When do I step back and let her be a BIG GIRL?

Tiffany - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My 4 year old is getting to that age where she is getting frustrated with me because I pick out what she is wearing, how to do her hair and I make her plate etc... Well she is always on me now saying " I'm a big girl mommy, I can do it" I don't know if it just me having issues with letting her do it, or am I right in doing it for her? When do I step back and Let her be a BIG GIRL! :)

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Elfrieda - posted on 02/09/2011

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If you really can't stand what she chooses when she dresses herself, at least give her a few choices of acceptable clothing. Maybe a "going out" section of the closet would satisfy both of you. Same with the hair. Give her a choice, "ponytail or braid today?" I think it's important that you let her have a bit of control over her physical appearance.
But as for "making her plate", I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I don't think she should be deciding what she eats for dinner. I mean, when you make a meal, it should be for the whole family and she eats what the family is eating.

Jessica - posted on 02/13/2011

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i would give her 2-3 choices of clothing layed out on the bed and let her choose, for the hair i would say for example, do you want pig tails or a pony tail today? and i would atleast let her try to make her own plate if she has troubles help her

Rachael - posted on 02/13/2011

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about 2 years ago lol. But seriously, the best thing you can do to set your daughter up for big things is to let her do the little ones for herself, by herself now. It is scary and hard to let go, but she can't get hurt by choosing her own clothes or making her own dinner plate. You can set guidelines such as "you have to have at least x amount of veggies, or you MUST wear long sleeves because it is cold outside." but let her run with it. My son is 22 months and he already chooses between 2/3 outfits and which underwear to wear. he picks out his own shoes each day and which cup he wants to use for meals. Many toddler tantrums stem from NOT being able to do things for themselves. She is 4 she can handle it give her choices let her decide!

Rebekah - posted on 02/13/2011

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I'd give her a few choices (2-3) and let her make simple decisions like that on her own. My daughter is only 21 months old and she helps me pick out her clothes and she tells me what bow to put in her hair. So I definitely think your daughter is old enough to make some decisions on her own.

Alice - posted on 02/13/2011

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Oh, about the clothes not matching... lol! A funny story:

My Lori was 4 and she had been dressing herself for about a year and a half. Suddenly, she went from choosing matching outfits to completely "off" outfits! :) One day at church she showed up with one short sock in dark blue with polka dots, the other was a long stocking sock with pink and white stripes, she had blue knee-length shorts, a short skirt with bold zig-zag pattern in about 8 colors, a striped skirt with vertical black and white stripes, and a crocheted hat in a olive green with teal border that matched nothing on her! To top this off, she had one blue and green sandal and one pink and white sneaker (no, the sneaker was on the foot with the little blue sock and the sandal on the foot with the long striped sock!)
It was hiliarious! The pastor said "a future fashion designer" and some of the kids laughed about it, but Lori's response was "look, I'm different!" :) I had to smile.

That's the worst "off" dressed I've ever had to deal with, but now she's my "everything has to match" girl (except for socks & shoes, she LOVES shoes and socks so those often don't match). :D

We do have "rules" for the clothes and they follow the rules (like if you wear a skirt shorter than the knees, you nave to have shorts under it, or if the shirt dips low it has to have an undershirt) without question - the fashion part I just let them do themselves. It has become an adventure to me... to see what they decide! :) Yes, I do have to explain many times "they dress themselves" and yes, some people think it's wrong, but I'd rather them freely express themselves through their clothes than act out in other ways.

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Alice - posted on 02/13/2011

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Tiffany,
Mine are 7, 5, 3, and 13 months. I usually step back whenever what they want to do isn't dangerous. My three older girls take 100% responsibility for their clothes (except washing/drying) and they do an amazing job. Except for occasionally, they keep their rooms neat. My 7 year old earned a puppy and she takes care of her completely.
My 13 month old is following suit... lol. Today for church she was fighting with us when we tried to dress her... the reason? She wanted a different dress! She tries to help with putting the dishes away so we give her the plastic bowls and she puts them away :)

If it's something that's not dangerous, I usually let them do what they can (with guidance if needed) because that helps them build self-esteem. :) Every child is different and what they can/can't do will vary.
~Hope this helps!

Priscilla - posted on 02/11/2011

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I'm going thru the same thing with my four year old daughter. I try to give her options to choose from. Sometimes she's still not happy with the options, but I just hate having to hear my mom or mother in law's mouth about why she is dressed the way she is. My mother is old skool and doesn't believe in letting my child pick out her own clothes. I try and let her choose often, and when I pick out her school clothes, I show it to her the night before to get any issues out of the way in advance. She wants to do everything herself!

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2011

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Now :) I've been allowing my daughter to pick out her own outfits and decide how her hair is done since about that time. She's old enough -- and if she wants to do it on her own, that's great!

Nadia - posted on 02/09/2011

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the other moms are right :) my oldest is 4 and she totally wants to do everything herself lol! i let her pick her clothes from a few choices that i lay out... except if we're not going anywhere i'll let her wear whatever she wants. and when it comes to food sometimes ill let her help choose (carrots or cucumber with dinner? what kind of noodles? etc...) and also help me cook (stirs the ice tea or sets the table... pours packages into pot of water, etc). it's important for them to learn to do things on their own to figure out who they are but within reaon. :)

Stifler's - posted on 02/09/2011

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Now. Let her choose her clothes and how to do her own hair, what's the big deal?

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