How far will you go so your child will fit in??

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 10/20/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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As parents we want out children to fit in and not stand out in the negative way….in a way that will make them sad and have low self-esteem.
Many of us will dress our children by what’s in fashion..and will by our children (the ones old enough to know) what there friends have…ect

To what extent to you allow your child to blend in and fit in….what will you do and what wont you do??

On another thread a woman asked if she should let her 9year old shave her legs

This is what she said..

My daughter wants to start shaving her legs. She does have dark hair on her legs but it's not dark because of puberty yet, it's just always been dark. She says that other girls in her class shave their legs and the hair on her legs is making her self conscious. With winter coming she won't be wearing shorts too many more days but every once in a while she'll wear a skirt so her legs show.
I don't remember when I started shaving but I don't think it was this early.
Should I let her start or wait?

I have a niece who is turning 8…she is “Lightskinned” and so you can see the hair on her legs….but there is no way her mother would let her shave her legs…not until she hits 12 at least...and thats a maybe

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Erin - posted on 10/22/2010

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There's a difference between helping a child (especially a girl) be comfortable with her changing body (shaving, bras etc) and trying to use brand names to impress people. Puberty is HARD, and while I think 9 is very early (forever is a long time and shaving is a huge pain in the ass), I would allow it if I thought it would help her accept the changes happening to her body. If she is 9 or 10 and starting to feel self-conscious about her developing breasts (however small), I would get her a crop top or teen bra (no underwire and certainly no padding!!). But there will be no 'Mum I have to have this, everyone else has it'. Umm.. no sorry.

[deleted account]

I was one of the ones that said let her shave her legs. Really, what harm can come of it? I wasn't allowed to shave until I was 12 and there was harm that came from it. I was embarrassed and wore sweat pants during gym class in 90 degree weather. Not healthy. And no, I wasn't concerned about being in the in-crowd. I never really was, and never really cared. I was fine fading in and not really being noticed. But being the only one with hairy legs will get you noticed in a locker room full of pre-teens.



With that being said, I will allow my daughter to "fit in" in certain circumstances. If she is not harming herself or others, or becoming materialistic, or going against our family's values then sure...go ahead and do what you need to do to fit in. Being an adolescent is tough enough.

Cat - posted on 10/21/2010

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I completely and totally agree with you Carol... It might be cruel, but I honestly dont care if my kids 'fit in'... I mean, it would be NICE, but, coming from someone who was horribly picked on my entire school career, I will not bend over backwards to make my kids fit some certain mold...

Johnny - posted on 10/21/2010

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I'm not sure. My mother spent a fortune on clothes and all sorts of other crap to make sure I fit in. I went to a school where I remember being teased in grade 1 because I didn't have an Esprit (the hip brand of the day) sweatshirt. She was buying $70 jeans for an 8 year old. Not even because I asked for the stuff, but because she knew it was the way all the other kids were dressed (she volunteered at school) and thought it might help me not get picked on so much. It didn't make that much of a difference.



Kids will sniff out the weakest links and target them. They will find a way to exploit that weakness, whatever it is. If you have the right clothes, it will be your hair, if you get the right hair, it will be your mom's car... I don't believe that you can make your kids fit in if they don't. And I don't think in the long run that they benefit in any way from the attempt. But helping them to become strong and self-confident will change the picture. And it will make a difference that will last for their entire lives, regardless of whether or not they ever "fit in".

Becky - posted on 10/21/2010

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I would prefer that my children fit in and were liked for their personalities rather than their appearances or their clothes. But, I'm realistic enough to know that kids do care about appearances and can be horribly cruel. So, while I'm still going to emphasize character over appearance, I'm not going to make my kids stick out like sore thumbs either. They probably won't have brand name everything - we just can't afford that, for one. But I'm not going to make them wear hand me downs from the 80s either, lol! If I have a daughter and she wants, and needs, to shave at 9, well, then she can. But if she has light, barely visible hair like me, then I'll certainly encourage her to wait, because shaving is a pain in the ass, in my opinion!!

