along similar lines of rebellion and disfiguring the body God gave you (kidding!), what about a henna tattoo? Could be fun to do it together, and they only last for about six weeks - less if you scrub. She could even design and apply her own if it were on an easy-to-reach spot - my sister and I decorated our own lower legs once while watching episodes of Buffy. Of course, I didn't do it too well, and came out looking like I had a weird skin disease - but still!

-Could she be trusted with her own EFTPOS card? Even if she doesn't have any money to use it with, it's still kinda cool to have one. Well, it was back when I got mine "early", at 13. Maybe it's not any more. Ehhh, I was never very good at "cool" even when I was that age, don't listen to me!


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#21 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Henna tattoo!! That is a GREAT idea and I am totally up for it. I don't know how/where you get one, though. Gonna look into that.

We do do some cool outdoor stuff as a family--we camp, fish, boat, kayak, etc--but I'm not sure how much currency this gives with the kind of kids I am thinking of. greensad.gif

I do host playdates and slumber parties--maybe not as much as I could.
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She was the youngest kid at a camp with really wide ages. (7-13 is too broad an age group, IMO.) Wait until next year. See what the school is like.

Right--I will wait and see about a lot of this. But I'm noticing we're getting out of step even with our friends who are pretty similar.

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#22 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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I can definitely identify.  My 8 year old DD is starting to feel that pressure.  She wants a DS so much, just to feel like she fits in and has something cool, that I'm leaning toward getting her one.  As far as other things that might be seen as "cool," I agree that pets are good.  Skills or talents are also good.  My DD is not a bragger or show-off at all, but I know she gets some satisfaction from being better at drawing than just about any kid she knows, from being better at ice skating than most of the other kids when we go to homeschool skating time, and from being reasonably good at swimming and skiing.  (Though she's always more likely to think about the people who are better than her than the people who aren't.  She doesn't feel as good about her skiing as she could because she has a friend her age who can ski even better.)  A couple of things I'm thinking about for DD are horseback riding lessons and archery.  I know both of those things seem cool to her, and probably some other kids would agree.  I've also thought about setting up a slackline somewhere on our property.  My DD isn't very interested in learning to use matches or make a fire, but if yours is (and if she's responsible enough), that seems like it could be a cool thing to teach her.  You could show her how to do it with a magnifying glass as well as with sticks and paper and matches.  You could also start teaching her how to drive.  Show her how to start the car, and let her sit on your lap and steer somewhere like an empty parking lot.  (I actually want to do this with my kids.)

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#23 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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She can't wear the decorated jeans, but could she wear a head band or socks that she decorated the same way to school, or are accessories a no-no too?

 

I think you've gotten a lot of ideas here. I just want to say that I was raised similarly. My parents probably had more money than most of my friends' parents, but I didn't have "stuff" like they did. No car at 16, no Walkman, etc. What I did finally have that was cool was a job at 16 that wasn't fast food! I was the only one of my friends who worked during the school year (most worked fast food summers or not at all) and I worked at The Limited. Everyone thought that was the best. Weird.

 

Before that, I just kept my mouth shut and when someone asked me about a movie or whatever I'd say my parents didn't let me see it. No biggie. I felt left out when I didn't get the references or had nothing to contribute, but my friends were my friends and they didn't care if I knew about that stuff or not. Sometimes they'd share their teen mags with me so I'd have some clue, but even then I just didn't care much. I still pretty much live under a rock. They did lots of "fun" things without me (like going to concerts, movies, etc) but I usually didn't even know about it.

 

The best memories I have are not about stuff -- sleepovers at friends' houses and things like that are. One friend's mom always helped us make monkey bread. Another made pizza for breakfast. Another always moved a TV into the bedroom and we'd watch cartoons all morning so everyone else could sleep in, then we'd have pancakes. It doesn't have to be material, tangible objects to be special.

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#24 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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My kids are 13 and 14 so I've BTDT, but only with one of them. One of my kids is on the autism spectrum so she never felt any of this. Because of seeing that, I think I had a little different attitude. This is really normal, its a sign that a child is developing normally socially.

 

For me, it boiled down to two things:

 

1. where can I let go?

2. how do I talk to DD about the the things where I can't/wont let go?

 

At age 7 and on the things you listed, I would lighten up about nail polish, ear piercing, and Wii games. Nail polish comes back off, it's no big deal. And there are so many fun things to do with it -- decals, stripes, dots, etc. For one mom and DD we know, it became a little bonding hobby for them. Every Sunday night they would do completely wild things to their nails together. You could help your DD take care of the earrings. There's no real reason to make her wait until she is old enough to be completely responsible. It sounds like something that would make her happy. You guys already have a Wii, adding a couple of FUN and COOL games. I kinda think owning a Wii but refusing to buy games she likes is mean. If kids come over to the house, she has to explain that. There's no good answer for her but "My mom and dad won't let me."  Mario Cart was some of the best entertainment money we've spent -- my kids have played with it for years, my DH's friends have played with it, other kids think it's cool. You might be able to pick up some used games, or wait until her B-day or X-mas, but this is an area where I think you could lighten up.

