Pre-Teen/Teen Girls and Clothes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-18-2002, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wondering if any of you have advice or at least can listen. DS is 12, turning 13 at end of summer. She spends most of her time at bio-mom's and about 1/3 of the time with me and her dad.

She is very developed and could easily pass for 17 - in fact, we live in a college neighborhood and on a regular basis she gets looks for the college guys.

Anyway - over the last year, she has started to dress in what I consider a provactive style, but what could also be considered the "latest fashion styles" - the spaghetti strap tanks, the mini skirts and hip hugger jeans and capris, etc. Keep in mind, I'm only 29 and not exactly a prude.

Anyway, bio-mom handles most of the clothes buying, b/c DS will not wear the clothes that her dad and I will let her buy. So she has figured out that she can get what she wants if she just goes shopping with bio-mom.

So, how do you a handle a young girl who is dressing too old? Especially when you don't have control over what she purchases. I certainly understand that as a teen she needs to be allowed to make her own choices, but when those choices show way too much skin...what do you do. I have had to ask her a number of times to change tops, which she will usually do, but then she's in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

Since there isn't much bio-dad and I can actually do about it, I guess I'm just wondering how other people control/handle their feelings about these issues. I think my main concerns are that in dressing the way she does, she is going to get herself into unhealthy situations and also b/c I'm uncomfortable being around her when she is dressed that way.

Finally, I'm trying to figure out how much of it is my own left-over junion high school issues. I have bad memories of the "trendy" girls treating me like dirt and I've seen my DS do some of the same things to the girls that aren't allowed to dress like that and it really bothers me. But to call her on this kind of thing usually results in a weekend long battle and it's gotten to the point where it's not worth it.

Sorry to be so long. I guess to sum up, if you have any coping issues or any insight, please pass it along. Maybe grinning and bearing it is the best course of action and this too shall pass, but that doesn't seem to make it any easier to enjoy the time that she is with us.

I think it has come to head in the last week or so as the weather has warmed up and the summer clothes have come out.

I'll quit blabbering now, thanks for listening to a new poster if you've gotten this far.

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#2 of 7 Old 06-19-2002, 06:57 AM
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1st of all, quick heads up, DS is generally an abbrev for Darling Son , DD is Darling Daughter. Made the same mistake m'self when I was first here... I feel silly using them anyway.

More importantly... I think the best thing to do in this situation would be to, rather than 'grinning' and bearing it, frowning and bearing it. Tell her you don't think she's making the right call, but that she has the right to decide what she wears on her body. Hopefully, tho not likely, she'll at least listen a little bit when you agree she CAN wear it. Chances are, she will continue to do so. Unfortunately, no one has yet found a cure for one of the most devastating diseases in America: Popular Fashion

best of luck!
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#3 of 7 Old 06-19-2002, 09:40 AM
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I know a few teen aged girls who don't dress in the current provocative style but who still dress well and look good. I've been thinking about what they have that has prevented them from feeling they need to dress in the trendy come-hither styles.

They are artistic or creative and participate in making their own look.

One girl likes to wear over-sized tee shirts with quirky sayings on them. Sometimes she tie-dies the shirts herself. This style lets her express herself as an individual without expressing her sexuality.

Another girl sews some of her own clothing. Long, flowing skirts are pretty and trendy and, as it happens, relatively easy to sew!

You may try doing a sewing or dyeing project with your 12-year-old. Or doing some other kind of project she'll enjoy which can allow her autonomy over her look.

The more I think about it, the more I think girls choose the "sexy" styles as a way to assert their independence and autonomy. If you can find another, safer, way for her to do that through dress, you might be onto something.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-19-2002, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Starling - I've thought of that idea. In fact, that's pretty much how I handled my clothing in high school - I made everything, even all my prom dresses - I've been waiting to get a sewing machine, but maybe that would be a good thing to do now and get her involved in. Thanks for the idea/reminder. THat would be a fun project for us over the summer.

I think that's one of the problems is that she is soooo opposite from how I was/am that it is very hard for me to understand her sometimes.

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#5 of 7 Old 06-24-2002, 06:33 PM
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Hard situation...

Since things like clothes, makeup, tattoos, piercings, etc. are forms of free expression, I don't think I can tell someone which of those things they can and can't long as they're not getting arrested or kicked out of school.

But there are things one can wear that don't show much skin but that still look sexy and trendy!

I was a "sexy teen" as well and dated mostly college-age (and older) men, and I noticed they were after me no matter what I wore.
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#6 of 7 Old 07-31-2002, 11:17 PM
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I am also a young mom (25) and have a 9 year old (do the math). I am the mother of 2 incredibly atrative daughters (this is not meant to brag) and I am well aware of the things I will have to start going through. I was also a sexy teen and married when I was 15 to a man 22. I do not want my daughter to fallow. I have noticed my dd trying to dress sexy already and get attention. I have also seen the girls now days and I have to say I never looked like that even with all my suposed maturity. The fashion is outragious! They wear nothing and flaunt everything. This is my problem with Britney Spears and like entertainers. What are we going to do? The idea to make clothing together is the best one I have heard but, I know how stuborn a teenage girl can be. Lets just say.. I feel for you. And, if you see her treating other kids badly... well, thats just not acceptable. Good luck
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#7 of 7 Old 08-03-2002, 12:57 AM
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The whole issue of fashion, magazines, Britney Spears etc, is just one of many opportunities we take to talk to our 11yo dd about how the media trys to appeal to younger and younger kids, with older and older things, to sell more and more products!

I think many kids that are exposed to the constant barrage of t.v. and movies that carelessly throw about images and ideas that objectify women and the overall importance of appearances, find it difficult to know better unless we talk, talk, talk to them about it.

Maybe a conversation about those things might open up an ongoing dialogue between the two of you, and she can put it together on her own when making decision about what kind of message she wants to convey in her dress, or attitude. Who knows, you might inspire a little feminist in her if you play your cards right! Our dd wants to change the world right now!

good luck
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