What to do with a very Fancy Nancy?

My girlfriend who lives in New York CC’d me on a quick email she sent out of frustration to her other mom friends. She has a precious daughter about to enter kindergarten who apparently likes to be FANCY all the time! (My friend is beautiful but very natural. She can be fancy when the occasion calls, but she is not a prissy woman concerned with her appearance.)

Here is her note (I emphasize she jotted it off quickly!):

“Okay, so today going to church might have been the last straw. The fancy dress, the necklace, the lipstick (very pale kids pink), the curlers in her hair the night before so it could be bouncy, then her crying over MY shoes having high heels and being fancier than hers.

So (her husband) is saying, and I kinda agree, that it is time to say enough with the fancy.  Do any of you have any opinions on this and how to go about saying that, doing that, showing her how NOT to worry about her looks so much? A good lesson on vanity is in order I think.

I’m at a loss as to how to limit it without seeming like I’m forcing her to be something she isn’t and knowing that she is all about the ID right now and maybe I should try to wait until she can have a thought that isn’t about herself for half a second.

We talk about others and being kind and thinking about others etc….I think she gets it, but this princess-must-be-fancy-stage is all about her and it is 24/7.

Can I say only fancy dresses to church? Or only fancy dresses on Wednesdays? Or only curlers for church? She is just living off the compliments of everyone around her.  “(Name deleted to protect the innocent) you look so cute, I love your hair, aren’t you fancy!”  Has anyone else dealt with this?

Just asking for some honest tips and opinions to tone down the Princess.”

I am at a loss as to what to tell her. None of my kids have ever been super concerned with their appearances. I do good to get them to brush their hair and match their bottoms to their tops.

Rose loved the princess books and movies and also likes the “Fancy Nancy” and “Eloise” books, but she’s never gone through this stage. (She is however very interested right now in that TLC show about choosing a wedding dress at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. She watches it whenever possible.)

So what do you think: Did you have a little girl that liked to have her hair curled and be dressy all the time? Do you think it’s just a stage or does it signify something more that my friend needs to nip in the bud? Do you help them be fancy or just let them achieve whatever they can on their own and then maybe they would lose some interest? Would you limit the fancy days? How would you try to explain to a 5-year-old not to worry so much about appearance?

(Guys be kind in your advice. These are really good parents and an awesome little girl – who just happens to like to be fancy.)

64 comments Add your comment

Photius

July 9th, 2009
8:11 am

Yawn…. the column would have been more interesting if Fancy Nancy was a little boy (which happens more than we think!). ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Photius, you need to grow up...

July 9th, 2009
8:31 am

…and quit hanging around a “moms” blog, waiting to be the first to chime in on things that are meant for women!

Photius, or at least...

July 9th, 2009
8:32 am

…grow a pair!!!!!

Zachs Mom

July 9th, 2009
8:38 am

As the mom of son who is all boy and always has been, I would have loved a “Fancy Nancy”. I say enjoy it while you can…wait till you see what she wants to wear as a teenager!

JJ

July 9th, 2009
8:42 am

It’s the beginning of a VERY high maintenance lifestyle. I sure hope she can afford it.

Not for me. I hate designer labels, don’t to trendy stuff. Just give me a pair of jeans, and I’m a happy camper.

new mom

July 9th, 2009
8:56 am

I think we may have a future little fancy girl on our hands too (at almost 22 mths). I wouldn’t consider myself fancy at all–but I have started trying to make sure I put my makeup on when she isn’t around, because she loves to try to copy me by patting her face and tries to get into my makeup. She has pretty long hair for her age, so we have to pull it back. She has an opinion on how her hair is to be fixed, which hairbow is used, etc. And recently, on one of her climbing expeditions, she found a box of baby jewelry I thought I had hidden. She wanted to wear one of the necklaces that entire day!

I remember reading parenting articles that dealt with kids trying to express their personality by wearing whatever crazy outfit they came up with. The moral was always to swallow your pride and let them wear what they want, no matter if it seems nuts (like their Halloween costume to the grocery store, etc.) I have also heard that you can select two outfits and let your child choose from one of the two, which still gives them the feeling of control and ability to make decisions, but within the realm of what you want them to wear. I don’t remember anything directly addressing the fancy princess stage, but I don’t see how that’s much different.

