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 Post subject: Girls!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:16 am
Posts: 686
Hi
Would be great if anyone who understands more about these things could offer any advice. I may ramble so apologies in advance :wink: Basically am getting quite thoughtful about DD going off to secondary and this 'girl power' thing. Through experiences of various out of school clubs etc, am quite concerned about this (imo) stupid thing where girls feel they have to fit in, be cool, and popular. I don't mean this in a derogatory sense at all, but my DD is probably a bit square, not into straightness, branded clothes, or certain boy bands. Do girls just find their own place in peer groups yr7? I just feel I've worked hard to install values in my daughter to not be too much of a sheep and there are FAR more important things than how we look. Could all this work be undone when she tries to fit in, as most do?

I've seen myself girls turn into almost something I don't recognise as soon as they get to yr 7, so much attention is taken up to appearance and being popular. I guess in an ideal world would want DD in the middle - not 'the popular' one but then again not the one always left on her own at lunch time. I appreciate they all have to find their feet, but to see 11/12 year olds all over social media (from all types of schools) posing like little models in skimpy, often designer dresses just worry is this what I've got to look forward to with my own daughter. I won't be letting her do Facebook, she knows and understands my reasons and so far accepts my decision. I then worry that I'm doing the wrong thing as isn't 'everyone' on Facebook. However much I try though, I hold my hands up, I've wandered off and treated her to one of these stupidly overpriced Hollister top's, but by doing so am I feeding into everyone wanting to fit in, especially as she isn't really into branded clothes (and we certainly can't afford them on a regular basis) Imo this Hollister craze is again about being perceived as cool/popular. One little (expensive) top can't hurt though can it? Or is it the start of something... I don't want her to feel she has to fit in, but then I don't want her to stick out either :roll:

Any book/website recommendations would be very welcome on maybe (teen) girl relationships.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:19 pm 
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countrymum, you are not alone! We too feel exactly as you do. We are hoping that by dd entering secondary school, she will be able to establish good friendships, without the need to feel that she needs to wear branded clothes and to find a good set of friends. She is quite sporty so we hope that she will keep herself busy and build friendships in the areas she finds interesting. A very good post - I'm sure there are many parents out there feeling the very same.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:31 pm 
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My DD1 is not a sheep. I sometimes feel guilty because she has suffered a lot year 7 and 8 because she has no interest in fashion makeup attracting boys or popular culture. She tried briefly to fit in by going on shopping trips, but soon was ostracised by most girls in the school. She now walks to school alone and deliberately does her own thing. I asked why this girl or that does come round or could I treat them to a film, but she said then that girl might get tarred with the same brush. She is still 12 (August baby). She has one loyal friend who has also been mistreated-they are both bright and this is part of the problem.

She has earned the respect of many kids in her form and most teachers (except the two who have twigged she'd smarter than she is letting on) but it has been tough.
She still doesn't have Facebook as under 13 and doesn't want it- she was bullied on it anyway by being discussed rudely and it got back to her.

She had two Hollister tops, one bought with Xmas money and one a gift from a kInd auntie. They are comfy nice colours and wear very well!

I think they need to find their own way in the end and there's not a lot parents can do-I would let them have some of these must-have items as long as they have to budget from their own savings.

It helped a lot being valued in orchestra- some interest with a different group of kids is important.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Warwickshire
So much sensible advice already given and I do understand your concerns. I have 3 DD's and have been through this whole "thing" with all of them although they have all found there own way to deal with it - whilst hopefully being supported by me. I think you are right to support with the occasional Hollister/Jack Wills item - ultimately it makes our DD's happy to feel they fit in a bit. The worst of it is definitley years 7 &8 with the girls starting to come out of this phase in Yr 9 and I think they have "found" there niche properly by Yr 10. I think we need to give our DD's the space and confidence to find their own way through the friendship muddles whilst giving quiet support on the sidelines.

I can understand your stance on FB and this worked for 2/3 of my DD's, it didn't for the other she just felt too out of the loop so we compromised and I had her password and was able to log on as her and keep an eye on things.

