10 Year Olds Shaving Legs???!!!

Updated on August 21, 2017
R.B. asks from Knoxville, TN
19 answers

Help! We got a phone call from our daughters mother asking if our 10 year old can shave! Where not for her growing up so fast but her moms argument is all the other kids are doing it. We stay firm we think it's to young we end the conversation with her agreeing waiting will be okay them four days later our daughter comes home and makes the comment wow looks like the hair on my legs is disappearing! I'm thinking what come to find out nair might have been used but she's protecting someone cause that's all the info we got and her mother acted as if she didn't know but thought it was cute and hilarious... my husband thinks it's a lost battle everytime we try to go to court she has family members that work at the court house and are lawyers take care of everything for her we actually never had a case looked at because she finds out before hand and now she's taking us to court it's dirty but mainly sad I just worry about our kiddo

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So What Happened?

I want to start off saying I’m sorry if I offended any moms on here. I call her my daughter because her mom thought step mom sounds evil which I agreed I know I’m a step mom but Her mom chooses to have me involved in her daughters life because it’s easier for her since she has a restricted schedule. I’m the one who makes dr apts gets her when she’s sick from school etc but I always tell met mom I try to always put myself in her shoes I know it’s her daughter...I was just on here expressing my feelings thanks for the advice But in the end my step daughter doesn’t want to shave she got upset when she woke up and her mom and moms friends where nairing her legs and arms, she said it hurt and just wants to wait.

More Answers


answers from Seattle on

In my opinion, there isn't anything to "battle" over. Why are you being so trivial? You aren't worried about the 10 year old, you're worried about having control. You need to back off and let her parents do what works for them, she isn't your daughter. You honestly sound very immature, and I can see why your 10 year old is playing sides, (previous post from you) as it sounds like all 3 of the adults in her life are moving targets, and she can't count on ANYONE for any consistency, stability, or security, because you guys are arguing over hygiene issues. My GOD, for the sake of the girl, please figure it out.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Ok...so she's not "our kiddo" she's your husband and your daughter's mother's kiddo. Sounds like she lives with her mom full time (based on your "4 days later" comment") and her mom doesn't have an issue with it.
I wouldn't either.
So you get to take a step back, cuz she's not yours and she has a mom who seems to be very involved in her life. You let your husband and your STEP-daughter's mom figure it out.
My own opinion on this matter....why oh WHY do parents do this to their children? My daughter has HAIRY legs. She's 6. When she asks about shaving because she doesn't want to get made fun of or because she believes her legs are too hairy...then I will teach her how to shave. Because REALLY? Why even make this a battle? Save your indignation for something that really matters. Grades. Boys. Behavior. Shaving legs is nothing.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Good grief... why are you arguing about something so trivial?

If hair on her legs at 10 bothers her and she wants to shave, she should be able to shave. Do you really want her to be teased about it, lose self confidence about it???

You can't stop her from growing up and if you act like this you'll certainly push her away.

I also think this is between her and her mom. Her mom should not feel as though she has to run things like this through you. That's too odd... it's not your business.

The courts will ignore you if you continually try to take someone to court for frivolous reasons.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

As long as her mother is alive and in the picture, you don't get a vote about a trivial hygiene matter like leg shaving. And your husband should say the same thing, leave that up to her bio mom. I have no idea why the mother called you to ask.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

R., what is really happening here is that you are punishing your step-daughter because you are angry with the family for having an "in" with the court system. Your post is REALLY about how they fight dirty.

If you want this child to not always have to be in the middle of you and your husband's fight with her mother, stop being so difficult! SO WHAT if this child shaves her legs? Kids can be cruel. They make fun of so many things. Hairy legs is one of the things they make fun of. If it's truly about "the other kids doing it", she will get tired of the work of shaving or applying Nair. If she is being made fun of or feeling really unhappy with her leg hairs, you could have been the hero by giving her permission. Instead, you have forced her into being a co-conspirator with her mom.

