As parents, we face some tough decisions – some tougher than others. In a world where body image can make someone so fragile, being sure our daughters are confident and self-assured is number one on a list for moms and dads. With social media, advertisements and pop culture so accessible, it can be challenging to know where to draw the line with letting our little girls grow up too fast. From hairstyles to clothing, creating an image of beauty is a lot of pressure for young girls, so at what age should you let your daughter wear makeup? Experimenting at home is one thing, but actually wearing makeup out and to school is something totally different. As a parent, where do you draw the line and how do you ensure that she knows just how beautiful she is without a drop of makeup?
It’s different in every household, but many little girls start (and love to) experiment with makeup when they are very young – perhaps even three or four years old. And, while letting your little girl play around with the glitter and eye shadow can be so much fun, protecting her from the pressures of society is essential for many parents. Get ready, because the real tough part starts when the pre-teen years hit (11-13) and she begins to see celebrities and other public figures as role models. If you decide that letting your pre-teen wear makeup works for you – don’t forget to remind her every day just how naturally beautiful she is. Take time with your pre-teen to show her exactly how to apply makeup so that it shows off her best features – like eyes or cheekbones. At this age she still has beautiful, porcelain skin and it might be best to avoid foundations and other heavy makeup. Set limitations by allowing her just a few fun things like eye shadow, blush and a lip gloss.
Once your little girl is a full blown teen, it’s definitely going to get more challenging with setting limitations on makeup (or anything for that matter). The teen years are notorious for being a time to challenge authority, especially parents – and you will probably start to feel like your little girl is growing up way too fast. Social media and general media will begin to play a real role in her life, helping her to establish a style all her own. So, don’t be surprised if she also starts to experiment with new makeup trends. While you’re probably past the point of keeping her out of your makeup, you can help her understand how to apply it in an age-appropriate and flattering way. And, bonding over makeup might be one of the best solutions for keeping an open line of communication with your daughter. Set limits, of course. Perhaps only certain amounts of types of makeup are OK for the school day, but you let her get a bit more adventurous and experimental with different colors and applications on the weekends. Remember, despite wanting to keep her close, you’re still the parent – you make the rules.
Knowing when and how to let your kids grow up is probably one of the hardest things for a mom or dad, and with young girls, making sure they maintain that innocent sense of self-confidence is essential for growing up strong and assured. Don’t let makeup come between you and your daughter, work together to find a balance of what makes her feel good and keeps you happy.
When did you (or when will you) start letting your daughter wear makeup? Does she stick to the limitations you have set?