Monday, February 27, 2012

Preteen Girls

An age group within girlhood that gets just no respect is the preteen girl age.  Strangely, they are often portrayed as sullen Bratz dolls or sultry Lolitas.  Inconveniences, at best; but not especially wonderful because of other alleged attributes. 

As I recall that period, it was a "learning how to be a teen girl" period.  And often not doing too well at it.  We discovered Bath and Body Works and the cosmetics counter.  And overused both.  Sometimes, possibly even to a ludicrious degree.  And we would do things that might attract boys' attention -- unfortunately being too loud, too outrageous, and sometimes even too provocative to boot.  Subtlety was not learned yet.

But how can you gain the attention of someone who wishes to become a Pokemon Master?  Misty, May, and Dawn tried with Ash Ketchum.  Let's face it: on my best days I was only about 15% as hot as Misty.

One issue that my friends had to deal with was the "pierce" question.  Specifically, could I get my earlobes pierced?  At what age?  How many holes?  My Mom dealt with that issue before with my two older sisters -- one hole per ear, but only when you reach twelve years old.  Strangely enough, this contented me when I wanted to get holed at nine; when twelve came around, I had less enthusiasm.  I think Mom handled it well, transferring it from a moral or a social issue to a age-appropriate one.

Likewise, with make-up.  Mom taught my how to apply it, which kinds to use, when to use it (not for going to Mass!) and so forth.  And when to bother.  You know, for obvious situations: no need to put on make-up before track practice, unlike some gussied-up hurdlers!

In general, give preteens some space.  Don't be so darned impatient for them to grow up.  As a matter of fact, it's good to accept the circumstances of all age categories in the human life cycle.  There's something entirely ludicrous about a beauty pageant for eighth graders at a middle school.  Training bras are okay; but don't make any anxiety-raising remarks about this sensitive area and don't make promises about eventual growth that may or may not transpire.  And, finally, learn something about how preteens see things:  When a girl that age says she has a boyfriend, that may simply mean that there's a boy that she occasionally interacts with, induces to dance with her a few times at a mixer, and possibly dreams of going on a boy-girl date.  Don't turn it into a we-need-to-meet-this-boy occasion!


Bilbo said...

I raised one daughter (who now has two daughters of her own), and have an 11 year-old granddaughter from my son. I think I know something about raising (and dealing with) pre-teen girls without killing either the daughter or myself. Your advice is good. Children grow up too fast nowadays, anyhow...there's no point in rushing things.

Mike said...

With 4 older siblings I'll bet you were pushing yourself to grow up faster. :)

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Why Misty? What about May?

I agree: beauty pageants for junior high is warped. I agree with Mike.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for the comments, Bilbo, Mike, and Elvis.

Anonymous said...

How old do you think girls should be before they go out with boys?

Anemone said...

I didn't get to go out until I was 18. :(