 

As far as talking about the things that I either couldn't/wouldn't budge, I pointed out that what it seems like "everyone is doing" isn't really. For example, the Disney thing. (I'm going to make up numbers here) Let's say your DD circle of kids includes 70 peers (between school, camp, the neighborhood, and an activity or two like gymnastics, that seems reasonable to me). Imagine that in that LARGE group including people she barely knows, an average of 3 go to Disney each year. So 3 went to Disney this year, and 3 went last year, and 1 already knows she's going next year. Then you add in one kid who has a photo of herself as a toddler at Disney, one kid who is so hung up on fitting that they lie and say they go every year, and your DD is left feeling like "everybody goes to Disney ALL the time." When really, only 3 kids went this year. Helping DD see the reality rather than getting hung up on whose talking loudest helped.

 

Also, teaching conversation skills helps. I think part of the problem is that kids end up in these conversations where they want to add what they do/have so they can be part of the flow, instead of realizing that there are other things to say. They can ASK and be INTERESTED in the other child's vacation. Help her go over the conversations where these things are coming up and help her brain storm other things to say that reflect being interested in the other person. People like that. It's a way to be *popular.* In the long term, having friends is more about making conversation than owning things.

 

Also, we are fortunate financially that if there is something that DD really wants, that eventually we could make it happen. The questions become why do you want it and what is a reasonable age for it? I couldn't get enthused about buying something just to be cool, just because everyone else has one. That seems silly to me. On the other hand, if it would be really FUN for her, I'm much more open.

 

I've also required the kids be old enough to be reasonably responsible with stuff. They were 10 and 11 when they got iPods, and they got iHomes at the same time so they could always have a place to be put away. And they couldn't leave the house. They still have those iPods. (If we had a 7 year old, we might let her have one as a hand-me-down and upgrade the oldest child to an iPod touch).

 

BTW -- your backyard sounds AMAZING

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 10:03 AM
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My 8.5 year old has an iPod nano. It was his birthday gift from me when he turned 7 and he loves it. It does give him some cool points, but more importantly, it means my guys know and love all kinds of music, not just Justin Bieber or whatever. We also have a Wii and lots of games, but we limit screen time to 30-45 minutes a day, max. They have Pokemon cards and silly bands, which are cheap, don't take up much room or time, and give them social currency. I think it's pretty easy to give in just a little and let them fit in with their friends. 

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#26 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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loraxc: sometimes it fun to let the kids pick the meal. We did backwords day one time and had dinner stuff and ice cream in the morning, then like tacos or something for lunch and breakfast for dinner. We all wore our clothes backwords, 'yes' was 'no' and 'no' was 'yes'. It was super silly and we all talked about it for weeks and weeks.

 

Maybe let her stay up late one night and have a 'dance party'. Put on some favorite music and dance your pants off! 

 

Go exploring somewhere new. Go check out a new town, go hike somewhere different, learn about a new country (cook some food native to their land, learn to speak some of their language, watch a cartoon from there). 

 

We also really like to build stuff. Maybe a catapult would be fun to build (for outside play if you like). Do some tie-dye. Sew something. 

 

Start a fund for a special trip. Put all of your loose pocket change in a jar and ask DD if she'd like to do some chores she doesn't normally do to earn some money for the jar. Then when you have enough money go to an amusement park or out to a movie or for dinner or whatever she wants. Right now we're saving for horseback riding and for Hawaii! 


As fun as all of that sounds? None of it is going to be considered "cool" by her peers. Maybe saving for Hawaii.

 

I would talk to kiddo and find out first if this bothers HER. And if it does, is there one thing that she feels would make it better.

 

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#27 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 10:33 AM
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As fun as all of that sounds? None of it is going to be considered "cool" by her peers. Maybe saving for Hawaii.

 

I would talk to kiddo and find out first if this bothers HER. And if it does, is there one thing that she feels would make it better.

 



Yeah, paint on her jeans is not going to make her the coolest kid on the block. I seriously question if any of you remember what it was like to be teased and taunted for continuously not having the right clothes or tech or newest toy. Times are different, and just because in your 30s or 40s you can look back at your school life and say that never having anything new never bothered you does not mean that it will not bother the OPs daughter right now as she is living it. I was one of those kids who never had anything new because of rigid ideals held by my parents, and I don't remember wonderful values being passed down, I remember being left out as all the other kids talked about what toys they had or what tv show was on last night or the movie they saw on the weekend. 

 

Ask your dd what she wants, after all, she is living this. Think about holding to your values vs the day to day left out-ness that your dd has to experience. There is something to be said for the culture of shared experiences. Don't inadvertently isolate her by trying to do what is best. 

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#28 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To clarify a little--this doesn't seem to be a huge deal with DD yet, but it is on her radar. I have heard her complain about bedtimes, about ear piercing/nail polish (I have issues with girls being sexualized too soon, which is why I don't like polish, but I guess silly colors on her toes will work for me), about her lunch not being cool and so nobody wants to trade with her, and about not having an electronic device/iPod. None of these things seem to cause her major trauma (and she is a drama queen, so trust me, I would know), but she's aware of it.
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ou guys already have a Wii, adding a couple of FUN and COOL games. I kinda think owning a Wii but refusing to buy games she likes is mean.

