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Old 01-24-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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I know the materialism starts long before Junior High/Middle School but I think it gets worse once they hit 6th grade.

My DD was complaining to me that she doesn't have things "as nice" as the other girls in her school, etc etc etc...... I buy her clothes from Justice (using the 40% coupon and, of course, clearance); she has nice shoes, nice sneakers, nice boots. She has a lot more than I ever dreamed of having when I was her age. (at her age, I never ever got anything new. everything I had was either from the thrift shop or old hand-me-downs from mother's friends kids --- I don't think I ever wore something that was brand new until I was on my own and working)

She's complaining becuase she doesn't have Uggs or a Coach bag and then proceeds to tell me that the "popular" girl in her class has a bunch of clothes from Juicy Couture, 5 Coach bags, Ugg boots, etc.

I refuse to buy Uggs since they're so expensive and she'll probably out grow them in 6 months' time. I refuse to buy an 11 year old a Coach bag.
I refuse to shop in a store like "Juicy" that charges $68 for a t-shirt and a couple of hundred for a sweat suit or warm-up suit or whatever they want to call it.

I happened to be at the school last week for a meeting and it was dismissal time --- What did I see? Almost every girl had "real" Ugg boots and about 85% of them had real Coach bags. Ugh!

I've taught my daughter about the value of money and how you can spend "x" amount of money at Juicy for 1 or 2 items OR you can spend that same amount at Justice or another store and get 2 or 3 pair of jeans, a couple of skirts, a few tops and a lot more. I guess at 11 years old and seeing the "popular" ones with their expensive designer things, whatever I say isn't going to make much of a difference.

Anyone else have this problem with their pre-teen? What do you do or say?

Last edited by omigawd; 01-24-2010 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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Give her her entire clothing allowance (including for shoes, underwear etc) at the start of the school semester or year. Explain to her that that money must last the entire semester (or year). If anything gets ruined or lost or outgrown it must come from that allowance. She may very well decide to blow it all on one pair of shoes. When she outgrows her jeans and is stuck wearing whatever she has that still fit several days in a row, she might regret those shoes. Especially if she has outgrown them too.....My DS used to ask for these $100 skateboard shoes (he was 8 or so at the time). He received some money for some event and decided that's what he wanted. It killed me to allow him to spend his money that way but when the shoes weren't very good for running in and once his feet grew, that $100 was....gone forever....Another time he was looking longingly at other (non-minivan) cars in the carpool lane...wishing WE could have a (Corvette, Hummer etc etc)...my response to him was..."Well, we could do that but it would mean we would have to give up X, Y and Z" - including his sports participation etc. Life is all about choices. Part of growing up is learning and understanding what those choices are and what all has to be taken into consideration...

ETA - this will only work if you stick to your guns and don't feel sorry for her and buy replacement clothes. Also, it is really important to get her understanding of where you are with this. It just gets worse when girls are having huge 16th birthday parties, new cars and expensive prom dresses. If you cave now, you'll be paving the way to more whining and expecting to be placated.

Last edited by maciesmom; 01-24-2010 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: clarification and punctuation
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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We've taken a similar position with our soon-to-be middle schooler as Maciesmom has outlined.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
It just gets worse when girls are having huge 16th birthday parties, new cars and expensive prom dresses. If you cave now, you'll be paving the way to more whining and expecting to be placated.
I can only imagine these silly "Sweet 16" parties! I don't know if that's such a huge deal around here, though. I never really hear about them or see ads for them or anything.

I've already put my foot down about the expensive clothes and have told her that if she wants something from Juicy, that's all she's getting. Same thing at Christmas when she was bugging me for a Wii.... I told her if I got her the Wii ($200) and 2 games ($120), that was ALL she was getting for Christmas (other than my yearly Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane that I get her).

I really have to stick to this, you're 100% right. Even at the outlets, the Uggs are regular price and the Juicy stuff is only about 10% off. I couldn't even afford it if I was inclined to get it for her. LOL!
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:38 PM
 
11,642 posts, read 21,470,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
I know the materialism starts long before Junior High/Middle School but I think it gets worse once they hit 6th grade.

My DD was complaining to me that she doesn't have things "as nice" as the other girls in her school, etc etc etc...... I buy her clothes from Justice (using the 40% coupon and, of course, clearance); she has nice shoes, nice sneakers, nice boots. She has a lot more than I ever dreamed of having when I was her age. (at her age, I never ever got anything new. everything I had was either from the thrift shop or old hand-me-downs from mother's friends kids --- I don't think I ever wore something that was brand new until I was on my own and working)

She's complaining becuase she doesn't have Uggs or a Coach bag and then proceeds to tell me that the "popular" girl in her class has a bunch of clothes from Juicy Couture, 5 Coach bags, Ugg boots, etc.

I refuse to buy Uggs since they're so expensive and she'll probably out grow them in 6 months' time. I refuse to buy an 11 year old a Coach bag.
I refuse to shop in a store like "Juicy" that charges $68 for a t-shirt and a couple of hundred for a sweat suit or warm-up suit or whatever they want to call it.

