Is My Daughter Being Materialistic or Is This Normal for Tweens?

Updated on August 27, 2012
M.R. asks from Mount Holly, NJ
56 answers

My latest shopping experience with my eleven year old DD was... Not what I expected. So, we had planned a day for just us two to go shopping. As usual, I drove her to the mall and took her to our usually starting place, JC Penney. She said, "Mom, I don't really want to shop here..." So I shrugged my shoulders, said, "Alright, let's check out The Children's Place." I glanced at my daughter for a split second just to see her face look mortified. My DD said, "I don't want to go there either." I then replied, "Well why not!"
DD: Because I will get laughed at at school!
ME: Nonsense! What about Old Navy?
DD: That's social suicide, Mom
ME: Well, then where do you want to go, Paige?
DD: Um... Let's try abercrombie! Then we can go To Forever 21, which is close by. Then we'll go upstairs and go to Aeropostale, Delias, and PacSun!
ME: Aren't those a bit mature for you?
DD: NO MOM. COME ON.

She said that in quite an angry way. We had no problem shopping at JCP, TPC, and Old Navy before. Stepping into these "tween" stores were quite a new experience for me. There was dim lighting and ear-pounding music everywhere! All in all, for my daughter's back to school shopping, we purchased one pair of jeans, a cardigan, and a hoodie from abercrombie kids, a dress from Aeropostale, two tops and a barette from Forever 21, one pair of jeans, a cardigan, and a t-shirt from Hollister, and a camisole, a dress from Abercrombie and Fitch, a backpack from PacSun (roxy brand), earrings from Claire's, and two shirts and jeans from Delias. However, I was shocked at the total everything came up to. Is it normal for my daugter to want expensive clothes from these stores? Is she materialistic or are you moms of tween girls also experiencing this?

Update: For all of you that are questioning me as to why I bought so much, it's because my daughter is getting quite tall and has grown out of all her old clothes. And I do have the money to buy her this. The total for all her clothes was just so different from our previous shopping trips. My husband and I have above average-high paying jobs. Plus Paige is my only daughter.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

So... I took y'alls at advice and let her shop where she likes. However, we've decided to get staples (jeans, layering tees, camis, etc) at an outlet mall about 50 minutes away. We surprinsingly we're able to snatch up another pair of abercrombie jeans for $15. I almost fell to the floor when I was able to get my daughter a top from American Eagle at only 9.99! Gotta love outlets! But we'll stick to the mall for all the pretty stuff like cardigans, tops, shoes, and occasionally jeans.

Featured Answers

S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

By indulging her you are telling her it is ok to be materialistic. This could have been a teachable moment. When I was that age my parents would have given me $50 to buy some new clothes for back to school, and I would have had to learn to budget and make it stretch. If she likes expensive trendy clothes, give her some for birthday and Christmas as a treat, but don't let her believe she is entitled to it.

8 moms found this helpful

J.H.

answers from San Antonio on

Look and see if there's a Plato's Closet near you. You'll spend less and she'll have the name-brand clothes that she thinks she needs to fit in. (And kids at this age can be cruel, and they usually target clothes, hair and looks first.)

Good luck mama!

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

Sounds pretty typical for a tween/teen to me.
They want what everyone else is wearing, at least in the beginning.
Then they get into a rebellion phase around 16 or 17 and want to be "different just like everyone else".
LOL

No big deal, it is what it is :)

ETA: Please don't give money to Abercrombie though, terrible company.

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D..

answers from Charlotte on

I have to admit that the moment my tween demanded on going into Abercrombie and Fitch would have been the moment we'd gone back into the car.

You are a nicer mom than me.

I know girls can be more materialistic than boys, but I think that the same idea applies to both sets of kids - you have a budget, and you don't go over the budget. My kids have been used to getting their school clothes from Kohl's. (Boys usually aren't as picky.) They also got hand-me-downs from their cousin whose mom shopped at these horrendously expensive stores like A&F. They've seen the price tags in A&F, and the price tags in Kohl's. They know what sales prices are compared to non-sales prices and they know how to take a piece of clothing over to the scanner to check the price. My older son would get jazzed over how much we were saving according to the scanner.

