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How do we as parents instill this in our children???

I need some suggestions on how to get my tom-boy 12 yo dd to want to wear something other than boy clothes, black (not goth) but dark colors and not girly for sure. We have had several dressup things, weddings, etc and she wants to wear black sports pants and a t-shirt. We keep telling her there is a time and place for everything. She just isn't getting it. Please don't tell me it's just a phase, it's been going on for years and she picks out other clothes when we shop but SHE WON'T WEAR THEM, just her 2 favorite pairs. It's a pain, and don't want to spend the money if that's only ones she's going to wear. Can't have her wear sloppy things, she should take pride in how she looks. How do we instill that in our girls/boys???

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Asked by cat4458 at 9:56 AM on Nov. 19, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 14 (1,668 Credits)
Answers (23)
  • If you have a special event, make her wear nice clothes. I was a tomboy growing up, but I was made to wear nice things to special events. Now, I am so girl-y it is not funny. She will not like to have to dress up, but she will get used to the idea. And, you never know, in a couple of years, she may want to be more girl-y, you know how teenagers are.

    Answer by A.Perry at 10:03 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Have you had her try on complete outfits in the store and pointed out how great they look and why?
    How about watching a few episodes of What Not To Wear with her?
    Maybe she's feeling uncomfortable in her own skin right now, and this is her way of coping with that feeling. Exploring her sense of self with her could help you to understand where she's coming from more completely, and your understanding could help facilitate communication on the subject.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 10:03 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • This is a hard one, but I'll just give my opinion. I believe girls and boys should be given a choice to some extent when they are that age, but the decision should ultimately be the parents, kind of like a give and take, but have a veto if something is too extreme. I mean, we should teach our girls how to be lady-like, or even if they are tom boy types, they should be a little feminine. This is the only example I have....the other day I took my 3.5 yr old son to the park and there were other kids there his age. Son ran over to other child and wanted to know what "her" name was and if she wanted to play with him. The father said, "Oh this is Jonathan, he's a boy, he just likes pink." The little boy had shoulder length hair, pink and yellow outfit with pink shoes. This father is setting his son up for disaster, bullying, and possibly a tendency towards homosexuality. Tell her her appearance is important and make it priority,

    Answer by meg4763 at 10:03 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • You don't give her a choice. She's a child. Get her a nice pair of dress pants and a nice button up blouse to wear. No other choice to be given.

    How do you dress during the day? Do you dress neatly OR do you dress in yoga pants/sweats and tee shirts?

    Children copy what they see at home.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 10:03 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Personally, I would insist that she wear "appropriate" clothing only to important events, such as a wedding or funeral. Other than that--as long as she's being modest--let it slide. It's her style and it's not worth fighting over. Her tastes may change and evolve as she gets older anyway, but nagging her about her appearance is likely to cause her to resent you. Pick your battles.

    Answer by vicesix at 10:05 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • It is almost impossible.

    My daughter is now going on 15 last year she started to take pride into what she wears and knows there are no exceptions when we go out, she will dress how I feel it appropriate and stylish...

    My 11 year old always has to look her best from her hair to her feet. It depends on the child, I miss my daughter being tom-boyish, you can tell she is more into the boys now.... GRRRRRRRRRRR

    It is usually a phase and hopefully she will grow out of it, but look out that is when the boys notice them the most... Good luck~!!!! Make a deal with her, when you guys go out you have to agree with what she wears, you want them to express them selves, but not get carried away....

    Answer by KFree907 at 10:05 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I was the same way at that age. Chances are when she starts trying to get a boy to like her, sje'll snap out of it. As for her dressing up or not, it really shouldn't be a choice. She wears something appropriate or se doesn't go. That's what my parents did. Worked like a charm. ;)

    Answer by Scarlet_Delilah at 10:10 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • She IS a person. It IS her clothing. Not yours. Why not let your daughter be the person she was meant to be and stop controlling this aspect of her life. She needs freedom and choice, just like YOU have freedom and choice. Do YOU wear clothes that you don't like? I think not. She observes you making choices and having your way daily, and yet she does not have the same choices. Relax and unfold her, STOP trying to mold her.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 10:12 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • You don't. Let her wear what she is comfortable wearing.

    Answer by ballewal at 10:20 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I think it is important to compromise - and equally important to allow her to develop who she is. If she is not comfortable in a dress, don't make her wear one. Why MAKE her be uncomfortable? Instead, compromise with a nice pair of black slacks and a nice shirt you can both agree on.

    Answer by gypsyjewels at 10:20 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

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