Girls, jealousy, coolness- help!

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Leighann, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Last night one of my girls broke down because she was so upset and jealous of her friend E.  Apparently E's grandmother buys her "cool" clothes, and lots of stuffed animals, and E gets to go on fun vacations ("Like to Upstate NY!") and goes to the movies.  On the bus they play a game and E is always the "cool girl" and my sweetie is the "fancy one" (whatever that means).
    So we had a long discussion about wants and needs, and just because you think someone has more than you, that doesn't make them happier. More stuff doesn't mean happiness, and just because we want things, doesn't mean we need them. And we talked about what "cool" means.  Apparently my little girl thinks her clothes are too babyish and wants "cooler" clothes.  I did tell her that she is going through a growth spurt so she and I can go shopping for some new clothes, but that some clothes that her size are not appropriate for girls her age.  
    Help!  She is 7 1/2 going on 17.  Moms of big kids, how do you help your kids navigate these big kid issues of jealousy, the nasty WANT WANT WANT monster, and helping your kiddos feel secure in who they are and not feel like they want to be someone else. Thanks.
  2. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My kids were about your girls' age when we started doing real life financial lessons. My son kept repeatedly asking to eat out.  We only eat out occasionally or as part of traveling.  So we had a math lesson about how much it costs our family of 4 to eat out.  Then multiplied by days of the week.  Then we compared that to how much I spend at the grocery (they come with me enough that they knew that answer).  Their eyes got real big when they started seeing how much money that would cost.  
    We've done that with other things, like why we haven't gone to Disney. Same with why we take dad's car (better gas mileage) instead of mom's car (slightly more leg room) when we go on 12 hour road trips.  Once the kids started understanding real world math, they have asked for less.  Also, we've made our kids work around the house to earn money to buy their (used) nintendo ds's and extra toys.  They understand that money doesn't grow on trees and that even if mom and dad have money, mom and dad might be making other choices with their money.  Now that the kids are older, we've talked about retirement and college and why even if we can afford something, we might not want to buy it.
    As for the clothes.  I have sympathy for that.  I was the girl growing up that wore homemade dresses that looked completely homemade.  My pants were always too short.  Some years I didn't have long sleeve shirts, just 1 button-up sweater my mom made me that I had wear over everything every day.  I  would have given anything for long enough pants with a cute sweater.  I would talk to her and find out what she wants.  Go to stores like Justice and let her show you. That was about the age when my Sarah just wanted something that came from Justice.  It didn't have to say Justice on it, she just wanted it to come from there.  So we bought a nice sweater from there that was completely age appropriate and that satisfied that desire.  We have continued to buy some clothes there because I have found the yoga pants are a bit thicker and last better and Sarah likes the feel of some of their cotton shirts.  But I get the final say on appropriate.
    I think I'm lucky that my Sarah doesn't care too much about fashion, but she has a definite style of her own. Sarah really doesn't care where it comes from as long as it fit's into her style.  She loves fuzzy fabrics and comfortable yoga pants or fleece pants.  For her riding jeans, only plain dark blue.  She loves her boots and sweaters.  And no pink. Timothy also has his style, pull-up athletic pants with no drawstrings.  Anything KU or Lebron James related is great and his favorite colors are black and red. 
    Hope some of this helps.  I think she's just at an age when she's starting to figure out who she is and her place in the world. 
  3. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I wish I knew.  I heard it gets worse as they get older.
    I try to let my girls know it is okay to be themselves.   I let them think they have the final say on their clothing But my girls do have a grandma who will spoil them.  She puts my girls on the bus every morning, and yesterday she got a cute from Denny's ( a local children's store ) that if you spent 100 you got $36 back ( or store credit). So she went yesterday and got Dani black leggings ( now she only has 5 pairs- but these are line dry- so if Dani puts them in the hamper they will go in the dryer,but if she remembers to give them to grandma they will lined dried), and 2 sweat shirts.  One that didn't have the neck color.  She got sydney a sweat suit.   
    My girls big thing right now is they want their own instagram account.  
  4. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Thanks ladies.  I think explaining the budget is a good idea.  They both understand money and how we make choices not just based on whether we CAN buy something (i.e. have the money to spend), but whether it is a good idea to buy it, whether we need it, whether its a good price, etc.  In my opinion I don't think her clothes are babyish at all, but I will let her pick out a few outfits when we go shopping this weekend.  She does need new pants because she has grown another inch over the last couple of months!  I just want to encourage her to be comfortable in her own skin and not care what other girls think about her, or how other girls dress or behave.  I realize that is a pipe dream because of course this is going to be an issue.  Thankfully I still have one kid who doesn't care what other people think still and marches to the beat of her own drum.  
    ps: If I could figure out how to post an image I would show you an example of how she dresses herself... which I think is appropriate for a 7 year old and not babyish at all (I can't link to my FB because my privacy setting prevent anyone who isn't a FB friend from seeing my pictures).  But according to my child I should dress more stylish :wacko:
  5. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I know with Sarah it really was about she just wanted some piece of clothing from Justice.  She saw everyone else had clothes from that store and she really wasn't sure how to ask or express that desire.  She was vaguely discontent about her own clothes until I figured out what she was really getting at.
    Something my kids have also picked up as they have gotten older, is that the kids who get all the "stuff", really don't care about any of it and don't treat it well.  They've noticed that these kids are never content with what they have and the more they get, the more they want because it's just a number count, not something they enjoy.  My kids would actually chose not to take electronics to school on special days because they valued them.  They were pretty horrified to watch kids drop ipads, shove electronics into things, sit on them and just treat things badly because they had no value to them.  The kids would even tell them that I don't care because my parents will just buy me a new one.
  6. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Marissa can your kids come tell my kids that!  I'm trying to teach that by example, but its so hard.  Like the little girl that is the object of jealousy has like 50 beenie boos and now has decided that she doesn't like beenie boos. Its so hard to explain this to a 7 year old.. and one of the reasons why I never let them watch commercial tv.  We were away last weekend and they were watching tv in the hotel and just got sucked in.. every commercial was followed by "OMG I NEED THAT!!!"  um, no you don't!  
    Thanks for your advice and perspective.  Bigger kids, bigger questions.  
  7. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yeah, we don't do commercial tv very much. I feel like they see enough at school, I don't need to feed the beasts.  
    Seeing kids treat stuff like that has made mine more thoughtful as they've gotten older.  When certain kids ask to borrow pencils or erasers my kids know that means they probably won't see it again in it's current form so they are much more hesitant to loan things to certain kids.  They are aware they don't want to be that kid nobody wants to loan to. 
    One of the kids' friends literally had 200 webkinz.  Then he had every Mario figurine known to man.  Then he started collecting pokemon cards and had every one he could find.  My kids really got annoyed because they would want to buy him a bday gift because they were invited to his parties, and couldn't find anything he didn't have.  They figured out it was really hard to be his friend because all the stuff got in the way. 
    A lot of this just comes with age.
  8. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    One of my DDs is like that " I NEEED that!" (that being something a friend has, she sees an ad for, or reads about)....that said my other DD doesnt care at all.
    That said, we do very very little tv. So most commercial type fad toys are off our daily radar, though they hear about them at school. 
    We also talk about clothes- brands dont matter. If you like something particular, we can try to find something like it. We shop for appropriate clothes and lay down OK and not-OK before (not OK to have sayings on the backside, not OK to have be off the shoulder or shorts too short---OK for designs, OK if functional (cant walk in the shoes---not buying them!)
    We do a lot of giving (old toys, $, charities), a lot of buying used, and also do money talks. My girls often have 5$...our bookstore has both a new and used section. It is a powerful lesson to have $5 and get 3 used books or 1 new book.....for the same cost.
    We also dont do electronics beside a family ipad with restricted use. Lots of friends have them, but we explained that they are $$ and if they want to help pay for some it then they may have one. They dont want it bad enough at this point!
    Keep talking, we have a lot of discussions on stuff, toys, wants/needs, clothes, looks, foods, etc. One DD is much more receptive and another really needs the message repeated over and over. We are lucky that the school they attend is really diverse in many ways so the wide variety of vacations, toys, foods, clothes, holidays, etc helps shore those ideas up!
  9. ddancerd1