I don't know if you have seen the film Mean Girls - Lindsay Lohan set in a US High School. We have found it a very useful movie in discussing friendships/cliques etc . Having said that I am not sure of the rating and parts of it are perhaps a little risque. If you are comfortable to watch it with her it really is a good conversation starter/reference point for friendship discussions.

You have clearly been a fantastic parent -have confidence in your DD. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:20 am 
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This is sadly familiar and if you run through some of the threads in the pastoral care section you will see a recurring theme. As both teacher and parent, I have been truly shocked on a regular basis by the appearance of some very young girls, who cake themselves in make up and dress in provocative clothing - and then post photos of themselves on FB to boot. I think their mothers have a lot to answer for - and indeed I heard this from another point of view very recently when a retired doctor friend was telling me of his shock, on a regular basis, when he called a 12 or 13 year old patient in, only to be greeted by a much older looking girl 'looking like a t*rt, frankly' and he had to check the notes again for the date of birth! Like me, he said that if his own daughter had come down looking like that, she would have been sent back upstairs to wash it off! It is ironic that in an age when girls have more opportunities to be equal than ever before, so many bright, intelligent girls choose to spend so much time and effort on something as superficial as their appearance. Wouldn't you have hoped that 'women's lib' could have done better than this?

Anyway, I think I can offer a crumb of comfort, though it is only a crumb. I don't want to post too many details as DD is now older, but she suffered tremendously in the early years of secondary school because she refused to try and fit in with the 'populars'. She did not want designer clothes (I almost begged her to get some at one point - she said 'this is more about you than me, Mum' :oops: ) , refused to wear make-up (and still does - she is beautiful without it :D ) and would not get involved in social networking. I can't pretend this was an easy path - there were many tears. However, in around Year 10, she finally found some others who were unafraid to be more like her; and by sixth form she had/has a huge friendship group who do not behave in this manner. She has not in any way 'sold out' to influences she doesn't like and while I would say this is not at all an easy path, she has remained true to herself and is now strong and feisty - and the 'p' word ('popular') has appeared on school reports, which is something I have to admit I thought would never happen.

The only dark cloud here is that she is looking at universities now, and really afraid that 'everyone else' will be out drinking and clubbing, and she will never fit in. :(
It is never easy to be different - by my age I am usually OK with it (though not always); as a youngster it is harder, but surely the more worthwhile course in the long run.

I think it is fabulous that mothers of girls like yourselves are questioning this - please don't sell out, but allow and support your daughters to resist the pressures on them. They will look so much lovelier if their skin is allowed to show rather than being plastered in foundation; and they don't need to buy expensive clothes to feel good if they are solid inside.

Good luck and warm wishes to you and your girls.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:44 am 
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Thanks so much everyone! Feel very reassured that I am not alone in my thoughts. I think for me it's just finding a balance - I am new to this, my only DD and so don't have any experience of how these girl friendships pan out. She's going off to her secondary with none of her yr6 peer group and has a very mature attitude to going off on her own as it were, and would like to keep those old primary friendships, whilst making new ones at her grammar.

Mean Girls is a film I've heard of many times, don't think we've watched it and have an idea may be worth us watching it. What's upset me a bit (as upsets DD so obviously effects me) is there's been relationship issues at her school that has been happening since last year and is when a certain very small group of girls get together they seem to take great pleasure out of ignoring my DD and whispering etc when she's around. Yet on an individual basis when one of them is with my DD they get on superbly?? I just don't understand it all. DD just rolls eyes now and knows when the group are together to just turn a blind eye, is maybe because she's off to a different school, to everyone else she's already to them 'different'?

I've also got the Bees book, not the updated version, and some useful advice in there. As mentioned, quietly supporting from the sidelines is very useful advice and I shall do my best. Though like a lioness wanting to protect my young, this meaness i have witness for myself to DD makes me VERY protective of her and want her to feel valued, respected by her friends. Hopefully with mutual sporty/musicial/language interests she'll find a nice bunch of like minded friends. And socially I just hope we have smooth ride.

