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Syndicated column from The Parent
[AUG. 11, 2006]
Q: My seventh-grade daughter wants to wear
only brand-name clothes. I want her to stand up to peer pressure. We
don't have the money to dress her in the $90 jeans she's asking me
to buy anyway. What can I do?
Seventh grade is a tough year for
girls. It's a time when fitting in with peers is so important; it's
also the time when cliques seem to be at their absolute worst.
Unfortunately, clothes are often at issue when kids choose to label
someone "in" or "out." Of course, wearing the most expensive blue
jeans won't make her instantly popular. But you'll be hard-pressed
to make any adolescent believe that.
As parents, we tend to think about
our kids' clothing in terms of practicality and affordability. But
to kids, clothing can take on unnecessary importance. So it's no
surprise that an adolescent's desire to dress in the latest style
can also become a battleground with parents.
At first glance, this problem
appears to have only two solutions -- either buy the jeans so your
child is satisfied or don't buy them so you're satisfied. But this
battle needn't end in a situation where one person "wins" and the
other "loses." This is an opportunity to learn about making choices
and the responsibility that goes along with increased independence.
to help your daughter learn how to put clothing into perspective --
and to learn valuable lessons at the same time.
- Talk with your daughter about
what she has experienced. Has she felt left out because she wasn't
wearing the clothes other kids were wearing? Then ask her to think
about her attitudes. Has she ever decided not to be friends with
someone because of the person's clothes?
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This is just one step on the long
road to independence. Letting kids make decisions is one of the most
important things parents have to do. Kids who grow up unable to make
decisions and recognize the consequences that may result are the
ones who are most susceptible to peer pressure.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from The Parent