My eldest spawn will be 12 in a month. She operates under the delusion that the digits are reversed and she's actually 21. For her age, she is a pretty confident with her self-image and has a pretty experimental sense of style.
This sounds awesome, but as the parent who has to step in and remind her that she is still only 11, it can be fraught.
The teen years are approaching and I fear its arrival the way others have feared Y2K or the end of the Mayan calendar. And like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, various signs rear their head, signalling impending doom.
I took her and her stepsister (only a few months younger) shopping today. With their own money. When it's my money I usually have more control over clothing choices, usually by harness the power of being really, really cheap.
My kid has a predilection towards clothes that are not always age-appropriate. See aforementioned "12-going-on-21" thing. The challenge I find is explaining why something is inappropriate without resorting to shaming or telling her she's going to look like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver.
In the period of less than an hour I found myself having to talk my not-yet-twelve year old out of:
- Neon pink short-shorts. This was easy enough to argue, since closer inspection revealed we were in the size 4-6x section. She's a 12. Easy Peasy
- 3-inch spike heels. Vetoed on the basis that heels are really, really bad for you. I have no doubt they fuck up the spine and legs of any grown woman. I don't even want to think of what those kind of heels would do to someone who is still growing.
- A yellow string bikini. Oof. I sputtered and stammered at that one and suggested trying some other styles. The other styles were all more expensive (probably due to the greater amount of fabric) and thus out of her limited price range. Finally, I appealed to her sense of broke-assedness and reminded her that I had already planned to take her and her sister bathing suit shopping next weekend. What kid wants to spend their own money on something mom was going to buy them anyway? She reluctantly put the suit back. Near miss on that one.
This is what I'm dealing with already and we haven't even hit high school yet. Gord help us all.