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Old 01-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #16
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I'm somewhat torn.

It's important to have good hygiene but as someone who went to school in quite a diverse place, there has always been a question of what you "should and shouldn't" do and who actually decided this in the first place. It isn't written down somewhere that girls must wear skirts and boys must wear pants, we just sort of decided that. However, obviously, there are places where more and more people don't agree.

Having said that, my only real concern is that you may end up teaching them that looks are horribly, terribly important to an unhealthy extent. My Mom made sure I looked nice - that I was clean, my hair was combed, etc. - but she stopped forcing me to wear dresses and skirts when I verbally told her I didn't want to for a school picture in about fourth grade.

Now that I'm older, I wear what I want. I wear leggings a lot, nice tops, heels, you name it. I just wasn't taught that it was a requirement. My roommate by comparison wears sneakers, jeans, and nice shirts. She's more casual but I've always admired her. Her work, her intelligence, and her strength say a lot more than wearing a dress ever would.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by lovedancelive View Post

Having said that, my only real concern is that you may end up teaching them that looks are horribly, terribly important to an unhealthy extent.
.
You must think I am one of those crazy pageant moms! Haha no way. I just want them to know the basics. Always clean, hair always combed.. It takes 10minutes of your day to look 100 times better than you did getting out of the bed. They don't need to get use to workout clothes other than their gymnastics outfits. Workout clothing is for working out and not to be worn all day
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CIELOARGE View Post
You must think I am one of those crazy pageant moms! Haha no way. I just want them to know the basics. Always clean, hair always combed.. It takes 10minutes of your day to look 100 times better than you did getting out of the bed. They don't need to get use to workout clothes other than their gymnastics outfits. Workout clothing is for working out and not to be worn all day
No, of course not. I was mostly referring to:

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i usually give them 2 choices but sometimes they have to wear what I tell them... I ALWAYS make sure their hair is just right
That just seems a little harsh for children so young. When I was that age, I was out playing...good luck keeping my hair just right? I mean, I'm not saying OMG you are a horrible mother! Obviously, there is far, far worse than making sure your children are clean and well dressed. What I am saying, though, is that your kids may not interpret these actions the same way you do. Mommy is thinking she wants her babies to look nice and be better dressed than she was at their age but the kiddies might grow up thinking something else. I'll try to give you an example that isn't 100% the same but the idea is the same - when I was younger, I was constantly told that I was "built cute". As I got older, I heard it less and less. At some point it occurred to me that I must have gotten ugly along the way although I don't think that's what anyone intended me to think.

Even my Mom's repeatedly pointing out attractive women had a negative affect on me. At some point, it began to get into my head that I needed to be a bleached blonde with C cups and a flat stomach. I know she didn't intend for me to take it to heart, hearing her pointing out how attractive all these barbies were, but I did nonetheless.

Kids pick up on stuff and they take it to heart.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:35 PM   #19
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Why is that harsh?? If I see my child with her hair being a mess I will fix it, nothing wrong with that. With that said, I do appreciate other's point of view

Botton line is, when I was a child I would have like a little more structure, I have 4 brothers so, you can see where I am coming from. Luckily, I never had problems but I had to learn a lot of things by myself (Thank God for YouTube!)
Being a girl the basics are the basics: Fix your hair, wear clothes that fit properly and not your brother's sweat shirts and spend some time into yourself, it's worth it!
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:13 AM   #20
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Why is that harsh?? If I see my child with her hair being a mess I will fix it, nothing wrong with that. With that said, I do appreciate other's point of view
Well you asked for opinions and I gave mine, there's no point in repeatedly disagreeing post to post. I'm not sure why you asked if you were already 110% sure you're correct because naturally not everyone was going to agree so I'm kinda confused. =/

I just think a 6 year old shouldn't have to be prim and proper all the time and that's what it sounds like you're going for if you're chasing after a 5 year old with a hairbrush. It also sounds like sometimes they try to speak out ("but sometimes they have to wear what I tell them") and you may not be listening. The fact that they don't argue all the time might just be because they can't rather than they don't want to.