One more thought–your friend didn’t mention whether her daughter was involved in any sports, but that might be a great distraction from all the princess stuff. Especially a team sport (not necessarily gymnastics or cheerleading, which can feed into that) but maybe soccer, basketball, etc., where she as to work together on a team. It would get her mind off herself and her looks, and also give her something else to receive compliments for.

jct

July 9th, 2009
8:58 am

You can do fancy rather inexpensively. I was a fancy child. The compromise was that I had to learn how to do my own hair. By six I could perfectly roll my own hair. I had allowed to get my fancy stuff from consignment stores. I was very much responsible for taking care of my fancy clothes. I could not hold the family up getting ready. If I was late, then my mother could pick the outfit.

School should tone this down because she may not want to want to get clothes dirty and unfortunately kids are cruel and she will probably get teased. That will tone it down as well.

JJ

July 9th, 2009
9:01 am

Well, it also depends on the age. Little girls love to dress up and be “pretty”. Mine did it, for a short period. They love to play in makeup just like mommy and wear high heels, etc. It’s just a part of growing up.

But on the other hand, my sister in law insists both her daughters are in full make up and hair all done, anytime they go anywhere. I can’t stand seeing a 12 year old in full make up. And the youngest niece has been wearing full make up since she was 10. They are not allowed out of the house unless they have their make up on and their hair done. They both have beautiful hair, but Mom makes them straighten it every day. So sad. We are all headed to the beach next week, and they will lug all that make up and hair care with them, even though mom isn’t going with us. You don’t need all that makeup at the beach.

I have another saying “if you look perfect at the beach, you aren’t having fun”……

BRC

July 9th, 2009
9:05 am

I agree with New Mom in that she needs something else to focus on besides her looks. Congratulate her when she solves a problem, like “I’m so proud of how you worked that out,” or for doing her chores on time without having to be reminded. Build up her pride in herself without making the basis of that pride her appearance. You may have to enlist the help of family and friends and ask them not to compliment her so much on her dress or hair, but more things like “You give such good hugs!” or that kind of thing.

Stan - a man in womans blog

July 9th, 2009
9:11 am

If it’s the compliments that is feeding her need to be fancy then make sure to compliment her when she is not fancy as well. Have other adults compliment her too. I also agree about getting her into some kind of sports.

new mom, on letting the kids whatever crazy outfit they come up with…I disagree. I think this just teaches them that they are in control, which they should not be. I like the idea of giving them an option of what to wear though.

new mom

July 9th, 2009
9:21 am

Yes, we have been doing the “which of these two outfits would you like to wear today?” method and it works great, our daughter always knows which one she wants! When I see a child dressed crazily, I tend to think to myself, well I guess we know who runs that house!

April

July 9th, 2009
9:24 am

My younger daughter is the FANCIEST NANCY there is. She has always had strong opinions about her clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, etc. She could apply lipstick perfectly at age 3. I am not an overly fancy person, but I admire her in many ways. While I sometimes bemoan the fact that I rarely dress-up and don’t make my appearance a priority, she is always confident in the way she looks and can then go on to enjoy other things.

We did make rules – especially when she was younger – but they never excluded all fancy behavior. For example, one such rule was “no make-up outside the house.” She could put it on at home all she wanted but when we left home it had to be removed. Most rules involved certain ages: No dangling earrings until you are X years old, clear lip gloss only until you are X. These rules worked well and gave her things to look forward to. She still has rules about heel height and make-up.

I also let her help me shop for her clothes when possible. We make clothing compromises and decisions in the store instead of at home with a closet full of clothes that she does not like. As she has gotten older her fancy nature has evolved into a strong personal style that is not always overly fancy but is always flattering and put together.

Remember that everyone is different. Just like you might hate being forced to put on make-up and heels everyday, she probably hates being forced to wear jeans and a ponytail. Anyone who has more than one child knows that, no matter how hard you might try, no two are alike. People are different (even at age 5) and we need to respect that instead of trying to mold them into something they are not.

workingmom

July 9th, 2009
9:31 am

This topic made me laugh. My 9yo is the opposite of a girly-girl – I’m lucky if I can get her to brush her hair much less care about what she is wearing. I wouldn’t worry about it. It is probably a phase, and like others will eventually pass. My cousin went through a phase starting around age 5 where she would only wear her “favorite” dress. After many fights, threats, etc., my aunt finally gave in and starting washing it every night (there are worse things to fight about.) For three years in a row my cousin is wearing the same dress in her school picture! Good thing it started out at her ankles as it was practically a shirt by the time she finally gave it up. And she did finally. I like the diea of establishing house rules as it will give her choise and control within limits. I’m glad I have a tom-boy!

