Anonymous, in PA
Anonymous, shaving your daughter’s legs at this age might be a completely reasonable choice.
I have two questions for you:
Does your daughter WANT her legs clean-shaven?
- She is old enough to have an opinion about this! If she does, fine.
- If she doesn’t, then respect her wishes. You can gently express your concern to her that she will be made fun of, but try not to put too much of your own past experiences on this for her. If she is not interested in what the other kids say, then be proud of her! That is a strong girl you are raising.
- Teach the valuable lesson here: Self-respect is what is important about personal grooming – doing what your body needs to be healthy and comfortable, not what others need in order to “accept” you. The truth is, as you know, if there are mean girls they will find something to be mean about.
What reason do you give your daughter for doing this?
Chances are, most of her 4th grade friends are not yet shaving their legs.
- Put this in the context of cleanliness and comfort.
- Avoid talking about beauty when you’re addressing personal care of any kind. We don’t want our daughters to focus on “making” themselves beautiful, we want them to focus on:
- Believing in their own inner beauty.
- Taking good care of their bodies as a sign of self-respect.
- Avoiding “friends” that judge them based on outer beauty.
Whether or not it’s appropriate to shave your daughter’s legs is a decision for the two of you. And the conversations you have about it together are an opportunity for you to pass along the life lessons of self-respect and resilience!
At what age did your daughter start removing body hair? Or does she not?