They are told how much I will spend and I go over with them what they need. It's a little different for my older son now, because he gets a stipend every month from me which is supposed to cover any clothes he gets while in college. When he came home for Christmas, he asked me if he could have some underwear. He picked out all the sales stuff (found a different kind on sale and turns out that's his favorite kind now) and I told him that for his freshman year, I would spring for his underwear, but that was it.

Would my son pay for A&F now? No.

I would highly recommend that you tell your daughter that if she wants to buy from these stores again, that she has to earn the money. I would tell her that you have a budget and won't spend over that amount. If she wants clothes from these places, she should let the aunts and uncles and grandparents know, and they can give her gift certificates for her birthdays and Christmases. I did this for nieces and my nephew. It worked out very well.

Dawn

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B.G.

answers from Springfield on

She doesn't want the clothes because they are expensive, she wants them because it's what the other girls are wearing.

I, personally, never really cared that much. But I also went to private school, so I got to wear a uniform. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, but now I am so grateful.

You could try asking her if there are other, less expensive, stores that are also "in." I'm not at all surprised she didn't want to go to The Children's Place. She would certainly not want to be considered a child. I'm completely our of the loop, because I thought Old Navy was a popular place for her age group.

It's going to be a balancing act, right? You don't want her to be superficial, but you also don't want her to be teased for having the wrong clothes. Keep communicating with her, and try to find a balance.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes, I'm afraid it's "normal" for most girls this age :(
I get it, but I always told my girls there is no way in HELL I am paying full price at these stores (especially Abercrombie and Pac Sun) it was always straight to the sale/clearance rack!
I have also introduced them to the wonders of TJ Maxx and quality consignment.
I'm not a meanie, and I loved fashion as a teen but a girl needs to learn how to budget and shop, you know? The most frustrating thing is when they "have" to have something and they only wear it a few times, grrr!!! Not throwing my money away on THAT.
Your daughter will be pissed if you listen to me, and take my advice, but hey, if your tween/teen daughter isn't pissed at you most of the time then you must be doing something wrong, lol!

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D.P.

answers from Sacramento on

Yes, it is normal for her to want to shop at all those stores, and yes I do think she is being materialistic, but so are most kids that age. Whether you have the money or not is your business, you really dont have to explain yourself to anyone, but you do need to ask yourself, is this something you really want to get started with her? My mom and I took my kids school shopping to stores we wouldnt normally shop at and spent a bit more than we would normally spend. They started at a new school this year, their first time in a public school. The transition was hard enough for them, we wanted to make sure they were comfortable so we got them a few items that they wanted. We made it clear that we were buying these things this time, but we WILL NOT always be shopping like this. I personally do not want my children growing up thinking they can always get what they want, I can find the same brands at Marshall's (actually got my son an American Eagle shirt there and my daughter a pair of jeans the same brand Tilley's carries), and Ross. They also wear clothes from Old Navy, Penny's, Macy's ($2.50 top!) and Target. I am teaching them that they need to dress their style their way not what everyone thinks they should dress and if their friends don't accept them for themselves and feel the need to judge for what they wear they DO NOT need those people as friends.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Well it's nice you can afford her tastes but don't buy too much into the 'it's social suicide' to buy from one store vs any other.
My response would have been "Then you need a new circle of friends" because people who 'like' you based on where you shop or how much you spend are not 'friends'.
My sister bitterly resents that we grew up wearing Kmart clothes (that's all my Mom could afford) when she wanted $75 jeans (that was a LOT for jeans in the 70's) and Bastad clogs.
It's a beginning to one up man ship and keeping up with the Joneses.
Sure, it goes on - through most stages of life - but this is something to recognize and hopefully grow out of.
Shopping 'mature' does not make you mature.

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V.P.

answers from Columbus on

My daughter loves thrift stores and resale shops because I give her a budget that she manages (she's 10). First of all, I hate the mall, so we don't go to those places, and she's blissfully still uncaring about "social suicide." But she also knows if she goes to a trendy shop, she'll only be getting 2 or 3 things and she'll look just like the other kids. If she goes to a resale shop, she can get a big variety of stuff from many stores (most with the original tags still on!) and will have her own look. I'm hoping she never outgrows that attitude or approach to life. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and be your own person!

