Is 9 and a half a pre-teen already? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-02-2002, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just said to my husband that I can tell already that it is going to be hell around here once my oldest daughter reaches teenagehood. She actually said to me the other day, "My sisters are bugging me just by being alive!"

When does it all begin for girls? Asking anyone with more experience.

Jeanne (mom to 9 and a half, 6 and a half, and 4 yr. old girls and 10 mos. old son)
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#2 of 8 Old 01-03-2002, 03:29 PM
 
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#3 of 8 Old 01-04-2002, 12:05 PM
 
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well, i started my period when i was 9 years old

so i guess 9 is a pre-teen

10 for sure is....because it is double digits :-)


I didn't become "teenage" acting until i was about 15...
at 15 i went on a huge diet
dyed my hair blonde
got braces
and became very vain
and boy crazy too :-)

im sort of glad he is a boy, i wanted a girl, but honestly, i think boys will be easier down the road.

less rebellion.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-13-2002, 01:57 PM
 
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Yes. (According to my DD's facts of life book), for girls, the changes can begin around 9. I think many people don't think to acknowledge changes until they become physical, when in fact many changes begin emotionally years before that in some cases. I gave my 11yo her first book at 9 when I started noticing some sporadic shifts in her emotions (crying turning to laughing then back to crying, small outbursts etc), and I swear it couldn't have been a better time to do so. Since, we have a completely open dialoug on the subject and are both excitedly awaiting her first menses. Good luck!
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#5 of 8 Old 01-23-2002, 06:17 PM
 
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"Nine years old" does seem to be one that comes up often for many people. My niece is nearly ten, and she is experiencing so much of what is being described. I can't help but wonder, though, if it really is hormonal for these young girls, or if it has to do with the culture we're living in? If you look at the clothing stores targeted to this age group, you see outfits that are the same as the ones in the women's! One I've been in even has a section devoted to lacy/seductive "bras" and panties! Sizes girls 7/8 and up... my niece has to play with her favorite doll in secret, already facing the criticism of her peers for this "childish" behavior. My sister encourages her to act older than her age... teasing about boyfriends, letting her wear makeup, financing her desire for the latest fads in music, clothing, behavior. I am NOT suggesting that our daughters be repressed or shamed somehow for their evolving femininity, but isn't a lot of this "phenomenon" with "tweens" and pre-teens culture-created? I am also wondering about how this comes up in others' families, my daughter is five now... this is all in our future too. :
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#6 of 8 Old 01-24-2002, 09:39 AM
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I read somewhere that this phenomenon was spurred by those Mary-Kate & Ashley twins. I've seen them, while zapping. Their hair is done up by pros, their clothes are ultra-adult, they wear heels, etc., and of course, I'm sure they're changing clothes 3 times during one half hour show. I do believe it is cultural. I've seen some special reports here in France about how much dough moms are doling out for their pre-teens' wardrobes. One showed a birthday party for a 9 year old where they're all freaking about what to wear and explain how if a pair of jeans has the wrong kind of pockets or seams or whatever then that can lead to social death! Moms are spending enormous amounts of money. So culture, peers and parents are the major influence.

I was still a kid when I was 9, though I started to be boy-crazy at 6! I was 11 when I started to want to wear heals and makeup and such. But I had to sneak. I wasn't supposed to be allowed to wear hose, makeup or earrings until I was 16 (but then daddy took off when I was 13 so I got my ears pierced the next day!).

My advice is to avoid talking/thinking about how hellish it's going to be. Try to keep a positive attitude, especially with her. Don't tell her she's being moody or tease her about boys. Try to give her some special privacy (if she doesn't have her own room, then a special desk just for her, or a place in the attic or basement). Respect the fact that right now her sisters seem like stupid little pests but also try to explain that they admire her and want to be like her.

My mom bought me a book (too late IMO) in which I could write all my feelings, dream about my future, read about girls and women. She might enjoy something like that, especially coming from you.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-24-2002, 10:22 AM
 
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Excellent points Parismaman! My DD is now 16, at 9 she was starting her changes too. We started keeping a Mother/Daughter journal. She would write a page to me and I would write one back to her. I was working at the time and this helped keep us connected. I think she felt more free with her feelings when she could write them to me. She also started at this age keeping her own personal journal, which she still keeps to this day. (she has volumes now)
I was also careful to respect the fact that she wanted to "act grown-up" but tried very hard to keep it in balance with her need to still play with dolls and be a little girl.
It's a very challenging and interesting time watching this new young woman unfold. Hold onto your hats, you're in for a great ride!

peggy
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#8 of 8 Old 01-28-2002, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your insights.

Yes I do think there is too much of a push for young girls to grow up too fast in our culture, but I don't think this has much to do with my daughter right now. Of course there are influences outside of our house, but we really strive to keep those things out of our family life. We don't watch alot of tv and don't have cable. My daughter knows who Brittaney Spears is, but she listens to soundtracks of old musicals and more recently, the Go-Go's. She has her own ideas about fashions, but her clothes are definitely not too grown up. She still likes her dolls and enjoys playing with her sisters most of the time. For the most part, I don't think any of her friends are in any great rush to grow up either.

As the oldest, I think she also has a hard time, because she doesn't want to make mistakes and takes any corrections from DH or me very personally. It is difficult for me because she goes from yelling, "Just leave me ALONE!" to later crying because she never gets to spend any time alone with me. It is so hard for me to find time for any of them individually with a nursing baby in the house.

Jeanne--3 girls, one boy
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