When girls want to dress inappropriately at a young age

Laura Markham, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on what to do when their girl wants to dress inappropriately at a young age
What to do When Your Daughter Wants to Dress Inappropriately
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When girls want to dress inappropriately at a young age

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When girls tend to be in 3rd or 4th grade, they start to think about growing up. And our culture gives them messages that are unfortunate about what growing up means. Instead of learning that they can pursue their passions to become a talented artists or a skilled figure skater or a fierce soccer player you are given messages of what they look like matters and the clothes they wear matter. And so naturally our 3rd graders and 4th graders come home and they say "Mom, I want that sexy hot outfit" which can drive parents crazy. So what do you do? Well, first of all you say no if you need to. You are the grown up and sometimes your daughter just needs you to protect her to say no so she can say to her friends, "well my mom wouldn't let me, I wanted that outfit, I wanted to go to that party, I wanted to go steady with that boy, my mom wouldn't let me". So get used to being the bad guy as you set those limits. But you don;t just set the limit, you talk to your daughter. You explain to her, what does that mean to be sexy?Is that an appropriate thing for a 3rd grader to be sexy?What does it mean to go out with a boy? Is that a appropriate thing for a 3rd grader to do? What changes between 2 people when they are boyfriend and girlfriend? So, exploring this questions with your child actually transmits values and we as the parents need to be working with our children so they develop values rather than taking their values from their friends at school, from the media or from popular culture.

Laura Markham, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on what to do when their girl wants to dress inappropriately at a young age

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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