The idea of the inflexible parent warring with their teenage or tweenage daughter over her wardrobe is more than cliche at this point, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a grain of truth in it. As your daughter begins to grown into her tween years, she’ll begin to develop her own unique identity and sense of style – and this may not always mesh with your own comfort zone when it comes to clothing or with your budget. To avoid arguments and help support your tween’s exploration of herself while still having a say in her wardrobe and your pocketbook, read on to find out our top tips for dealing with your tween daughter’s wardrobe.
1: Keep on Top of Wardrobe Needs
Your tween daughter will likely hit several growth spurts as she makes her way into her teenage years, not to mention other shifts in the way her body feels and looks. This means that staying on top of her wardrobe needs is an absolute must.
Make a habit of checking with your daughter once a month or so about any potential clothing needs. She’ll be able to tell you if her clothing is starting to feel too small before it’s visibly apparent, and she’ll also be able to inform you of other items, such as shoes and bras, that may need to be replaced due to growth or changes in her activity but that won’t be as easy for you to spot. Keeping yourself in the loop and making her wardrobe a regular conversation between you also means that other clothing conversations will be easier – after all, you already have a good base of communication and she knows that you and her have some common ground.
2: Gently Encourage Smart Choices
Think about the most common areas where you and your daughter are going to differ on her wardrobe. This will vary from person to person and relationship to relationship, but arguments can be defused before they even begin by gently guiding your daughter towards smart choices rather than constantly reacting with a “no.”
For example, some tweens will want to go full-throttle on more mature, revealing clothing options. You can defuse this argument by pointing towards less revealing styles that will still be stylish and look good, such as a full-length jumpsuit. Others will want name-brand clothing that is more expensive than you’d prefer – especially since your tween will likely outgrow them before long. Point her toward less expensive options with similar cuts and styles. A little gentle encouragement can mean far fewer arguments down the line.
3: Be Willing to Compromise
But what if your daughter is dead set on a style or item that you want to reject outright? While deciding what you’ll allow your daughter to wear is part of being a parent, it’s important that you don’t close your mind to the idea of compromise. Tweens are at the beginning of defining their own identity and sense of style, and coming down hard on their choices can sometimes mean that they’ll go all in on rebelling against your hard boundaries – a real concern once they get a summer job and their own money a few years down the line. Take a deep breath, step back, and have a conversation with your tween to see whether you can find a compromise.
Maybe you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a name-brand wardrobe, but one pair of more expensive shoes or a nice purse can let your daughter feel stylish while not breaking the bank. Maybe you’re dead set against spaghetti straps or crop tops, but you and your daughter can find similar styles that she likes and you can live with. Compromise and conversation will strengthen your relationship with your daughter and ensure that not every shopping trip ends up in an argument.