How important is it to provide "girl" things not "boy" for a 8/9 girl?
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  1. #1
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Question How important is it to provide "girl" things not "boy" for a 8/9 girl?

    I'm not sure how to handle this:

    My 8 almost 9 year old (third grade) daughter was crying this morning because she had heard through the grape vine that a girl in her class had asked someone why She (my daughter) had a boy backpack? It is one she picked out from backpacks here at home, it was a free sling back backpack gray and black in color. She wanted it and we put a zipper pull with a girl on it with her name (to identify it). Today I told her when she was crying that if she liked her backpack not to worry what others thought.

    She has always worn her brother's hand me down Lands End coats (they were blue but one she has now is green) we buy her girl hats, scarfs. But recently a family friend (who has only girls) felt bad for her, handed down a pink coat. It isn't a overly warm coat and they pointed out she would have to wear her brother's coat when it was very cold out. I guess the girls in class liked her girl coat and had said to her they had wondered why she had worn boy coats.

    So how important is it that a 8 almost 9 year old girl have girl approved girl things?
    how should I handle this?

  2. #2
    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    Wow, I guess this depends on the girl. My oldest woudl be perfectly fine with it - she oftenn chooses things that could be considered unisex. My youngest however, lives for pink and purple.

    I would suggest accessorizing. Sounds like you are already doing that to some extent, but maybe go a little more over the top. Look for one of those foufou fluffy scarfs in a color to match the coat. Throw a bunch of buttons (the little pins with sayings on them) onto her backpack to personalize it. Other options would be iron on patches, sparkling insignias that you sew on, etc, that you can sometimes get on clearance at the craft store.

    If she is being teased and feeling insecure about it, I guess that means it is a problem for her.

    Good luck!

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    When kids are little I think they don't so much care what they wear. But after a few years in school they do reach a point of awareness about what other kids are wearing. If the "girl" thing is bothering her then I'd try my best to go with it. You don't have to break the bank though. Shop thrift stores for girly things. Shop clearance racks or have friends or family give you hand me downs. When my kids were small I would hit Kmart right after Christmas for marked down winter coats. I would buy a size bigger than that year and put it up for the next winter.

    I think if it's important to her and making her miserable then it's something I would be concerned about! HUGS!

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    Registered User Inkstain82's Avatar
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    The girl who made fun probably would have found something else to make fun of. That's how kids are.

    It's important to try to teach your kid how to deal with that sort of teasing without capitulating for feeling bad about her own choices (such as liking the backpack.) Easier said than done, though

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    Moderator monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Kids will make fun of anyone who is different. If the other girls wear pink, they'll laugh at the girl in blue. Some places it's cool for girls to dress like boys and they'd make fun of the girl in pink. It's not about having 'girl things' it's about having the same things as everyone else.

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    I grew up with hand me downs from my brothers. Then again preppy was commonplace before it became in, so the more the better.

    I have to agree. Some kids will make fun of anything different or if they are jealous. It all depends I think on how you react and the child. If she tends to like more girly things accessories definately help. There are some really neat flowers at craft stores that you can make pins out of. Great addition to a backpack.

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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Kids can be cruel! I grew up with four brothers and I was quite the tomboy. I preferred to wear my brothers' hand me downs. I had to wear dresses to school and church, but as soon as I got home, I was in jeans, flannel shirts, t-shirts, desert boots, etc. AND I didn't care what anybody thought!

    I hated pink! My mother would buy me pink dresses, shoes, etc. I didn't wear ANY shade of pink for years.
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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    I always got picked on when I was a kid because I didn't wear girly things. They were always unisex in nature unless it was jeans and shirts. Even then, they were colors other than pink and purple and any other girly color.

    Kids are more aware of social acceptance by the time they get halfway through elementary school. I think it depends on the area you grow up in too. Here, kids don't care much about what you wear.

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    Registered User Dancing Lotus's Avatar
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    You could always trade in a few boys coats to get a girl one at a kids resale shop.IF she really wants one.

    Decorate the backpack with buttons or iron on transfers.

    IF it really matters to her, then you can find ways without breaking the bank.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above, but especially with making her feel good about the choices she makes. If she is wearing pink only to fit in, and it isn't really what she wants, then she needs a little self-esteem boost. Maybe talk to her about what she wants and how to respond to questions about why she wears boy things? It doesn't really sound like they are picking on her or teasing her, just that maybe they don't understand her choices. Part of growing up is asking questions, and 8 yo's aren't necessarily the most tactful of interrogators. I like the idea of accessorizing her items, if she wants to do that. And if she really wants a few "girl" things (or even just a few things that her brother didn't break in first - as a second child, I can really relate to that!), then find a way to get her some.

    I see children's items posted in our FreeCycle all the time, including apparel.
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    Registered User ri*smom's Avatar
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    I think she should wear whatever she is comfortable/happy wearing . . . if she wants pink, I think accessorizing it works lovely, too. I personally didn't like pink/girly girl stuff when I was younger. My 2.5dd loves it. Like previous posters stated, those girls would find something to gossip/nitpick about regardless. She will have to learn to let that catty stuff roll off her back . . . otherwise they will continue I'm afraid. A simple "So what?" is a good answer for the question that the other girl posed. Hugs for your dd.

  12. #12
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    She was picked on early in the year for wearing dresses. The girls basically told her she could not wear dresses anymore. She stopped for a while until the urge to wear dresses over took her and she started wearing dresses again on occasion.

    Now it just seems to be the "Boy" coat and the "Boy" backpack they seem to be talking about.

  13. #13
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Hubby suggests we talk with her some more when she gets back from school.

    Find out why the coat and backpacks are not "girl" backpacks.
    If color is then reason the show her on the landsend website that boy and girl coats come in a variety of colors many the same.

    Letting her know that people can wear what they like. If she likes it then that is good enough and should be good enough for others.

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    Registered User ri*smom's Avatar
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    Then most certainly, it's cattiness. Double hugs for that. Hard not to get upset . . . just make sure she doesn't let THEM see it. And she needs to quit fighting the urge to wear what she wants. Rage against the catty machine, I say! Probably just jealousy anyway. It's usually that or its cousin--"misery loves company". Just my experience from teaching middle school

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    Registered User ri*smom's Avatar
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    Good idea about talking w/ her again. You and dh can help fortify her against their attacks. Obviously, it doesn't matter what she wears; they'll find something.

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