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[deleted account]

Although we're nowhere near that stage yet, if he wants them (which I'm sure he will, his daddy is a gamer) he will have the latest computer and games but only for his birthday or christmas present. Only age appropriate games, I don't want him playing age 18 games at 10 that is wrong. I don't see any harm with him having them, as he will ONLY be allowed to play them for a set amount of time and he will do other activities for the rest of the time.

As for clothes within reason I will allow him to choose his own clothes (he will have a budget and mom and dad get veto rights), that way he will feel comfy in them, if he chooses clothes because everyone else has them so be it. My brother and I chose our own clothes and had our own unique (maybe slightly chronic) styles, we didn't fit in until we were much older, I'm glad now that I don't fit in with the carbon copies walking round.

As for shaving I am and have always been very dark haired and I became aware and embarrassed of my hair earlier than most girls did then, but I wasn't allowed to shave until I was nearly 14 years old, although I was allowed to use hair removing cream from the age of 12 (it took half hour each time for the cream to remove my hair bloody stuff). If I do have a daughter I will allow her to remove her hair on her legs when it makes her uncomfortable, I can't see why anyone would want to make a child who was conscious and uncomfortable with hair leave it when removing it is harmless.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on what it is that will make them 'fit in'. I'm not buying $100 jeans for a 10 year old. But the shaving thing? If she was that upset about it, then definitely, otherwise she'll just do what I did which was use my dads razor! LOL. And I often see adolescent kids with THE WORST hair 'styles'. I can not believe their parents let them go out like that. It makes me sad. And I am by no means stylish at all. I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl. I don't even put my hair up in a pony tail. But really, being a 11-14 year old is tough enough without a little help from your parents. Parents don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest styles but on the other side they could spend a bit more on clothes so they don't look like they're wearing a sack.

Chrystal - posted on 10/23/2010

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That's truly tough to answer. Girls nowadays mature so much faster than when I was 10 years old. It's crazy!! I guess it would depend on the situation at the time. I think that 9 years old is a little to early to start shaving legs, but I don't know it's hard to answer that question until I'm in that situation.

Jenn - posted on 10/23/2010

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How would shaving make your hair suddenly change though? Thicker because it was cut? Makes no sense. It appears that way because now the end of it is blunt instead of tapered as it would have been before shaving - or cutting it. Anyway, I know that's not the point, I just like to make people aware that this is a myth.

[deleted account]

Jenn, Erin Handley's last post explains it perfectly why I think maturity is important when it comes to shaving, especially her last line : "But there will be no 'Mum I have to have this, everyone else has it'. Umm.. no sorry."

My friend's 10 year old (like I said in my first post) is not mature enough to shave. She wants to shave, but it's not because she is learning about her body and how to maintain it. She wants to shave because all the other girls do and she feels left out. She also felt left out when all her friends had Wii Fit and she didn't. Her mom didn't give in on that one either. She was sent outside to ride her bike.

And about the light hair turning dark when you start shaving? Well, you're right about that it doesn't grow back darker but mine did grow back thicker. I'm one of those lucky bitches who has blonde hair on her legs. I can let my leg hair grow over a month and you can still hardly tell unless you get close and look. Or if the sun shines just right on my legs lol I understand why you think that shaving is no big deal but I kinda feel like NOT shaving is no big deal either. It's not the end of the world to make a girl wait to shave her legs is all I'm sayin. :)

Jenn - posted on 10/22/2010

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OK - I'm guessing I missed this post about the shaving - but I'm confused as to why people feel like they need to give permission for their daughter to shave or they mention that they want their daughter to wait because it's a pain. You do realize that if they have light hair and they shave that it does NOT make it grow in thick and dark right? The reason many people think that is because around the time you start shaving is around puberty when your body hair starts to darken and thicken - it has NOTHING to do with shaving! If that were the case you'd see balding men everywhere shaving their heads in the hopes of darkening and thickening their hair.