I don't even know why the mother bothered to talk about it with you. Keep saying no about everything, and you'll find that she NEVER talks to you about anything. And neither will the daughter. And if the reason she comes to you about stuff is to get your goat, then you are just adding to a dynamic that is all about you adults and not helpful to this child. If this is the case, stop the cycle. You don't have to talk to the mother. You can let your husband handle his ex. And you had better tell him that he is teaching his daughter to hide things from him by saying no to everything.

If you two can't see this, you are blind. You don't get to manage the mother or the daughter in every single thing. Stop trying to do it.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I started shaving at 10 yo and so did my girls. It's really up to your stepdaughter when she wants to start shaving.

The day I started, my dad walked me to the neighborhood drug store and bought me new razors and candy. It's still a happy, sweet memory of mine.

(FYI...both my girls got their period at 11yo. I hope your step daughter is prepared for this).

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Stop calling her your daughter. She isn't. She's your stepdaughter and she has a mother already.

Shaving legs? Let this one go. As she gets older, your stepdaughter is going to want all sorts of nonsense: colored hair, maybe more piercings in her ears, ..... her dad needs to draw the line at what is a health and safety issue and what's no big deal.

Her mom is her mom. Maybe she really wanted to be the one who taught her daughter how to shave her legs and wants to share that experience with her? Maybe she doesn't see a huge big deal about it but understands her daughter wants to keep up with her friends. Or maybe she had nothing to do with it directly. You are fighting over stupid stuff and there's no 'winning' because the kid is the one who ultimately loses when the adults are getting triggered by each other.

You really need to learn how to pick your battles, R.. You have no proof she did it 'at mom's'....she might have done it with a friend. I know when my own mom wigged out because I wanted a short bob (at the ripe age of 15)-- I went to school and had a friend do it. A year before that, I'd wanted a second piercing in an ear and did it myself at school. You can decide to make everything a hill to die on (and choose to do battle on this stuff over and over) or your husband can sit down with his daughter (without you) and just discuss this from a health and safety standpoint. Stay out of it. I had a stepfather who was a total control freak and the six years we lived with him were hell. Work on controlling yourself and your own emotions first, instead of trying to control others.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds perfectly normal for a 10 year old to shave their legs. One of my daughters did at that age. What in the world is your problem with it anyway? This should be a conversation between mother and daughter not an extended family drama. I did not even bring it up with my girls father and he was living right in the house. Do not comment on something so trivial and none of your business.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This is her mother's decision, frankly. I have no idea why the mother would call the father and ask about this. But you certainly have no decision making power, no vote on this! You should NOT be offering one single opinion, as the stepmother, on this. Force yourself to butt out entirely. This is a parenting decision. You should not be on the phone at all, nor should you say anything to the mother.

My guess is, the mother is asking you to get your opinion so she can annoy you by going against you. Stop playing that game, please. This is not a major decision and I think your husband should say, "You know, for issues of personal hygiene with our daughter, I think you, her bio mother, should decide. I'll abide by your decision when our child is visiting with me." Your job as stepmother is to possibly share some info/ideas with your husband PRIVATELY and not within earshot of the child and certainly not on the phone with the mother.

This child should see her father talking only to her mother, and vice versa. She should see you as a friend and advisor, not as a parent.

Leg shaving is a minor issue. Let it go.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I was bullied when I was 10 for not shaving my legs. My mom thought I was crazy and kept telling me that I was wrong and that the other girls weren't shaving their legs. When I told her they bullied me, she got out her razor and showed me what to do. (She's a great mom. She just didn't realize how this was affecting me.)

I'm not saying your step daughter is being bullied. I'm just saying, 10 isn't that young for girls to want to shave their legs.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I don't get how the whole going to court thing has anything to do with shaving her legs - I must be missing something here.

Kids here at age 10 start dealing with body hair. Puberty tends to occur younger now - ten is not that young if it is bothering a child. It's hair. It will grow back.

Not trying to sound judgemental here, but not sure why mom called to ask for clearance on this in the first place. I don't know too many girls who consult their dads before shaving their legs.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

It seems like things such as shaving (legs or armpits), using deodorant, wearing lip gloss, and other simple personal decisions should be between a mom and daughter. Why would your step-daughter's biological mother call and ask permission for such a thing?