Becky

July 9th, 2009
9:31 am

I have one with a mild case of Fancy Nancy..She just turned 7 and she wants to wear a dress for everything…She’s not concerned with makeup and fixing her hair, as much as she worries about matching her underwear color to the color of her dress and having the right panty hose and shoes…

She’s not quiet as bad over it as she use to be..She will now wear shorts when we go certain places..Only because we’ve left home and would wind up at the park and she wouldn’t be able to play…So enjoy it and hopefully she’ll outgrow it…

ECM

July 9th, 2009
9:47 am

I have a fancy girl who also happens to be a wicked soccer player, so the two sides of the coin are fun to watch. This little one seems all consumed by it, which is interesting that her mom is not a fancy one….I would echo BRC above and try to focus on things other than being “fancy”….sometimes making a big deal out of it, makes the problem worse. My “fancy girl” went through a dress up stage, and one evening I just quit fighting it and let her wear the fairy costume to the restaurant. No harm was done and she enjoyed the treat.

JJ

July 9th, 2009
10:02 am

Well, at least she isn’t wearing a “batman” costume EVERY day for a year. I have a friend who’s little boy always has his Batman costume on every single day, since last Halloween. He’s only 3, and so darn cute.

FCM

July 9th, 2009
10:24 am

JJ—FULL MAKE UP ON A TWEEN? UGH! How sad. When I see that I think ‘Fast’. Plus it is horrible for their skin! Make up (even play) other than nail polish is a big no in my house for anyone other than me right now….well ok I have put it on them as treat in the house, but they cannot wear it out….except on Halloween.
On topic:
I have a Fancy Nancy….she can be as fashionable as she would like within our budget. We shop where I can afford, she gets a say in the outfits, I get final veto. She has shoes with as high a heel as I allow period.
She sleeps in rollers. She gets mani/pedi (yes at the nail store). She sometimes decides that her look is ‘skater’ and refuses to brush her hair. She has to look ‘just so.’
On the rare occasion she comes out of the room in something in appropriate she is told to change. She is also told that it is in appropriate and why……we do not wear heeled dress shoes with shorts to the pool. Period. Again I am the parent I get final veto.
So the child cries. So she whines. So she throws a fit. I just stand there impassive. These manipulations do not work. I am the parent.
Not all parents feel like me. One of my very good friends has a daughter (another Fancy Nancy) who absolutely rules that house. The kid knows if she fusses enough Mom will give in. It drives me nuts.
It up to each parent to decide what rules they want, who is going to run the house, and then to stick with it. (Easier said than done I know!)
The kid may scream they hate you, and make life miserable. Then one day when you least expect it you’ll hear them talking to a friend, or spot some note or something (I found a homework assignment) that will let you know it’s working.
Just keep repeating….I am the parent…..

April

July 9th, 2009
10:29 am

Why has dressing fancy become equivalent to bad behavior?

April

July 9th, 2009
10:40 am

Why has being fancy become equivalent to bad behavior. Why is the little boy in the batman costume cute and the girl who will not brush her hair charming and makes her mother glad she does not have a fancy child? Yet, a child who expresses a certain set of preferences that are different from the parents a behavior problem?

I thought the question was how to parent a child who likes to be fancy. Rotten kids are rotten kids regardless of their preferred style of dress, and bad parents are bad regardless of what kind of kids they are blessed with.

Telling a child they are wrong for wanting to wear a dress everywhere is unfair. Teaching a child to be respectful of his or her parents is another matter that requires respect for the child and a firm and clear set of rules.

penguinmom

July 9th, 2009
10:42 am

Definitely think the idea of downplaying the compliments about looks. Also, the parents might want to look at the comments they make in general about appearance. It is easy to forget that kids are really taking in some of our comments about people or shows.

We never had one wear Halloween costumes out and about but I have had a lot of cowboy boots worn with shorts and completely mismatched outfits. Occasionally I’ve wanted to pin a sign on my child’s back: “I picked out my own clothes today.”

When I see a kid out and about dressed uniquely, my thought is often that its refreshing to see a mom who isn’t so concerned about what everyone else will think that she has to control what her kid wears. I don’t really think that the kid is in control of the house unless there are other obvious behavior cues. There is a limit to this of course.

