Monday, March 28, 2011

Pushing our kids to grow up too fast.

I consider myself a pretty conservative mom. I was raised this way and I think it was good for us to not be exposed to too many things. This meant that when "I Touch Myself" came on the radio, my mom quickly turned the station. Looking back it was a good move on her part. That song came out in 1991 when I was 11. At the time I am sure I wanted to listen to it, but now as a mother I know that I was not old enough to be rocking out to that song. I did see Color Me Badd in concert the next year, but that's another story.

Brooke is exposed to many things that other kids her age are. Nick Jr., Disney Princesses, My Little Pony, etc. I don't let Brooke listen to too much radio other than country music or kid songs. Laurie Berkner is a favorite around our house. She only watches shows on Nick Jr. and isn't allowed to watch shows for older kids. Even if those shows are on a kid channel, I just don't push it. I figure if kids in the 3rd grade are watching it, my 4 year old probably shouldn't. This is how I choose to parent, but I don't think I am too off from other moms of 4 year olds.

Brooke is in tap and ballet this year. She loves it. She did ballet last year and had a ball! Her outfit (which cost me a small fortune) was straight out of TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras, but she LOVED it.

This year I guess I was expecting much of the same. I figured a cute little tutu type outfit for her tap routine. I knew their song was "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. Wouldn't have been my first choice but I guess it could be worse. I thought at four they would have done something cute vs. a song about going to a club but we can deal.

Last week we were all excited when the teacher announced at the end of class that we could come in and get the kids dressed in their costumes to see if they fit! I was handed a bag with a red and blue outfit in it. I thought it fit the "USA" theme they were going for. Then I opened it to find this:

I was immediately turned off. Some of the moms were quiet. Others loved it and were taking pics with their phone. I was somewhat distracted by Madeline crawling around the room and screaming at herself in the mirror. I got Brooke dressed, saw it fit, and got her out of it. The teachers wanted the jeans under the skirt, but none of the jeans fit so it was decided to just do the skirt.

Am I wrong here? My daughter is turning FOUR at the end of this week. Not fourteen. Do I want her dancing in this suggestive school girl outfit with a fake tattoo on the front? I am not savvy to the dance costume world, but I would think this outfit is for older girls. Maybe 9? Even then I would say its pushing it. Don't even get me started on the fake denim vest...

What is the need for this? My daughter is still young. Barely out of toddler hood and moving her way into her school years. She loves Princesses and thinks they are real and wants to grow up and live in a castle. She has no idea who Miley Cyrus is. Her idea of dressing scandalously is wearing hot pink tights instead of light pink tights under her leotard (which by the way she thinks is so great). That is her idea of fun and pretty.

I just don't see the rush or need to make little girls seem older than they are. I will have plenty of years of wardrobe battles and fighting over curfew. I don't need to have it any sooner.


  1. I agree that kids are growing up much too quickly. I have no idea how I'll handle it when Mollie gets older...for some reason it seems to be more aimed at girls than boys. As for that outfit, I am not a fan for many reasons, but mainly that fake tattoo ;)

  2. I would be furious! That is not an appropriate outfit or song for a 4 year old class. Not to mention the fact that it is a ballet class and that is a jazz or hip hop costume. You should totally complain. Ellie is dancing to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse this year... and here I am thinking that's too young for a 4 year old class! I agree with you... you're sending her to ballet to see her in a cute little pink tutu and doing plies.

  3. Katie, I totally agree that society is pushing kids to grow up too fast. I guess you've heard about the current trend in swimwear from Ambercrombie? They were offering a bikini with a padded top for the 7 year old set. Since there was a public outcry, they're now saying it's for 12 and older. Is that supposed to be better? Do we want to sexualize our 12 year old daughters as well? I'm so glad my kids are I just have to worry about the grandkids!

  4. Oops...misspelled "Abercrombie" I knew I should have previewed first!

  5. Totally 100000000% agree with you. I think in girl world it is much much worse in some ways. I would be appalled at that outfit. What's wrong with letting 3-4 yr olds be that age? Love your perspective.

  6. Great post Katie. I'm with you. This outfit is inappropriate.

  7. AMEN sister! You look at those pics from last year and the new outfit and you can't even tell it's the same kid. I totally agree with all you said. I don't want this so sound bad but that is why I am glad I have boys because you're right, society is doing WAY too much to push growing up and sexuality on girls WAY too soon. Hang in there and stick to your guns and you will end up with a great little lady down the road because she has great parents.



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