Now, I understand that other more serious decisions (such as the HPV vaccine, or school choices, wearing lots of makeup, or summer camps, or class trips) should be discussed between the biological mother and father.

But leg shaving? Being a battle, a court issue? This is between your step-daughter's mother and your step-daughter.

Your husband can chime in, but most dads don't give moms permission for basic hygiene issues.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Her mother has a right to let her daughter shave her legs. She is her daughter too. This is such a none issue. Girls that age do shave their legs quite often. It's really not a big deal. I wanted to shave my legs because my socks would bend the hair follicles backwards and it would hurt when I took my socks off.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

If the hair bothers her let her shave it. I never even asked, I just started using my mothers razor when I was probably around that age, and once she noticed she got me my own safety razors. Sounds like you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

It really doesn't seem like this is about shaving, it seems there is a lot of animosity between you and the birth mother, if someone kept trying to keep me from mothering my own child I would probably take them to court as well. If you can all learn how to let go and coparent more effectively it will be better for the child in the long run.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am going to respond to both your questions because they have the same answer.
First you need to stop feuling the drama. Personal hygiene matters and personal growth milestones are between the child and biological parents. Your role should be to be supportive of their decision.

Second, your husband needs to play a more active role in communicating with his daughter's mother. He should be discussing this with the mother and addressing the behavior problems with his daughter.

Third, you need to step back and understand the very difficult time this child is having between two different households. You need to empathetic, but firm with your boundaries. Instead you act like a weapon for her to use against her parents. Step back and remove yourself from the dynamic. Your role just adds to the confusion and prevents the bio parents from stepping up. Part of your frustration is that you have the most responsibility for this girl with the least amount of power in the relationship.

Fourth, it is only going to get worse as she gets older. You and your husband need help defining your roles and expections of his daughter and co-parenting. I worry for the longevity of your marriage if you do not seek help from a professional that works with blended families. I strongly suggest you find one in your area and attend even if bio doesn't agree. Your marriage and step daughter would strongly benefit.

Additional...if the hair on her legs is bothering her, then yes it is time for her to shave it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

You really have 2 questions here. First (and foremost) is how to work with the mom. Your husband need to do this. He needs to work with the mom, not work against her. She is not the enemy, she is the mom.

The second question is about your SD shaving her legs, but I don't think that's the real point. I think the problem is that you feel the mom has undermined your authority. That has to hurt. Try to remember that this is something your husband needs to work out with the mom. You are there to support your husband and be there for your SD. But your husband and the mom need to work this out.

And try to relax. Shaving legs at 10 years is really not that big a deal. No need to worry about kiddo.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Combining this with your prior post, it sounds like your SD does this because she gets the reaction she's looking for. Stop reacting. In the whole scheme of life, this is really a non-issue. I think everyone is looking for reasons to bi*ch and complain to and about each other. Stop now. I know it's hard to let things go, but the sooner you learn to do that, the sooner your SD will stop playing you against each other.

I don't know what she's taking you to court over, and I don't possibly see how she can "find out" beforehand that you are meeting with an attorney unless you or SD are telling her. So, stop telling her; stop telling your SD and get it done. If the mother has family who work in the family law department, or have a particular relationship with a particular family law judge or commissioner, get the case transferred to another department. I doubt that a judge or lawyer would risk their reputation or racking up a complaint with the judicial council over your case. If you think they are biased because of relationships, then make a complaint with the judiciary committee or state bar.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter has been shaving her legs since she was 9. She started shaving her underarms when she was 8. My daughter is very hairy and the hair on her legs and underarms is dark and it's embarrassing for her. If she has embarrassing hair I don't see the problem. If she wants to shave because others are doing it then I don't think that's a good reason to shave. Our kiddos want to grow up too fast but sometimes shaving is needed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Shaving underarms might be alright but it's a little young for legs.
But - some girls have thick dark hair at an early age - and that means starting things a bit sooner than later.
I'd get her a safety razor rather than having a kid play around with the chemical hair removers.
I can't read well without any paragraphs but taking you to court over leg shaving?
Maybe your husband could request a different court where family members are not employed?

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