Raising a Material Girl

ask mr dad - fashion - material girl - unsplash-safouan besrourDear Mr. Dad: My 12-year old daughter has become obsessed with designer labels. Basic Levis and generic shoes aren’t good enough anymore. And if I so much as mention the word “Walmart,” she won’t even speak to me. What is going on with her? I find her materialism revolting. Is there anything I can do to stop it?

It’s pretty obvious that you were never an adolescent girl. Same here, but I’ve been through the whole price-tag-obsession thing with my two oldest daughters. So far, my youngest has largely avoided getting sucked into the materialism wars, but that could change any minute.

Although she’s technically not a teenager, your daughter has clearly been affected by peer pressure. And it’s perfectly normal for kids her age (especially girls) to focus at least as much (maybe more) on price tags as on the items those tags are attached to. I remember an exchange with one of my then-teenage daughters who had run out of shampoo and wanted to borrow mine. When I offered her my Costco brand bottle, she sneered and asked whether I had anything “more expensive.” Not better, just more expensive.
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What IS It with Girls and Clothes?

Dear Mr. Dad: Ever since my daughter turned 13, all she does is pressure my wife and me to buy her extravagant, overpriced clothing. We’re going through a bit of a rough financial patch and there’s no way we can afford what she’s asking for. Any advice?

A: Clearly you were never a teenage girl. Okay, neither was I, but I did survive my two oldest daughters’ bouts with teen wardrobe insanity and still have most of my hair. My youngest, who worships her older sisters and apparently was taking good notes during their adolescent years, is threatening to become a teenager herself in a few years and has already developed some very firm ideas about clothes.
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