Johnny - posted on 10/22/2010

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I guess hairy legs is just not something that I'd worry about here. Given our ethnic mix, there were a lot of kids in school with dark hair on their legs. I'm not sure anyone noticed. I could see allowing my daughter to shave it if it became a major issue for her, but I'm fairly certain it won't be an issue. Her problem is likely to be large breasts at an early age. I went through it, both her grandmothers too. But you can't just cut them off or strap them down. I tried duct tape in grade 6, it really hurt. Like I said earlier, building self-esteem in other ways is, IMO, the only way to really help them cope.

Jakki - posted on 10/21/2010

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My kids are really annoyed because I won't give them the same food for school that everybody else has (according to them, at least!). I just give them a sandwich and some fruit, but apparently everybody else gets chocolate bars, muesli bars, fruit juices etc etc. I realise how hard it must be for them to sit there eating their meagre meal with everybody else tucking into more yummy stuff. I have conceded that once a week they get something like chips or a cake, but I am holding the line on the rest of the week. It's very hard work though!

Rosie - posted on 10/21/2010

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i would care less if my child wanted to shave their legs at age 9. it's just hair, it's not something to make a big deal out of IMO. the only problem i have with fitting in, is the price of things. if it's too much money then they won't get it. but as a pre-teen who had HORRIBLE acne, and got made fun of for it, make up really made a huge difference to me, so i would probably let my daughter wear make up at that time as well.
to me there are bigger things to worry about other than if my child is shaving her legs, or putting make up on.

[deleted account]

As for the shaving thing I think it totally depends on the hair they have. I started shaving at the age of 10 because I was very hairy...still am. I have PCOS and with that comes hirsutism - hairyness the joys!

I plan to teach my son that everyboday is different. So hopefully he'll be confident within his own skin =]

Charlie - posted on 10/21/2010

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I have sons but if i had a daughter and she was socially aware of her hairs then its a good time to remove them if she wishes , i shaved at 12 it didnt bother me until then but its only hair no great loss really .
I Will go as far as teaching my children they are good people who do not need to pretend to be something they are not to impress people , that real friends will love them for who they are and no matter what they will ALWAYS fit in with their family .

That self expression is important and whatever they choose to express themselves is fine , i will support it .

That individuality should be celebrated and that it is what makes this world interseting not being part of the flock of sheep but hey if they want to do the flock thing im here for them too until they figure out who they are .

Cat - posted on 10/21/2010

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Wont be spending a fortune on clothes for them, that's for sure... it can be some nice stuff, but nothing designer label expensive, I know what kids do to their clothes, and I'm gonna buy durable stuff or at least cheap enough it can be easily replaced... Same with shoes... No tats or piercings (besides ears) before age 16/17 No TVs in their rooms, and they wont get to go to any unsupervised concerts or late night parties... No designer purses... No 'M' rated games till 16... I think that's all I can think of... I honestly dont care whether my kids are cool or fit in, as long as they're trying their best in school and have a nice group of friends, that is ALL I will stress...

Serena - posted on 10/21/2010

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I will be the first to admit that I come from a line of hairy people, maybe it was helpful in some point in history but definitely not in elementary. I begged and begged and finally just started on my own and my mother finally agreed and showed me. So I know how that feels and my daughter will have the same option. I like the idea of waxing as a way to bond, making a whole day out of it but I don't want to scare her into never wanting to do it again. I heard it hurts, I tried but my skin was too sensitive and it left a huge red mark. So I have accepted shaving for the rest of my life :)
But as long as its within reason I will help my children fit in because being an adolescent is hard enough. I just hope the boys learn to like white tees cause it just seem like guys clothes is much more expensive.

[deleted account]

Yikes, I won't even wax my own legs, that shit hurts!!!!!! If my daughter was being teased and was embarrassed about her leg hair I would probably let her shave at 9 and if she needed help I would help. Girls are very mean and to have your child be picked on because you won't allow her to shave her legs is crazy. piercings, and tattoos, no way!! make up won't be worn until they can wear it properly.

Kimberly - posted on 10/21/2010

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If I drop her off at school and notice before her peers point out, that they all have smooth legs and she looks part chimp, I'll introduce the Venus.