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Completely normal for tweens to be materialistic and image-conscious. You just have to decide how much you and your budget will tolerate.

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

i think it's normal for HER to worry about it, as a kid. but as the parent, if money isn't the issue, perhaps consider that giving an 11 year old this kind of control and bending to her insecurities about peer pressure might not be the best message. especially if the way she "asked" was more like DEMANDING. that's usually a sign for me that whatever is being asked for would be an automatic "no". but that's just me. i also don't choose to spend my money at those stores when similar things can be bought at much lower prices.

plus, old navy has cute clothes :)

but if money isn't an issue and she's your one and only daughter, then it sounds to me like you're kinda defending doing it and don't see any reason not to...sooo i'm not sure of the issue for you. are you just asking if your child is spoiled or not? if so, yeah i kinda think she is. that doesn't mean she's a bad kid or you're a bad mom. it just is what it is. we all are, living in this country, to some degree.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

My girls would have done teh same thing if I tried to buy from Childrens Place. They have not worn their sizes in years so haven't been able to but those clothes would never have been worn. I will say I don;'t think it is necessarily the price. My girls do like JcP, in the junior section. They don't want to look like little girls. My girls love Charlotte Rosse, Forever 21. They are at the age that they see what everyone else has and want to "measure up". I do get my girls to compromise though. A few things from those stores, we watch for garage sales and have gotten a lot of things that look new, plus they have to earn some money themselves.

Oh, Jennifer, you have it right. Kids are downright mean today. They tease and put down like no body's business--and that is exactly what it is, NOBODY's Business. When I was my kids' age, I was teased because I was quiet, the tallest girl, and smart. But is was all good natured teasing.

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T.B.

answers from New York on

Don't feel like you have to explain why you bought so much; the topic was "materialistic" and that's what answers should focus on :)) My daughter recently went on her first shopping trip to the mall with her friends (she wasn't allowed to go until she was a teenager, so bingo....the weekend after her 13th bd.) I was SHOCKED to see that a few of her friends had $ 100-150 in cash on them.......13 yr olds!! I had given my daughter gift cards with set value and she knew she had to work within that range for each store I got her a gift card for. The reason for gift cards were in case of theft or loss---they can be stopped since I had the card numbers. I made sure that the next day I took her to Kohl's (happened to have a big sale) and a few days later to JCP. Of course, she didn't like as much there, but did find stuff and realized the money saved. The difference in our case was that girls in her class had begun bullying her and her group of friends and one of the "reasons" were that they didn't dress "sexy with stylish clothes from the mall." Yup!!! they said, "sexy". Anyway, she was told that after every report card (she's a 100% average student) she can go on a shopping "spree" and spend $75-$100. She even told me that she'll look in the Sunday newspaper advertisements and online for sales and choose items that are versatile lol. Thank goodness report cards come every 3 months :).

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

It's normal but that doesn't mean you have to indulge her. Set a budget and stick to it. My SD (14) was flipping through catalogs from Delias and tagging things she liked at other stores. I told her that our budget was tight right now and we were spending no more than $100 right now and maybe another $50-$100 later in the fall. I know that's cheap but she doesn't even need new clothes because she has a ton already and doesn't grow anymore and one of my boys grew 7 inches last year and needs all new everything. So I said that for $100 she can have one expensive outfit or she can suck it up and go to Kohl's and get more. She hasn't decided yet.

There's a surprising amount of popular designer clothes at thrift stores. I would shop there when she's not around and wouldn't even tell her where you got the clothes from.

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J.O.

answers from Boise on

I'd have turned around and walked out the door. I also would not have bought that much, if that was what she wanted then set a reasonable spending limit and hand her the cash. I guarantee after realizing the value of that dollar her ways would change.

My kids never acted like that, and if they had they would not have gotten new clothes. the occasional steak to ground beef is fine. Everyone deserves a little treat. But everything? No.