May be a myth but have read often the 'popular one' (with both other girls and teachers) can often turn out to be the mean one too, my thinking is though doesn't that actually make them unpopular? :roll:

Amber : Just off to read your post


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:01 am 
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Amber - I seem to have a little something in my eye :oops: How eloquently you have worded your comments and I wish to nurture that same confidence in my own daughter. It truly is what's on the inside that counts and that's what's important. I can of course imagine a somewhat bumpy journey at times going down the path your DD did, and I openly admit the Hollister top was more about ME wanting her to fit in rather than her nagging for one. Fashion isn't normally her thing but already mixing with some yr 7 girls she can see how other girls put so much emphasis on it.

I bet as a grown up adult your DD must feel very true to herself, I hope she can feel just as empowered during her university years.

Anyway we're going for a very 'unpopular' choice of backpack/rucksack as her yr 7 school bag - she's going to start a new trend and make them in vogue again :lol: Actually, there's some very nice ones out there and much better for her back.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
another concerned Mum here.
DD got a Hollister top last weekend because it was in the sale and her favourite colour - bright green :? She knows this will not be a regular thing but it wasn't actually any more expensive than Boden where I often have to shop to get things in her size that I think are age appropriate.
She has had a nice, if small, group of friends at her current school and none are going to the GS. They told me a while back that the year group divided into the sporty ones, the cool ones and the geeky ones and they were all geeks. I told her to celebrate the geek in her as geeks run the world. She thankfully has no desire to be in the fashion/boy conscious group - there are some coming in to school with makeup on which is just wrong in yr 6. She has very sensitive skin and knows that she will have to be very careful with anything she puts on her face in the future but for now there is absolutely no interest in doing this.
She does seem to be a bit worried about first impressions at the new school but that just means clean shoes, brushed hair and the right uniform to me. Probably not to her.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:35 am 
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It's so good to hear about girls who are confident enough to do their own thing. It can't be easy even when they're really not interested in whatever happens to be de rigueur because others won't leave them alone. I hope DD is as strong as your daughters. We're ok with at the moment with clothes and no make-up but I am noticing a penchant for nail polish. Any overpriced clothes tend to be gifts. If she becomes a little more difficult, I will show her some carefully selected posts so that she knows she isn't the only one with concerned parents.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:57 pm
Posts: 1167
Well, the youngest of four DD's is sixteen. I feel as though I could write a book...
Your daughter will change dramatically in the next few years and of course you want it to be a 'good happy change'.
How much she is affected by those around her is in part dependent on her own self worth, confidence and individual identity. It can be a tricky time.

Some tips, although some of this will be nonsense to you; we're individuals, as are all our DC.

Don't lose the ability to parent your teens. They don't have to like you, but they must respect you.
During early teens, continue to instill good morals and values although DD may disagree at times. Let her win occasionally :) But bear in mind that once you give in to something it's almost impossible to reel [it] back 'next time' so think wisely.

A spat at 14 may save grief at 16. The opposite can also be true.
Too loose (or tight) a 'lead' at 14 may cause untold misery at 16.
What to do or say, or what not do or say... is an never-ending question that will keep you awake.

Allow her to grow up.
She will develop her own beliefs, values, morals and ideals; try and respect them. I think the general idea is to have a happy, healthy, independent and confident young woman at the end of it all.

Empower her.

And stick this quote up somewhere;
“If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you. I so wish I could give my girls a more just world. But I know you’ll make it a better place."
"Little Women”

Good luck, It's a surreal and amazing time watching and helping them become adults. :D

Also like to add:
I'm sure we all know some wonderful, clever, beautiful people with pink hair, tattoos, nose / tongue studs, questionable dress sense etc. Gay, straight... whatever! The exterior is sometimes nothing more than an expression of identity. Don't worry too much if DD 'experiments'. It can be highly amusing at times (and drive you to tears). :lol:


Last edited by Belinda on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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