I don't recall my Mom ever having that kind of trouble and I was a really happy kid. I grew up just fine, I didn't exactly turn into Bigfoot, and I'm still happy. Without realizing it, she helped me grow up fairly balanced. I don't have an impression of what I should or should not do that was pushed on me, I do things my way and I grew up to be one of the more out of the box thinkers of my graduating class. I've gone further, I've learned more, done more, taken more risks, and will continue to do so. I'm not saying your kids won't do these things but rather that my Mom didn't ruin me because she didn't comb my hair routinely throughout my playtime after school.

No one is saying you're a terrible parent. I'm ashamed to admit some of my own family members are ungodly bad parents and their kids would much rather have had you chase them around with a hairbrush and skirt than what they actually got. But you asked what we thought and that's what I think; you had X, Y, Z experiences in your youth so you're trying hard - maybe too hard, at least IMO - to keep them from those same experiences. It's a sort of living through them thing ("when I was a child I would have like a little more structure, I have 4 brothers so, you can see where I am coming from"). You're talking about your own experiences but theirs won't ever be the same as yours. For all you know, they may end up doing the same sort of thing - "when I was a child, I would have liked a bit more freedom, my Mom was very concerned with my appearance so you can see where I am coming from". Funny how life can work that way, huh? That curious back and forth motion.

They don't need to have perfect hair all the time, they don't need to be dressed like Suri Cruise to go outside and play (that poor kid looks depressed all the time, what child that age doesn't freaking smile? -__- btw I'm joking here, haha). It's the whole "I make them wear what I want sometimes and I routinely comb their hair throughout the day" part that throws me. Other than that, I think the style you dress them in is cute; I just wonder what they actually think if there are times when you have to be stern.

But anyways, that is neither here nor there. They're not my kids and like I said, you aren't exactly the type of parent a person should call Children Services on.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:21 AM   #21
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I would like to add that, sometimes, I wish some one had taught me how to relax about what I wear/how I look as well. That was something I was actually thinking about when getting ready for work this morning, fretting over my hair. I feel like I have to go through the process of fixing my hair, putting on make-up and picking out clothes just to run to the store to pick up something. It's really fairly annoying. I have a co-worker and friend who never bothers with make-up, and I always feel she looks professional and pretty. I don't feel like I have the self-confidence for that, even though it would make my life simpler both monetarily and time-wise, and it irritates me that I've given in so much to the beauty standard that I can't NOT wear make-up. Ever. Both my mother and her mother did NOT go out in public without their make-up done and their hair fixed. I am just now learning to relax and put on a pair of yoga pants and put my hair in a ponytail (still make-up) to go for a run to the store. I still generally feel pretty self-conscious about it walking around, which my dbf laughs at me over. The first time I did it, I looked up at him in Walmart and said, "This is the first time I've been in yoga pants in a store." He replied, "Oh, how awful. I'm sure everyone is staring at you, talking amongst themselves about you, saying, 'how dare that girl wear yoga pants in Walmart?'" I love him so dearly because he puts things in perspective for me.

Like I said: I am thankful my mom taught me girl things - like how to blow-dry my hair and cross my legs. I am also thankful that my mother did not really push me too hard to be girly, because honestly, I've always been a little bit of a wild and messy thing compared to how immaculate and groomed she is. My hair has given her fits since I was a baby. Seeing the standard my mother set for femininity has led me to buy into a lot of crap that I would like not to, however. It's also led me to feel, like I said, like a mess of a girl sometimes, even though my mother never meant for that to happen. So, it's a double-edged sword, and I can't really give you any good advice on it, except to consider balance. I was just musing on the thought earlier when I was cussing like a sailor this morning trying to get my hair to sit right. (It never does)