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

My 11yr old loves those stores. Luckily, she also loves TJ Maxx and Plato's Closet. It's not about the brand for her - it's more about the style and what she personally loves.

I have to say, being a bit of a shopaholic myself, that I'm pretty happy my 11yr old likes the retail atmosphere. I REALLY find myself enjoying spending time with her and we've done a LOT of bonding in dressing rooms. It's not even about spending money - it's about spending time together. It's one of the things I looked forward to, having daughters, and I'm happy that it's turning out just as I'd hoped. Going to the mall with her a few times a year is a total pleasure!

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

This is normal as kids all influence one another. Since you are the income source - you control the purse strings and should decide how much is too much regardless of how much you make and can afford. Allowing her choices is fine, as she will have her preferences, but consider some boundaries.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

That seems normal, it's around age 10-11 that I noticed the girls shying away from Justice and The Children's Place and wanting Abercrombie, Aeropostale, PacSun, etc. They wear the tee shirts with the brand on the front, etc.

My daughter doesn't even get to shop at Justice except when there is a 40% off sale and even then she doesn't get very many things. Too expensive! We shop at the thrift stores and secondhand stores that carry those name brands.

She's lucky if she gets brand name things for birthday or Christmas!

I always say "wanting" and "getting" are two different things! She definitely understands that we can't afford to outfit her in brand names. We also homeschool, so the pressure to get those things is lessened. She does see what other kids wear at her social events though.

Your daughter needs a budget. Then she can choose which of the expensive clothes she really needs. I also agree, take her to Plato's Closet. Then she can get more brand-name stuff for a fraction of the price so long as she doesn't mind used.

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V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Well, for one thing, at 11 (that's 6th grade for my daughter, who is also 11), you really can't shop for her anymore at The Children's Place. I stopped shopping there years ago for my daughter. Years. Old Navy, hmm, I can pick up a Tshirt here or there, or a summer sun dress, but REAL clothes? Not for my daughter. It works better for my son (he's 14) when he needs shorts. Honestly, their stuff isn't the best quality anyway. But for shorts for my son, it works.

My daughter can SOMETIMES find something at Justice. But not usually, simply because their stuff is all glittery/glamour/girly, and my daughter is not like that at all. She is very "plain Jane" and has no interest in make-up even, yet. She doesn't like polish on her nails or anything pink/purple either. Work out clothes are her friends, that and jeans and Tshirts/polo style shirts.

Our JCPenny has nothing my kids like, but we have a very small one where we are. It's a small town, so it has zero selection.

If your daughter is tall for her age, then the stores you mentioned (while they do have a lot more "mature" styles) probably have sizes that fit her better than the others you have frequented before. I also take my daughter to Belk's/Macy's and buy online from LLBean or Land's End.
In my opinion, although I am probably not the most fashion forward person to begin with, there isn't a lot out there for conservative girls ages 9 - 12/13. I've struggled with this for my daughter for a while already, just because I don't like the selection of what is in many stores and neither does my daughter.

I don't think your daughter is suddenly "materialistic". I think she is more aware of what is considered "fashionable" by her peers at school, and she wants to try out that style. Maybe she will not like it. Maybe she will. My own daughter seems to have her own sense of style and doesn't seem to really care what anybody else is wearing...they are all wearing cami's and cute skirts, and leggings, etc... my daughter wants none of that.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Normal. My 13 year old loves all those stores your DD wanted to go to. Her favorite pastime currently is shopping at the mall with her BFF, even if they can't really afford more than a lotion or pair of earrings most days. She is all about fashion, but she doesn't get to spend unlimited amounts of money. I try to respect her desire to find her own style and fit in with her peers, so I go with her to look at the clothes and try to keep an open mind. She has to earn some or all of the money for clothes that are priced beyond "needs" and are definitely "wants" She still likes Old Navy. And she also likes Target and Kohls. Her favorite is PINK (even though I don't allow words on the butt ugh!) I'm so glad she goes to a uniform school. Even my 10 year old is way beyond Childrens Place. And she is starting to find less and less at Justice, except the basics. Both girls still like Justice basics like their tank tops. Peace signs are out. 2nd graders were them, so the 5th grade girls do not want them she told me.