Bonnie - posted on 10/21/2010

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I was one of the ones who said it is okay to shave your legs at the age of 9. She would be doing it to feel better about herself and not have a complex all the time wondering if people will notice. I don't feel you have to be a certain age to shave. When you feel you need to do it, do it. It's not harming herself or anyone else. If it were my child at the age of 9, I would let her do it with some help.
As for how far I would go to let my boys fit in....I haven't come anywhere near that stage yet as my boys are only 4 and 2, but I can tell you they will not get whatever they want or wear only name brand clothes so they fit in. In my opinion, there has to be a line drawn somewhere, so that when they grow up they don't think this is the way it is all the time. With clothes for example, there is nothing wrong with wearing a similiar style from Walmart that obviously doesn't have the name brand, but looks almost alike and it's $20 cheaper.

C. - posted on 10/21/2010

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EH.. I don't know. That's a tough one. Growing up, I wasn't allowed to shave my legs until I was about 13. Then again.. I have fine, blonde hair on my legs and you can't really notice it unless a light is shining on it. I didn't care though, b/c I preferred regular jeans anyway. Hated shorts, still do.

I would like to think that in this case I might make an exception, but I can't be certain unless I'm in that situation myself.

Sharon - posted on 10/21/2010

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I'll tell you what I won't do.

I won't go against my ideals. She's 8, so she isn't allowed to wear anything but clear lipgloss. Another classmate once showed up decked out like a showgirl in make up. The teacher was so disturbed she made her wash it off. The mother was mad (and I understand why) it was supposed to be a special treat for her for school. But omg it was just sooo in appropriate. Anyway.

I'm a bit of a rebel. My kids are copying that.
Especially my oldest.

[deleted account]

I agree with Laci. I don't care if what the kids wear isn't up to my taste BUT ladies need to cover their assets and my boys won't be walking around with their ass hanging out of their pants.

LaCi - posted on 10/21/2010

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When it comes to appearance, there are few boundaries with me. The boundaries will mostly be school rule, when that comes into play. The only real rule I have in mind with my son is that underpants are meant to be under the clothing, saggy pants symbolizes prison bitch anyway so why would you want to look that way? I mean, unless you're offering up an invitation. If I had a girl, similar rule, keep ass, boobs, and girls bits covered please. Underwear goes under clothes, please find appropriate undergarments for your outfits.



Shaving to me is a non issue. It doesn't matter at all. I was about 9 when I started shaving my legs, looking back there really wasn't enough hair to bother, but it made me feel more confident so who cares?



Anyway, my son's style and grooming habits aren't much of my concern, given underwear is under.



I was more the type, when I got into middle school, that thrived on not fitting in. It involves as much effort to stand out in a crowd as it does to fit in. So whichever way he goes, I think I'll have a pretty good understanding of it. I'm still in it, so I should understand.

[deleted account]

My son is only 3, so fitting in isn't an issue for him right now. But here's my plan. I intend on not worrying about him fitting in as much as I will strive to be a good parent. Speaking as the wallflower who never fit in herself growing up, I can honestly say that it didn't harm me in any way that I didn't have what a lot of the other kids had. I don't plan on buying my son the $100 shoes (or whatever crazy cost it will be by the time he's worried about it). I plan on making sure he is ok enough in his soul and in his heart that he never feels like he NEEDS any of that stuff. Now, I'm not saying we won't probably buy him some of the same things the other kids have. But it won't be BECAUSE the other kids have them.
About the shaving thing? I wasn't allowed to start shaving until I was 13 but I started sneaking when I was 12 thanks to a houseguest who left a razor behind. I had been shaving my armpits since about 10 for hygeine reasons. Letting a 9 year old shave her legs really depends on the girl and her maturity level. I do kinda think it's maybe a tad too young but not all 9 year olds are the same. My friend's daughter is 10 and there's no way she's mature enough to shave....but that may not be the case for another girl her age. It's really a non issue on the shaving, if you ask me. It's like a lot of other parenting choices....you do what you think is best for your child because no one knows them like you do.