On the other hand, it seems to me that always wanting your kid’s clothes to match or not allowing them to wear something that is out of the ordinary will actually create more clothes consciousness in the kid. Which could translate into brand-consciousness or worrying about other’s opinions when they are older.

I’m way more concerned about my kids (daughter especially) wearing things that are appropriate than I am about them wearing things that fall outside my definition of matched.

TKH

July 9th, 2009
10:49 am

This reminds me of a story about my then-4-year-old niece. She LOVED her beautiful long blonde hair, but refused to brush it or let anyone else brush it. Finally, my sister had enough and when the little one started throwing a fit over her hair, she said, “If you’re not going to take care of it, than we’ll give it to someone who will!” And she marched her right to a salon, had it chopped up to her chin and donated it to Locks-of-Love. My niece was too shocked to even be upset! My sister sent out a mass email that day asking all of us to please NOT compliment her on the new short ‘do when we saw her and aggrevate the vanity problem.

JJ

July 9th, 2009
10:50 am

Compliment their smarts and the way they look. But I believe it’s more important to compliment smarts.

April, you bring up very valid points……it will be interesting to see the responses.

Katherine

July 9th, 2009
10:53 am

The not yet mom is going to chime in…as such, I may be completely off base, but I want to give my two cents.

Wouldn’t something like that be something that she would likely grow out of (with guidance from her parents to focus on things other than her looks, of course)?

I was the opposite when I was her age (and until maybe high school) – I hated dresses and skirts, I did nothing with my hair and was not interested in make-up when the other girls started to be (in middle school). Heck, I didn’t even like wearing jeans…I only wore sweatsuits and leggings (my mother still teases me about how I had sweatsuits in every color). At one point, though, I started to realize how different I was than the other girls – they all knew how to put on make-up, they had pretty hair (and I didn’t even know how to straighten my wavy hair or to wear it any way but frizzy), they had cute clothing – and I started to care about those things. Now I’m just as girly as any other 20-something woman (and have been since high school).

I would think that it would be the same for this little girl…she is at one extreme and no kid likes to be too much different from his/her peers, right? I didn’t and I don’t think that I’ve ever met an exception. My little brother is in elementary school and he has a handful of female friends and none of them are high-maintenance little girls (so it’s definitely not the norm). But maybe things are different in NYC…?

penguinmom

July 9th, 2009
10:55 am

April, I don’t think being fancy is bad behavior. I think the concern is that being overly worried about your appearance could lead to issues when the child is older. There is a difference between someone who has a personality that enjoys being well-dressed and someone who is driven to be dressed-up all the time.

It sounds like you and your daughter are handling it well. There are some children who could eventually take the need to look ‘great’ to the point where anxiety or peer pressure or even anorexia become an issue. A parent just needs to know their child to know which camp they seem to be heading toward.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 9th, 2009
11:08 am

Hey Katherine — I talked to her mom last night via cell phone. They are on a summer road trip. She said she thought it was adorable at 3 but two years later she’s concerned that she hasn’t grown out of it. Also I think it was getting time consuming to her — putting her hair in curlers to go out. Also they don’t want her to be so focused on appearance. I think they are concerned about vanity.

TKH

July 9th, 2009
11:10 am

But in answer to the question…I don’t see this as being a huge problem, just a phase that it seems like a lot of little girls go through. I don’t see this as being a sure indicator of a lifetime of vanity and indulgence.

But, if it’s becoming an issue for the family – and it sounds like it is – maybe mom and dad just need to limit her “fancy” options. Such as, “We only do curlers on Saturday nights before church.” or “Mommy will pick out two outfits for you and you may pick which one to wear and choose ONE matching piece of jewelry.” And then create and enforce consequences for tantrums over these rules.

Personally though I just think she’s in the egocentric stage of childhood and will grow out of it. Especially if mom and dad don’t make a big deal about it and focus on complimenting her on other traits and jobs well done. And bragging about them to friends and family (such as when someone says, “Well don’t you look pretty!” responding, “She does AND she made her bed all by herself today! We’re so proud of our big girl learning to take care of her things!”) So she learns that her value is not in her appearance. But I think if not indulged, it’s going to become a non-issue as she gets older and outgrows it.

