This is quite personal today! Here goes………………………..
This is my youngest daughter she is 11. She started high school last September and will be 12 in May. It is really important to me that she is allowed to grow up at her own pace. She loves to read and write and, we are constantly being told by her teachers that she has a gift for story telling. We encourage her to go bowling, have friends for tea, enjoy sleepovers, splash in puddles and run against the wind – in essence to be a kid!
But as a parent, I find it a constant struggle to find clothes that are appropriate for her. At 11, I feel she needs to be dressed in clothes that cover her body, tops that reach her waist band and skirts that touch her knee or there abouts. I want her to be dressed in practical clothes that are ready for adventures, oh and a spot of dog walking!
Ordinarily, I shop in Next and Marks & Spencer for her, as I did for her elder sister, but it seems that the buyers for these chains don’t share my views. Instead, they believe that my 11 year old daughter wants to look as though she is 18 and ready to go clubbing at the drop of hat.
I don’t want my daughter to be dressed in such a way that causes her unwanted or sexual attention that, she is far too immature to be able to handle. I want her to feel comfortable in her clothes, feel warm, free to climb over logs or squelch through mud. I want her to look as though she is 11 and not under any pressure.
She is lucky in that she attends a school with a lot of like minded girls and, that they are encouraged to be independent thinkers. However, that isn’t to say that she is not the subject of peer pressure outside school. Nevertheless, I believe that the strong relationships and messages that she receives from us, gives her the confidence to be able to resist such pressure. She is very much her own person and that makes me proud to be her mum.
The nightmare of shopping for her doesn’t mean that I succumb to the pressure either, it just means that it is far more difficult. I really struggle and have to search high and low to route out the odd piece that fits the bill, but I will not have her childhood stolen from her.
Next don’t even carry her size in store anymore, everything has to be ordered, paid for and then returned if not suitable! I have given up almost entirely in Marks & Spencers, only underwear seems to be purchased from there nowadays. If I look hard enough, Debenhams do have the odd nugget and I have got lucky in H&M before. But it is a trial. I am dreading the Summer wardrobe shop.
If any of you have any suggestions, I would love to hear from you or if you have experienced the same.
And don’t even get me started on make up and red lipstick at 11 – yes that happens!!!!!
I am linking up with Karen from Let Kids be Kids
Have a lovely day!