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My daughter's peers are laughing at her traditions and clothes, what should I do?

My family is from India and I send both of my daughters to public schools in New Jersey. My older daughter, Pooja, goes to school in her traditional indian wear (ex. - Saris, maang tikas, lehengra cholis...) without a problem. In fact, there are several other girls in her class who were indian and pakistani and dressed like she did. My other daughter, Supriya, who is 6 used to always go to school proudly in her indian clothes and accesories and long black braids when her peers started making fun of her clothes, hair, and accesories. After that, she was always begging me to buy american clothing for her so she would look like the other children and she would come home crying. Her teacher wasn't much help and to send her out of the school would be too much - I tried to comfort her but I refused to buy her american clothes just for that silly reason. What should I do? How can I convince Supriya that she shouldn't care what others think of her clothes and that she should wear them proudly?

Answer Question
 
mdixitfan3

Asked by mdixitfan3 at 3:39 PM on Jul. 3, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (13 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • The reason for fitting in might be silly to you, but it obviously isn't to her. If you keep pushing tradition, she may grow up to resent it and rebel completely. Is there a way for you to compromise with her?
    Y.B.normal

    Answer by Y.B.normal at 3:42 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • How about set up a time where you and your daughter can do a presentation about your culture to the class. Maybe bring a special food and some extra clothes where the kids can dress up and try the clothes on that your daughter wears.
    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 3:43 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • At that age it would be hard for her to understand and kids are cruel. Is there any way that you could talk to her teacher and maybe bring in pictures and activities about your culture for your daughter to share. The kids might open up and be a little more accepting if they could see and do things with her about it. Good luck!!!!!!

    SweetOrangeMama

    Answer by SweetOrangeMama at 3:44 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • i can understand the need to keep your traditions alive but they might be affecting how she perceives herself and how she fits in at this school. and you may be creating a bigger problem for her in the long run. As hard as it is to hear the need to feel accepted is really important to girls at her age. it's a critical time right now for her. Try and put yourself in her shoes.
    amberpaiz

    Answer by amberpaiz at 3:44 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • kids r sooo mean!!!!!!! devil mini

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:50 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • kids pick on each other for any reason they can find.Not just for being from another country.I would use this to teach them self esteem.If you walk proud in your tradtional clothing(even if people stare).they willl learn from you.You should askyour daughters what they want.
    evelynwest

    Answer by evelynwest at 3:51 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • If she truly wants american clothes then I would let her. However \i would mix them among the outfits she already has. She doesnt have to dress "american" every day. I also agree with the presentation suggestion.
    kit_manson

    Answer by kit_manson at 3:58 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • How about a compromise. You get her some american clothes for school and she can dress traditionally at home. She is telling you what she wants it might help if you find a way to work with her and still keep your traditions alive.
    mommy2boys03

    Answer by mommy2boys03 at 3:58 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I'm very sorry your daughter is going through that. That must be real hard and miserable. I say let her not be traditional now. When she gets older she can chose.
    loudnproud87

    Answer by loudnproud87 at 4:00 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • WOW.. being Laughed at & Picked on is Not Silly- it is affecting  your daughter; it is kinda hard to wear something Proudly when she spends the day being Bullied by it- i respect your culture very much & love your clothing but, i think it would kinda of Silly Not to go buy your daughter a few American Outfits for school- sometimes, we need to break a few rules for our kids..

    daisyb

    Answer by daisyb at 4:02 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

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