Sorry so long!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 9th, 2009
11:11 am

I would buy that she was picking it up from other kids if they were living on the upper East side in NYC — but they are in Brooklyn and her parents are really down to Earth. They are both extremely smart, well educated. They are definitely not pagent parents. I do worry about that phenomena though — we are always afraid we are going to have to move to New Jersey and the growing up seems much faster there!

Anonymous

July 9th, 2009
11:11 am

I am glad some of you were not the mother of Picasso. What if someone had told him he had to color inside the lines?

Becky

July 9th, 2009
11:13 am

FCM, I’m with you on the full makeup at that age..I had custody of my two nieces last year and the youngest (15) always wanted to wear the heavy black eyeliner that I think looks horrible..I told her that I didn’t like it, left it at that and now she doesn’t wear any makeup at all..Most of the time, things like this are just fazes for them..

My little one does like her nails done..I do take her to the mall to have it done and she climbs up in that big chair like a doll(she’s very small for her age)..She has been going to the same place for 3 years now and for what they charge me, I can’t do it at home, so it’s worth it..

I go to the thrift store and buy her “fancy” dresses to play in..Some of you (if not already) might want to check into this..As has been mentioned before, you just have to pick your battles and enjoy them when they are little and still like you….

Becky

July 9th, 2009
11:15 am

Theresa, best wishes to you and your family…Still have you in our prayers….

If Picasso had painted within the lines...

July 9th, 2009
11:16 am

…maybe he would not have been such a psycho!!!

catlady

July 9th, 2009
11:23 am

I am speaking as a former (20 year) kindergarten teacher. Nancy’s parents need to get control NOW. Or this girl will have a very, very unhappy life, as others will not be willing to cater to her every whim. If she is in control when she is 5 (with little adult leadership in sight) think how much fun she will be when she is 14. That her mother would ask these questions of others is telling.

Different kids have different styles. That is true. But mama and daddy don’t have to cater to these styles. A dose of John Rosemond would be good.

The idea that Nancy also thinks she controls what shoes Mama wears, and seems to be in competition with mama, is an indication of a real problem.

I’d help Nancy find something to be proud of besides her looks, makeup, hair, etc at the age of 5.

This family needs some reality therapy!

JJ

July 9th, 2009
12:15 pm

Hey Theresa, on the topic of “Single mom to Empty nester”, please don’t do it next week. I’ll be on vacation and I don’t want to miss THAT topic.

I won’t be anywhere near a computer for 6 whole days!!!!!

Thanks!!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 9th, 2009
12:16 pm

Hey JJ — good to know!!

Jessica

July 9th, 2009
12:21 pm

As others have expressed, the problem is not the little girl’s preference for looking “fancy.” The problem is her vain, disrespectful attitude. There’s nothing wrong with dressing up fancy (or sporty, or glittery, or like a ballerina or whatever), but acting like a rotten little diva isn’t okay.

Andrea

July 9th, 2009
12:49 pm

I have a “Fancy Nancy”. We used to call the term being prissy or a girlie-girl and then it just meant the girl preferred dresses to pants and she only liked girly things. I think the parents may be incorrectly correlating the child’s vain attitude with her clothes. Something is missing in this story. If the parents are so down to earth, where did the child pick up all that vanity? If the parents noticed it before, why didn’t they address it? If they let the behavior go under the auspices of “isn’t she cute”, then they just simply made a mistake (as we all do) and it is time to reign the child in.

As I said, my daughter LOVES all things girly – dresses (frilly and non -frilly), the color pink, tea parties, etc. I do let her pamper herself. She really loved the foot spa I had so when I got a new one, I gave that one to her. So, we sit and do our feet together.

I don’t really like the idea of “fancy days” – anything she has was bought for her to wear. The only exception would be her Christmas outfit. Personally, I don’t like the grunge-type look on girls, so I am okay with her dressing “prissy”.

DB

July 9th, 2009
1:03 pm

Wanting to dress nicely isn’t a crime, but it sounds like the mom has indulged her just a bit too often. That’s not hard to fix — just back off a bit, and emphasize her accomplishments in other areas a bit more. Nothing obvious — kids are smart — but something like “I really liked the way you shared your favorite doll”, etc. At that age, they are pretty egocentric, but they can be taught to look outside of themselves. “The Paperbag Princess” is a great story to read, too, about a princess who can take care of herself and smacks down the prince who makes fun of her clothes. :-) Make sure she has age-appropriate opportunities for community service, too, such as helping sort food at a food bank, etc.