I happened to be at the school last week for a meeting and it was dismissal time --- What did I see? Almost every girl had "real" Ugg boots and about 85% of them had real Coach bags. Ugh!

I've taught my daughter about the value of money and how you can spend "x" amount of money at Juicy for 1 or 2 items OR you can spend that same amount at Justice or another store and get 2 or 3 pair of jeans, a couple of skirts, a few tops and a lot more. I guess at 11 years old and seeing the "popular" ones with their expensive designer things, whatever I say isn't going to make much of a difference.

Anyone else have this problem with their pre-teen? What do you do or say?
We do not allow our kids to have every ridiculous thing out there, but we do allow them to have SOME of them as gifts. When it comes time for a birthday gift or hanukah gift we let them know what kind of "budget" they will have and they can choose a gift within the budget. If the thing they want is more than we are willing to spend we give them the cash and allow them to save for the item they want.

We have boys and they have wanted ipods and laptops. We have given them cash and let them save their money for the items they want. When my parents/in-laws ask what they want and it's something expensive they usually get cash and save for whatever they want.

The only thing we have said NO to, no matter how much they wanted it was expensive shoes. I agree that really expensive shoes for a kid whose foot is growing quickly are just a total waste of money. As far as a Coach bag, or a Juicy Couture outfit, I would allow it as a gift but continue to buy more reasonably priced goods.

FWIW-I still have a Coach bag my parents bought me when I was 16 (I'm 44). They last forever. I think the boots are a total waste of money. The Coach bag, while extravagant, is at least useful.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
I can only imagine these silly "Sweet 16" parties! I don't know if that's such a huge deal around here, though. I never really hear about them or see ads for them or anything.
My son went to one last night that was just out of control. The parents rented out a club in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night from 8-midnight. One of the mothers at wrestling told me that the party was $5,000 over the original budget.

My son said the party was fun. Lots of food, a dj, etc....However, he went to a more modest sweet 16 party that was held at a girl's house a while ago and he said that was fun also.

You don't really have to go nuts with a Sweet 16 party just because other people do it. From the look of the house I dropped my son off at, the people who had the house party could have afforded more, but chose not to go that route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
I've already put my foot down about the expensive clothes and have told her that if she wants something from Juicy, that's all she's getting. Same thing at Christmas when she was bugging me for a Wii.... I told her if I got her the Wii ($200) and 2 games ($120), that was ALL she was getting for Christmas (other than my yearly Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane that I get her).

I really have to stick to this, you're 100% right. Even at the outlets, the Uggs are regular price and the Juicy stuff is only about 10% off. I couldn't even afford it if I was inclined to get it for her. LOL!
I think this is perfectly reasonable......
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
FWIW-I still have a Coach bag my parents bought me when I was 16 (I'm 44). They last forever. I think the boots are a total waste of money. The Coach bag, while extravagant, is at least useful.

They are definitely quality. I have 2 Coach bags that I've had for years and they're both in great condition and I always get compliments on my "vintage" or "classic" Coach. LOL!

I was thinking of getting her a Coach bag for her 13th birthday, along with a 14K initial necklace (which was actually mine, but I've never worn it --- thankfully, we have the same initial. LOL!)

The Ugg boots? No way. If she had a younger sister that we could pass them to, that would be one thing. But I'm not spending upwards of $150 on a pair of boots that will last only until her foot grows (and at 11, they go through several growth spurts!)
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Somehow my two older girls agreed with my line of thought that designer items were a ridiculous choice for teens and never ever desired what the popular kids had. Instead they'd often say, but do you know what they COULD have bought with that much money?? haha

My third daughter is in middle school this year and could not care less what she wears as far as labels are concerned. At all. I've often bought her jeans at a local thrift store and the last time she actually frowned a bit at me because it came from the thrift store. I told her they came from Express originally and since many of the girls wore those nobody would have a clue they came from a thrift store. That did the trick.

Since she's not a girly girl at all, I doubt it will become an issue, however if it ever did, I'd offer a couple of options. First we could see what we could find at the thrift store. Second we could watch the clearance racks. Third we could lobby for hand me downs from older girls who had shopped there before. Fourth we could try EBAY. No matter what, though, I am NOT spending more than X dollars for an item. If we could meet the dollar limit in one of those ways, then she would have to settle for that. Otherwise, it's just not happening until she gets her own job and her own spending money. Period.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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I think the main idea - regardless of anyone's individual family circumstances - is to get them to understand that there will always be people who have "more" than you do. You need to learn to live within your means regardless of what those means are. Whining that so-and-so has "better" things is not productive. When they are older they can get a job and pay the extra for those things but it will also mean that the money they earn is not available to them for other "extras" that they want...Parents who provide all of life's "wants" without a second thought are setting their kids up for a rude awakening IMO. I've told my kids plenty of times that even if my name was Melinda Gates, they would not be getting X paid for by me (typically, this is the phrase I use when they've said so-and so at school recieved a brand new Acura/BMW/MiniCooper/Jeep Wrangler for their 16th Birthday - LOL). I just have a different perspective on a lot of things I guess.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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I've also told my daughter that there is a difference between looking wealthy and being wealthy, and that many times the former prevents the latter.
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