Although, I do think a good piece of advice would be to offer your MIL to come deal with the stress of getting them ready every morning if you're doing such a terrible disservice.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #22
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I think its a very good idea that she fixes their hair and I hope she will teach them to fix their own hair at the appropriate age too. My mother didn't do that. I have a eurofro, it was even worse growing up. My mother had straight hair. She tried but really gave up most of the time and never bothered to show me how to style my hair so I could have nice hair like all the other girls soo I had to learn how to handle a fro in my teens. I pretty much thought I was doomed because anyone with a fro knows, it ain't easy to handle. But then I found out ..about hair straighteners and other hair products that would either straighten or weigh down my hair til its either straight or nice wavy curls. My mom never taught me that.

Basically what I'm saying is that the OP is teaching her kids basic life skills. You're all worried shes not letting her kids be tomboys or whatever, but why do you assume little girls want to be tomboys? they don't all want to be tomboys, some girls are indeed girly and at the age they are at now theres no real way of telling if they will be a tomboy or girly girl cause at that age boys and girls just do the same things essentially. So why should she just decide not to teach her daughters the basic things girls do just in case they are tomboys? Even if they turn out to be tomboys they are gonna need to know how to do their hair and shave and wear appropriate clothing for a workplace or professional school environment. They aren't gonna feel awesome walking into a law office in sweats and a football jersey.
I know I'm skipping way ahead in time here but kids do grow up and they should have the basic life skills required to function in this world.

If these were boys should their father not bother teaching them to shave or pee standing up?

I hardly doubt shes acting like a pageant mom . And lets be realistic here, People do look better put together well to other people. I'm not saying don't have your own style, I definetly have mine, but if you're not well put together in whatever style you have whether thats femme to the nines or rugby playing hockey girl, people sometimes think you just don't care about yourself. Not being put together well can say a lot about a person whether or not those things are true or not. Do you ever see a sloppily dressed lawyer? CEO? Doctor? no but the sketchy dude hanging out at the back of the corner store knows a lot about not being put together well :P I'm not saying not being put together well means that but people do judge and they do see it as a correlation. Thats just reality. We don't live in a judgement free world. Everyone does it.

Its the same as people here that have correlated blonde and boobs to barbies or looked at women that spend time on themselves in a lesser way like they care too much about appearance or are crazy about it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #23
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I didn't get a chance to read through this whole post - but as someone who grew up in a situation where they weren't made to bathe enough, wore dirty clothes somteims and had rats nests in their hair for school ..... there is at least a happy medium.

You do want to teach your kid appropriate grooming habits. You do want to make sure they are being socially acceptable. You don't want to expose them to unnecessary ridicule. That said, you don't want to teach them that "fitting in" is the most important thing. Its a fine line. But if hte message is, love yourself enough to take care of yourself and put your best foot forward, then over grooming isn't so bad.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #24
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I should add for skimming through all this - I agree that a five year old shouldnt be prim and proper all the time. Its one thing to be a mess after a day of playing. That is normal for children. Its another thing to lack basic grooming, appropriate clothes etc.

If a kid doesn't like their hair brushed so often, maybe braid it and leave it in braids for a few days.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #25
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It doesn't sound to me like you are being unreasonable at all. If they are comfortable with what they're wearing, don't worry about it. I also have 2 georgous girls (18 & 20 now). When they were little, our style varied depending on how much time I had. However, I was chastised a few months ago by my 18 YO for not teaching them how to style & wear makeup (she loves to critize everything about me these days) They were not ragamuffins and were always clean and neat, but me not being the stylish type, I didn't see the need. That being said, they both take time with their hair and makeup now when appropriate (both in college and usually go to class in sweats) and now I am trying to dress and style more now as well.
Do what you feel best as a parent... which sounds like you are just fine to me.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #26
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I have two girls (one is a baby) and a boy and I understand where you're coming from. When I was growing up with a weight problem I never wanted to look in the mirror and just wanted to avoid everything. I wish I had more fun with my looks, or at least took pride in my appearance. I might have had better self-esteem.

