Raising a preteen daughter in this generation is much more complex of a job than it was back in the day. It seems as though our daughters nowadays have much more to deal with as our society and its norms are changing, thus giving us mothers much more responsibility. Girls are starting to become heavily concerned with their physical appearance and external beauty at a much younger age. This only makes our job as parents even tougher, and I want to help you as much as possible during this phase of parenting by answering questions that many moms ask (or are silently pondering over) that pertain to their preteen daughter’s fashion and beauty choices. My goal is to help relieve your stress as you realize that your daughter may be trying to grow up faster than you would like. Below are a few commonly asked questions that I have answered just for you:
Summer’s fast approaching. What is your opinion on swimsuits?
This answer varies from parent to parent. Follow your instincts. As a parent, you have the right to say no. If you are uncomfortable with seeing your daughter in a two-piece, then that is your decision. Let her understand that you are not saying “no” because you want her to suffer, but because you do not want her to receive inappropriate attention. Or maybe it is because it is against your culture and religion. In the end, it is truly all about protecting her. Personally, I think two-piece bathing suits are OK for girls, as long as it is age-appropriate and not scandalous.
When should I allow my daughter to start shaving her legs?
As your daughter reaches puberty, she will begin to see hair in places that she has never seen it before. To avoid her from feeling insecure and uncomfortable, allow her to shave them, and try not to make it a big deal. When she needs to shave them! Age should not be a factor here. It is important that you explain to her why she is growing hair in certain areas all of a sudden, and allow her to understand that it can be removed very easily. It is best for her to start out with a disposable or safety razor and apply shaving cream or gel beforehand.
Should my 6th-grade daughter wear high heels?
Although wearing high heels can be exhilarating as a 6th grader, the answer is no. Not only is wearing heels at this age inappropriate but also it can damage the growing bone structure and cause her to suffer back and foot problems down the road. 6th grade is simply too young of an age, but by 7th grade, you can allow her to experiment with a small heel for special occasions. Gradually, the height of the heel can increase with time.
Nowadays, preteen girls are obsessing over beauty gurus on Youtube and looking the like their favorite teenage celebrity. Although your daughter may think that rocking a smokey eye at her age is exciting and “what Taylor Swift is doing”, it is simply not appropriate for her as a preteen. Beginning around 7th grade, allow her to experiment with lip gloss and mascara. A little powder is OK, as long as she does not feel like she needs it every time she goes out in public. At this age, makeup is fine as long as it looks natural and she is not trying to make herself look older than she is. As she gets older, she may apply more makeup.
What about skin care?
Skin care is a different story. It is never too early to start taking care of your skin, or at least discussing good skin strategies. Her skin will thank both you and her in the long run. If she begins to develop any sort of skin problem, such as acne, don’t feel as though she is too young to start getting treated for it. Get her on an effective treatment program immediately to avoid her from suffering from any insecurities.
What about nail polish?
Wearing nail polish as a preteen is acceptable. Although some colors may seem too bold, it is not the end of the world. It is important, however, that your daughter’s nails are clean and trimmed at all times. She will look much more put together and long nails can hinder that. When it comes to nails, keep it nice and neat – and this applies to all ages!
Remember, moms, your daughter is constantly looking up to you and often wants to do the same things that you do (dressing and grooming herself is no exception to this). The way in which we dress and groom ourselves represents who we are as a person, and sometimes preteens girls are not cognizant of that. This is why it is important, as a mom raising a preteen daughter, that you guide her in understanding appropriateness and how important it is to present yourself as best as possible. It is vital that the communication between you and your daughter is strong because she can easily feel as though you are trying to take her ‘fun’ away from her rather than simply having her best interests in mind. Furthermore, always model good habits for her and she will follow in your footsteps!