[deleted account]

I'm with Mylene on the shaving issue--a 9 year old with a razor is a bit frightening, but I would take her to get them waxed. It could even be a great opportunity for mom& girl to bond and talk about these things if they spend a day at the salon and get legs waxed, manicure, and a pedi, then have lunch. I think a lot of girls are very nervous about the changes in their body--and they are changing a lot sooner than we did--and this presents the perfect opportunity for the girl to open up to mom about it.

[deleted account]

I say let her. I would actually offer to wax her legs so it's not so much maintenance... If she is self conscious about it let her do what she needs to do. i want to let the kids choose their own clothes, haircuts, etc. as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, why not?

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010

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Well, first of all, as for the shaving, I don't see that as an age thing. Why would I tell my child that they couldn't shave if they are asking? If they are self conscious about it and feel the need, what is it hurting? I don't see that as trying to fit in. Anyway, I don't do anything so my kids will fit in. Most of their clothes are hand-me-downs, they don't have video games or ipods and I certainly won't be buying those things in the near future. I've even already said that I will not provide my kids with a cell phone. When they area old enough to have a job and make their own money, then go ahead and get yourself a cell phone.

Caitlin - posted on 10/21/2010

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Oh gosh, my mom woudln't let me shave my legs and wouldn't buy me a razor, so |I tried to use hers one day... she used a straight razor.. Lets just say I wore pants for a while after that one. As long as it's nto hurting anyone, I wouldn't want my daughter teased for anything like that. My sister used to shave her arms.. she was odd though, nobody told her she didn't have to!

[deleted account]

Let the kid shave her legs or you'll end up with a kid like me who attempted dry shaving her legs because I had no advice on the subject!

Tah - posted on 10/21/2010

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i buy what my children and I like, and since i like things that are nice, that is what they get, it's not about fitting in, My son's father bought him sneakers that were a brand noone wears anymore and he said that the sneakers were "sexy"...and he wanted to wear them..have at it, (prob cause his dad got them and he doesn't ever do anything else sooo) My daughter could care less what everyone else is wearing as long as it matches, i buy her the shirts with the scarves to them, we walked by her bathroom this morning and she was in the mirror with her pink and black shirt, black tights, pink and black sneakers and the scarf tied around her head like a gypsy....she said, "well it says that you can wear the scarf 3 ways, on your neck, on your waist or on your head"...she was right, but the shirt had a small tear from the washing machine i didn't get a chance to have fixed yet, not noticeable, but i know, so i had her change, my husband told her she could be punky brewster tommorrow..lol...i let her pick her clothes and if there is anything that needs to be adjusted, i will. My 3 year old gets some name brand clothes, blac label, academiks..etc, but it doesn't take up his whole closet and i don't buy it full price because he is in daycare and doesn't really care about fitting in...



If it isn't hurting anyone, and it isn't changing who they are, have fun...

Krista - posted on 10/21/2010

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With that being said, I will allow my daughter to "fit in" in certain circumstances. If she is not harming herself or others, or becoming materialistic, or going against our family's values then sure...go ahead and do what you need to do to fit in. Being an adolescent is tough enough.

Perfectly put -- I couldn't agree more. I'm not going to dress my kid OUT of fashion solely to make a statement about non-conformity, but nor am I going to put myself in the poorhouse by buying him designer stuff. If he wants the cool haircut, or other harmless things that will help him fit in with his peers, then so be it.

[deleted account]

My oldest sons are 11 and 10 they choose their own clothes now so its up to them if they fit in or not. They know my budget and as long as they stay within that they can wear what they like.

[deleted account]

So far, at almost 9, my kids don't 'care' about 'fitting in' and they fit in perfectly w/ their group/s of friends. :)

I can't really say what I will or won't allow at this point since, so far, nothing has come up. There was the year they asked for ipods and such (they were 6) since they knew people who talked about them, but they didn't even know what those were at that time. We still don't/won't own one... or any other 'popular' electronic devices.

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