10-year-old daughter dressing like a wannabe teen star?

Our 10-year-old daughter, who is in fifth grade, wants to wear very grown up clothes as her friends do. How can we get her to tone down without constantly nagging?

My daughter is 18 and at college now. She is a fine young lady and making good choices as a result of rules and choices we made for her. We paid close attention to the children and parents she came in contact with. If they seemed to hold the same moral values as we then we would nurture that friendship. We learned how to firmly say NO, which took care of a lot of nagging. At ten our daughter chose color combinations (which were sometimes awful) and most styles were low cut tops and tiny shorts. We just said no. As her mother I did not wear that stuff either. If she argues about Brittany Spears, tell her that when she is famous and earning millions she can wear whatever she wants. Children need rules, limits and clear authority. It is in these ways they know they are loved. It is music to my ears when my daughter brings up ugly scenes from the past and thanks me for saying NO. - Dana in Texas

We all want to keep our daughters safe, but we also want to allow them to make some of their own decisions. The fact is that boys will react to sexy clothing on girls. Girls need to be reminded of that reaction, especially young ones who may not be aware of the impact the are making and to whom belly-baring shirts and miniskirts are desirable attire simply because they are fashionable. Talk to your daughter regularly so you know what's behind her fears and desires and be willing to see her differently as she grows and changes. Tell her to use you as her excuse to not wear these types of clothes. Try for a compromise. Let her wear a big blouse over a skimpy top with anything but hip huggers. - Lynette in Minnesota

From Jodie: Hey, guess what? YOU are the parent. Sorry to sound aggressive, but why do parents continue to allow their children to make decisions that are not negotiable? If your school allows their students to dress in a manner that draws attention to the students as opposed to academic education, then shame on them and go tell them so.

On another note, if you allow your daughter to dress like this now - what will she want to do when she is in middle school and high school? Set a good example yourself and talk with your school about changing the dress code (it can happen). For example, right here in St. Louis one of the prominent high schools just implemented a new dress code due to the outcry of the parents, teachers and guess what - the students themselves.

She needs to also realize that what celebrities wear on TV and off are a part of their "costume dress," and most of it is for Hollywood show as well as for the media. Besides, Brittany is now a young woman and can dress however she likes. For now, you concentrate on being the parent; she has enough friends.

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