By GalTime Parenting Pro Jennifer Powell-Lunder, Psy.D.
In reality, you gave up trying to buy her clothes on your own years ago. Who could forget the trauma it caused you when she cried for hours because she had to wear a dress to a family event?
And that was when she was only three! At that point, it became clear your daughter favored t-shirts and jeans. And not just any t-shirt--- the sight of neon pink or green made her gag.
Forget unicorns and rainbows. While the other girls wore glitter studded tops and skirts, your lovely lady preferred black tees with plaid button down short sleeve over shirts. You resigned yourself that the girly-girl you dreamed of dressing would much prefer a basketball than a baton or pom-pom.
That, of course, was yesterday. Fast forward to today. As you set out on the yearly back to school clothes shopping pilgrimage you are shocked by what she wants to try on. Isn't that skirt too short ,that top too tight, and those wedges a bit too high?
Oh, how you suddenly long for yesterday! 'Where were you' you wonder, 'When your tomboy turned into a fashionista?' You make a quick note to yourself that those basketball shorts you just bought last week will have to be saved for your son to wear in a couple of years, or maybe your same-aged nephew would like them.
Why the sudden change in style? It is perplexing to even try to understand how and when her style changed. Welcome to parenting a tween! Tweenhood is defined by rapid changes in physical, emotional, and even intellectual development.
Tweenhood marks the beginning of the long journey your child will make toward figuring who she is, who she wants to become, and how she will get there. What she wears on the outside often represents who she is striving to become on the inside.
Related: 5 Concerning Tween Trends
Tweenhood is like a series of light bulbs. Many brighten in sequence marking maturity while others flicker and dim as childhood is left behind. This 'in between' time can be confusing for both you and your tween.
As she searches for her identity, she may try on many personas until she finds that perfect fit. What does this mean in terms of her wardrobe? Well, you should probably focus on the list of things she WON'T wear instead of what she WILL. Also, don't forget that growth during this period can be so rapid that the pair of pants you purchased for her a few weeks ago may already be too short.
So she was a tomboy last week, a fashionista this week, and next week? Well, you will just have to wait and see. Oh, and you may just want to find out the return policy of the stores at which you just bought her those clothes. Just in case. I'm just sayin'....
How do you handle your tween's or teen's fashion choices?
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