My older girl is SO girly, she would wear a dress every day if I let her but that's just not practical for certain activities. I still tend to dress pretty basically, pants for work every day, that sort of thing, although I care a lot about fit and so on now. So it's kind of a stretch for me to do all the hair things she wants me to do for her! But our mornings are so rushed that I spend approximately the same amount of time doing her hair as my boy's hair. It's more on the weekends when we have a little more time that I'll try something fun with her hair and let her wear whatever she wants.

But mostly I agree with the sentiment that your MIL needs to learn to shut her mouth! It's not her business. It sounds like you are perfectly reasonable about how you dress your kids.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #27
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Lovedancelive: I'm not sure how we went from "I don't want to put sweat pants on my kids and I fix their hair all the time" to all the other things that you mention. It never crossed my mind that you called me a bad mother, maybe on my writting it seems like I have an obsesion with hair but that is not the case.

When you have kids, you try to make sure they don't have to put up with what you did, sometimes is good, sometimes is bad, but as parents we are just trying our best. It seems to me that you are taking my post to personal, trying to tell me that I'm living throug my girls lives because I didn 't have a girly childhood??? Not sure how you came up with that, I was just explaining why I don't want them to wear sweatpants lol. I do appreciate your point of view and I said that on my last post, so why are you confused??
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #28
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Song of Surly: I totally understand where you are coming from. Sometimes as a parent you never win... but you can at least try At the end of the day, I am 100% sure that I will have to answer some questions to my kids regarding my choices of how I raised them, but in the meantime, I can just try

Somehow my post is coming across like I have some kind of OCD when it comes to dressing and fixing my girls hairs But I can assure you that is not like that. I wear jeans and flats or tennis shoes of the time and my hair is always pulled back nicely I can't blow dry my hair for the life of me, so I am not sending that message. My oldest likes all kinds of hair styles and I happily do them for her, my youngest just like a pony tail and I happily do it for her too, everyday, when it starts getting down, it takes me 10 seconds to fix it. There is no science, or hair spray or hot rolls attach to it

CherriQuinn: Thank you for understanding where I am coming from you just write so nicely...

Mandypandy2246: Getting their hair done is not an issue I don't tie up my kids to do it, it's very simple and quick once you get a hold of it. All I said on my post is that I don't want them to wear sweat pants... Not really sure how everything else turned into the rest of the post

BuddysBuddy: Thank You. - My girls don't criticize me just yet... but they sure correct my English ALL THE TIME! Aren't kids funny?? Haha

Amy8888: THANK YOU! I don't know if when I said fixing their hair meant the whole weeding hair style or something. It just meant a nice braid or ponytail... As for my MIL, that just the way she is, sometimes she rubs me the wrong way but most of the time she is nice, we just have different ways to raise our kids...
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #29
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CIEOLOARGE - I didn't think you were being obsessive at all. I'm sorry if I came across that way. I was just thinking this morning about how it's such a hard issue to deal with, really. I in no way think my mom was obsessive, even though she instilled a lot of habits in my sister and me. I don't have kids, but I'd say if I had a daughter, I would feel responsible for how she saw femininity. That's a pretty big load. Same thing for my current bf, if we had children and had a boy. He's a total man's man, so would he push that on a boy? And what's pushing and what's encouraging? Tough stuff, really.

My niece likes her hair in a pony-tail too, and my sister spends the time to fix it regularly. Like, a few seconds at a restaraunt or something. I don't even think it's so it looks good, but really just a matter of getting it out of her face/worrying she'll lose the pony tail holder if it falls out. Seems like a pretty natural and loving mother-thing.

ETA: And plus, if the only questions your kids have is about why you instilled feminine habits in them one day? Well, sounds like you've been a pretty awesome mom.
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