Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
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The thread about the 10 yr old who wanted to shave was really interesting to me because recently my 10 yr old asked when she would be old enough to shave. She didn't ask to shave, just how old she needed to be. I told her that I hadn't thought about it, but if she had even a single strand of underarm hair, I didn't care how old she was. I also tried to determine if she was feeling like she needed/wanted to start shaving, but it seems that her curiousity is really because a family friend is shaving her legs who is 7. Her mom shaves them, but I know that my dd thought 7 was young and then immediately started wondering if she was babyish for not shaving. Most of her friends aren't shaving yet (only 1), but I imagine that more will within the next year.
Here is the deal though. After reading the other thread, it makes a lot of sense to let them decide when to start shaving. But, at the same time, it seems that our children are losing their childhoods earlier and earlier these days. I remember how exciting it was to go bra shopping for the first time. I (just had the beginnings of breast buds), felt like it was like a "welcome to womanhood" day for me--mom also took me to a makeup counter and we had and instructional session with the lady there.
Now, the kids are asking for bras in kindergarten. You see makeup on all ages. So, wanting it is one thing. . . I get it, "what's the big deal". But, simply wanting it because the other girls have one or doing something simply because the other girls are doing it seems like a slippery slope. I know that we all at some point do something because it is "what everyone does". But, I really want my children to develop their own sense of self. And, I don't want to get rid of childhood. I mean, puberty was difficult. The bra shopping, getting to shave, and wearing makeup kinda balanced out those years a bit. But, if we let the kids do these things before they are big enough to be out of the boosters, what is left.
UGH! This drives me nuts. My oldest is always trying to be "older". I want to protect her childhood but I don't ever want her to feel shameful for wanting to do things (like shave). I want her to continue to talk to me. I don't want to make her be the last girl allowed to shave. Actually it is funny, one girl whose mom has let her shave, wear bras, makeup, and looks like a young woman isn't allowed to ride her bike around the block. My dd has that freedom and more actually, but usually still looks like a kid. (she does have a bra--no boobs, and sometimes sneaks a bit of makeup on --she is in theater and has her own stage makeup kit and I don't make a big deal if she puts on a bit of lipstick as long as it looks nice, though "technically" she doesn't wear makeup yet).
Does anyone else have a hard time balancing this stuff?
Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).