I’m in the conservative camp when it comes to makeup. NO makeup at all until 13, and even then, it was just lip gloss and mascara. She could experiment at home, but never in public (although I am quite aware that eyeshadow got sneaked out on occasion, but that wasn’t a battle I chose to fight, and as long as she kept it discreet, I let her get away with it.) It bothers me a bit that your friend is unsure whether or not she should restrict the dress-up opportunities — to me, that seems obvious, and it is a little telling as to who has the upper hand right now. I’m betting an only child? Or only girl? Mom is getting a little kick out of this, too, spending all that time curling her hair and enjoying the compliments. She’s just now starting to realize that she’s creating a monster, which is good — so, in the long term, no permanent harm done.

We had people bugging us to allow my daughter to model when she was a very young child, and I was adamant — NO WAY. As I explained to one friend who is also an agent, I didn’t want her growing up that focused on her looks. Looks will change, but brains and charm last forever :-).

But if...

July 9th, 2009
1:11 pm

…your brain never develops adequately then your looks may help offset that in the long run, though you are correct that you MAY be able to develop charm.

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2009
1:19 pm

I am with catlady and DD on this one, also FCM on the makeup.

I had total strangers come up to me to tell me that our daughter looked exactly like the Gerber Baby and that we should sign her up to model. NO WAY.

This is one thing I always tell my kids:

NO MATTER HOW CUTE OR HANDSOME YOU ARE, SOME IS CUTER OR HANDSOMER
NO MATTER HOW RICH YOU ARE, SOMEONE IS RICHER
NO MATTER HOW SMART YOU ARE SOMEONE IS SMARTER
NO MATTER HOW TALENTED YOUR ARE, SOMEONE IS MORE TALENTED

It is your job to balance your assets and have people like you for who you REALLY are and not for superficial reasons.

When I taught in Texas, there was a DARLING 4 year old girl who had blond yellow curls.
In a tragic accident, she was burned from head to toe and completely disfigured. It was horrendous. I still wonder how things turned out for her. LIfe, for her changed in one day.

catlady

July 9th, 2009
1:20 pm

The producer on the Letterman show talked to me about my younger daughter modeling, but I told him I preferred to focus on her other good qualities. The parents set the rules.

As a teacher I occasionally was confronted with a parent who would tell me about their 5 year old, “She won’t let me put clips in her hair to keep her hair out of her eyes”, etc. My response was, “She is 5 and SHE WON’T LET YOU DO SOMETHING?” I agree about picking your battles when the child is older, but one of the most important things a parent does in the first 6 years is establish authority over their own child.

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2009
1:20 pm

OOOPS DB….sorry! and someone is cuter….

new mom

July 9th, 2009
1:35 pm

I agree–setting limits is important. It’s a fine line to walk, wanting your child to be creative, expressive, and confident–while still raising a humble child who cares about others and acknowledges authority. I think that no matter what the style is (like someone said–girly, sporty, whatever) kids still need to hear the word NO. And know that their parents mean it.

Becky

July 9th, 2009
1:42 pm

Or she could wind up like one of my nieces that I took to a modeling agency (20 yrs ago) and they wanted her to go straight to New York to model..She changed her mind about wanting to be a model, had a baby, got married, had another baby, was widowed at 19 with two kids…Moved back to GA, got hooked on drugs and went to work at a strip club, had another baby, lost custody of all three..At 32 just got two of them back..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 9th, 2009
1:57 pm

Hey Guys — not to kill this topic but I have just posted a quickie response to the story on the front of the AJC that the state school board has voted to allow schools to lengthen days to shorten the school year — basically to save money on gas!!! See what I wrote and let me know what you think about this idea.

Denise

July 9th, 2009
2:06 pm

In my opinion there is nothing “kiddie” about makeup so the writer’s “kid pink lipstick” says that she may be feeding into her daughter’s fanciness.

I wasn’t fancy 99% of the time but when I wanted to be fancy, I pitched a fit until I got to be fancy. My favorite picture in the world (of me) is me at 4 at Easter where I had my hair down. My mama washed and set my hair and it was so BIG but I thought I was the greatest thing going…that day.