Uh, whoa! She doesn't even know that other Wii games exist and hasn't asked for any. She really likes WiiFit! just know this will come up and she will eventually become aware of more games. We actually bought the Wii for the grown-ups as a fitness tool, though.
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I seriously question if any of you remember what it was like to be teased and taunted for continuously not having the right clothes or tech or newest toy. Times are different, and just because in your 30s or 40s you can look back at your school life and say that never having anything new never bothered you does not mean that it will not bother the OPs daughter right now as she is living it.

Um, whoa again! Actually I quite clearly remember being very upset about not having the "right" clothes in junior high. However, DD is just 7, and it's certainly not the case that she "never had anything new." or that she is being brutally ostraiczed for being the poor kid. Again, it's just on my radar, and I'm thinking about it. Also, I do rather reject the expressed opinion of you and PP that the ONLY way to be cool is to BUY THE STUFF. I do think kids are impressed by various things, and not all of them require spending.

At 10 or 11, FWIW, I'm sure I'll be relatively open to her having a cell phone, iPod, etc. But she's still awfully young for an expensive item like that and I don't see myself budging at this point.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#29 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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I've been struggling with this too - we're very much back-to-basics kind of family, for a lack of better word.  We don't follow any trends for kids or even ourselves - definitely nothing considered cool, cool currently or in any era lol.gif.

 

Computer yes, TV packed in some box somewhere, cellphone yes but very recently.  DD has - never - been to a movie theater, she has no idea what/who Harry Potter is - she heard about it from friends but that's about it. And on and on ...

 

So, I totally know where you're coming from.  I anticipated this problem will come about but didn't think it'll show up this early (my DD is 7 too).  

 

I guess just like with yours, it's not a problem yet - but DD's starting to notice.  So far, we haven't budged yet because it looks like it'll be a slippery slope - where and how do you draw the line where/when to budge or not?

 

I don't know what will work in the long run - in terms of what will "protect" her from being hurt for being considered uncool etc.  It just seems like a never ending process, I just don't want to encourage that.  I'm kind of in a wait-n-see mode because it's not a problem yet.  I'm hoping in the long run, she'll be comfortable enough with herself that this won't be a problem - that's the approach I'm working towards I guess. 

 

It seems that despite the cool/uncool things, DD has managed to find lots of other things in common with the other children as of now.  She plays with kids that have common interests - like swimming, or doing arts/crafts, or whatever else.  During playdates, every so often, I would hear the other kid brags and DD usually has no idea what they're talking about - that usually lasts for a few minutes, then they just move on to other things that they both enjoy.  It so far hasn't bothered her much so I just let it go.

 

Also, I know what you mean with living around people with different values - well, we do struggle with that as well, but just keep looking.  At the same time, I'm humbly learning from DD, actually - look for the things we have in common and don't focus on the differences.

 

I wish I can tell you concrete things that will work but just want to let you know you're not the only one dealing with this.

 

 

 

 


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#30 of 76 Old 08-03-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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I see where you are coming from because I agree with some of the things you have said, but at the same time I disagree. IMO nail polish isn't sexual, I've been painting my kids nails since they were infants because I thought it was cute and girlie. Now buying her those thongs for little kids.. that is sexual. Ear piercing, again my kids have had their ears pierced since they were 3 months. Again, its cute and girlie.

 

The TV is on in the background nearly all day in my house. Its off when DD is doing her school work, but aside from that its on and they play the day away, stopping to watch a show and then onto the next thing. Its not a big deal for me.. my girls are VERRRYY smart, well behaved, interactive children. Some TV isn't going to corrupt them. They also get sometime each day on the computer if they ask.

 

It seems like giving a little would make a big difference in your DD social world. Give her a "cool" snack so she has something to trade at school, just because you don't pack her "bad" food doesn't mean she can't get it at school. Take her to the store and let her pick out some awesome Wii game. Let her get her ears pierced. And adjust her bedtime a little bit. My ex was a senior in high school, 17 years old with a 9:30 bedtime. Talk about embarrassing.. "I can't go to x,y,z because I have a bedtime.." I know your DD is ALOT younger, but I think the key is flexibility.

 

And FWIW, I know that you are trying to protect her and do the best/right thing for her. But the reality of the situation is there may be a day where she gets tired of being the kid with "uncool" things or can't have "cool" snacks, can't do things other kids her age are doing etc and she may start to act out in other ways to feel accepted. My whole life I was poor, I didn't have cool things, neat clothes, I didn't fit in or relate to any of the other kids. When I got to high school I went CRAZY!! I was a honors student with a high GPA that started skipping school because that's what the other kids were doing. I started having sex because for the first time in my life I "had" something that someone else wanted and I could control the attention I got. I'm not saying that if you don't buy her an ipad this is what is going to happen, but if she wants a Twinkie a lunch, she'll find a way to get one.. KWIM? I would suggest figuring out what deep down is important to you. And all the other stuff find a way to give a little to your DD. 


Working from home Mommy. You can too. Ask me how!joy.gif

 

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