    ddancerd1 Well-Known Member

    I have no advice, but a pointless story :)  a few months ago, we were at the mall, and the girls begged me to go into Justice.  I was like, "okay", thinking, maybe i'll let them each pick out one piece of clothing from there.  then I saw the prices.  needless to say, I let them pick out a bracelet each lol... I just can't justify (haha, justice, justify...) paying so much for a piece of clothing. growing up (and even now)  my style was always trendy, I never really cared about the brand myself, just that it was trendy, yet different.  ANYway, I will say that I have found them Justice clothes at Marshalls and TJMaxx, for very cheap!  and that has made them happy enough.  for now. lol  
    1 person likes this.
  10. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    The one time I went into Justice, I just thought everything was hideous. I guess it's the style. I'm more of a Gap girl myself! I'm boring.
  11. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Honestly, I thought the same.  I was like, my eyes are burning it's so bright.  Right now, my DD doesn't have a preference, along as she has clothes to wear she's happy.
  12. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Ug I know.  I really dislike that store and the clothes.  My girls mostly wear Gap, Old Navy, Childrens place, H&M, Lands End, and Target. We are probably going shopping today for some new pants for her, but if we happen to be near that store and she happens to want to go in and look, I won't discourage it even if I'm blinded by all the neon.  
    After we talked about everything she has been ok.  She has her own style and I encourage it.  Right now she is into wearing either a scarf or necklace every day.   She has way more style than I ever did and as long as its age- and weather-appropriate I'm fine with it.  She has always been such a self-possessed confident kid, I was blown away that he started doubting herself and wanting to be someone else.  Guess no one is immune to that part of growing up.
  13. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I think there's a difference between wanting stuff (or vacations, etc.) and wanting to be cool. The stuff question is easier to deal with, at least it has been (so far) for us. We live in a very wealthy neighborhood, and while we are certainly not poor, we don't have a second house in Vail or go to Italy on spring break or other things like their friends do!
    So almost as soon as they started school, I had to start explaining that people earn different amounts of money, and we are very fortunate to have everything we NEED. And also that even the people who have way more money than we do still don't have everything they WANT. As soon as I started talking concretely about what we could afford and what we couldn't, they just seemed to get it. It doesn't mean they don't still beg and/or complain sometimes, but they understand intellectually that there is a line.
    We also try to get them involved in making choices, where possible. Like "Do you want to go out for ice cream today or would you rather save some money so we can go out to dinner this weekend?" (Even if really we could afford to do both -- it helps to get them thinking about trade-offs.)
    The "cool" thing is tougher. I'm lucky that neither of my kids has much of a sense of style! But they do like Justice and Old Navy -- and lucky for me, the "C9 by Champion" brand at Target is also very popular at their school! I've seen even the rich kids wearing those fleece jackets. :) There are ways to have slightly "older kid" clothes that won't blow the budget.
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