I see nothing wrong with indulging kids’ desires for the fancy for occasions, not every day. I see nothing wrong with letting a girl play in her mother’s makeup IN THE HOUSE as long as she knows that it’s a part of her “costume” in dress-up time, not the norm. I think parents can set the limits for their kids but when a parent is trying to be cool or a friend, the lines are blurred.

catlady

July 9th, 2009
7:29 pm

When I student taught, I had a 7 year old who wore makeup, shaved her legs, and wore hose. Needless to say she was pregnant at 14. But her parents thought it was cute when she was little. We had a third grader who wore makeup, jewelry, and get-me clothes each day. I predict she will be pregnant before she is 12. Her parents don’t see anything wrong with it.

To contrast that, I was allowed to wear a “bra” to church when I was 8. Apparently the other days of the week I didn’t need it (I didn’t). What I know now that I didn’t know then!

Please let children be children, and emphasize the enduring values rather than the trollop look.

Tiffany

July 9th, 2009
7:48 pm

Personally I think the parents are making way too much out of this little girl wanting to be fancy all the time. It is very common for a girl of her age to be doing this. I have found that the bigger a deal you make of it…it re-enforces the kid’s need to do this. The old “pick your battles” saying is VERY TRUE. I have one daughter who did this, for a few years I might add. She had to be in her princess dress/costume most of the time. She insisted also on wearing the little kiddie high heels as well. We told her these shoes were just for home only, as well as the lipstick she insisted on wearing. With the clothes we tried to look the other way the majority of the time. I also had my own version of batman, who never left the house without his cape. We told him the mask was not to be worn to school…he also went through the cowboy stage…boots on 24 hours a day. It is a STAGE people. Most children outgrow this stuff if you just let them enjoy it. You must have a sense of HUMOR about it! Also advice for the mom of the “fancy” girl: the curlers do seem like kind of a pain. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to tell her curled hair is only for church,ect. or VERY special occasions. The rest I would let it slide for now.

motherjanegoose

July 10th, 2009
8:22 am

catlady, I continue to love your stories. As a former Kinder teacher myself, you are right on the money. Teachers often see a bigger picture. When I am poo pooed on this blog, I run things by the teachers I know ( all over the country) and they ( almost always) have an opinion that is very close to mine and very far from those who ridicule my ideas here. Oh well, keep on sharing and maybe you will help a few parents who will listen….I love your input!

I do agree with the thought of picking your battles but some parents have thrown in the towel and thus let the children rule. This is probably WHY we have wars in the classrooms as the children have grown up in homes where they always win the battle.

Kathy

July 10th, 2009
8:30 am

Fortunately, Little E is not a Fancy Nancy. She likes to play dress up with her Disney Princess clothes and shoes, but she is not allowed to wear them out of the house (we explained to her that we want them to stay nice and last a while and wearing them anywhere else might not allow that….she was good with that explanation). We do not buy her fancy clothes to wear on a daily basis because we cannot afford them and I want her to look like she’s 4 and not 12. In fact, I don’t dress her in anything that I would worry about it getting dirty, stained, ripped etc. She has 3 pairs of shoes…tennis shoes, sandals and flip flops (these could be worn with any of her clothes and she gets to pick which pair she wears). I am not into buying my child a pair of shoes for every outfit. I just cannot afford it and I don’t want to create a little fashion monster. I don’t act that way anyway! I am with JJ…give me a good pair of jeans and some flip flops and I am good to go. I have a friend who buys her 4 year old daughter pair after pair of shoes. She and the child are always fighting about shoes and she wonders why!!! I just want to shake her and say wake up!! You are creating this madness.

I am a firm believer of the fact that you create your own situations…..if you buy your daughter every dress, shoe or whatever under the sun, if you let them wear lipstick when they are 3, if you spend more time on her hair then your own….guess what?!?!?! You are creating a little diva. BE THE PARENT! Yes, your child needs independence and the ability to make their own choices, but you should be giving your child limits and boundaries. If not, you will end up with kids like catlady described.

Okay off the soapbox now….happy b’day to me! (it was my birthday yesterday!)

JJ…have fun on your vacation!

Becky

July 10th, 2009
9:15 am

Kathy, Happy (late) Birthday…OK, I have to chime in about the shoes..Both the boy and the girl love shoes..She probably has 25 pairs and he has about 15..I never have any problems with wither one of them picking shoes to wear when we are going somewhere…As for affording them, I scout out the yard sales and thrift stores..You would be surprised at the newer shoes that you can get at them..