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T.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

I think its normal but you don't have to give in. My cousin experienced the same with her 12 year old. She only wanted designer clothes. She let her get a couple then they were back Penney's My cousin told her daughter that if she wanted designer clothes than she had to do more around the house and she had to have very good grades. Good luck!!

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i think it's normal for kids to want to have what's cool in school. i'm giggling at the 'social suicide' comment. on the other hand, i would have a problem with a kid getting pissy with me over it. but there's a wide grey area between kids expressing themselves honestly and kids being buttheads, and each parent draws her own line in the sand with that.
the materialism is real, and probably less about being spoiled or princess-y and more about the very real social anxiety that public schools produce in kids at this age. and as with most things, simplicity and honesty are the best way to handle it. tell her before you go shopping 'i know you like the upscale stores these days, and we can go there. but you must know that X is what our budget can handle. if you want aeropostale jeans, that's going to eat up a lot of what you can spend. so let's just look and keep a running total during the morning, then after lunch we'll go back and buy what you've decided on.'
and don't budge on it. you can express a little brisk sympathy if she howls that she's going to be stigmatized for wearing one pair jeans all semester, but don't let it turn into a fight, and don't spend more than you know you should. this is an excellent early lesson in practicality vs popularity.
she knows in her head that her friends won't desert her if she doesn't have the 'right' hoodie, but it's still hard to internalize that at her age.
so i wouldn't think badly of her over it. but i wouldn't cater to it either.
khairete
S.

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D.B.

answers from Fargo on

Yes she's materialistic - My 15 year old is the same way, she's Asperger so tends to get obsessed with things and clothes is one of them. So you are much nicer than I am, first I dont step foot in those stores . . . I can't stand the smells, the noise, the employees look like they are 12, the mirrors are weird - I feel like I'm in a fun house - maybe I'm older than you, but I'm too old to go to them - haha.

She would let us buy her name brand clothes all day long, and she begs for them. So this year we did something different as I dread back to school shopping with her for this very reason. She wants a $60 sweatshirt and a $55 sweatshirt . . . I was like are you kidding!! So, we gave her the cash you know what, she didn't buy either one!! She found a similar one at Plato's closet and even when to JCP!! She even did some second hand shopping to maximize the cash and you know what, no one knows what she got was brand new (of the second hand stuff) and she's so pleased with her finds!! It's unbelievable - I can't believe it worked!

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Yes, that is materialistic, but semi-typical. When I was that age, I had to pay for half of my school clothes out of an allowance I worked for by doing (tons) of chores... not just b/c of the money, but b/c it made me humble and appreciate what I had and gave me perspective. I wasn't ever greedy or demanding like that as a pre-teen or teen. I took care of my clothes and when I outgrew them, I donated them to charity.

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R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

It probably is normal for tweens, they really get into peer pressure at that age and want to fit in. As long as you are comfortable with your purchases for your daughter no one can tell you you shouldn't have bought them.

My granddaughter will be 11 in a little over a month and is starting middle school on Monday. She is thrifty like her gramma and did all her shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Target, she figured she could get more if she paid less for things, smart cookie. She likes Justice if's it's on clearance, we haven't gotten into any other stores yet really, she could live in Target she likes it so much. She is absolutely pleased with all the cute things she's gotten for school, and being that her birthday is in early October she can ask for things she discovers she needs or wants in the next month. She has always been her own person and doesn't let anyone tell her what to wear, her favorite color is green, the brighter the better, and she incorporates it into just about every outfit she wears throughout the year. Also a normal tween.

As long as your daughter wears the things you bought her and doesn't say in a couple of weeks she hates everything I think all is good. If you see that she's getting out of hand ask yourself what you're willing to do and go with that. Your daughter, your money.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I dread this.
I think it's pretty normal though!
Thankfully my son, 10, doesn't seem to really care what he is wearing as long as he is comfortable. I don' t know how much longer it will last though!
I read through what you bought and where you bought it and I can only imagine how very expensive it was. ouch!
I have about 10 more years before my daughter is a tween. Better start saving.
L.
(but, can I just say....there are a LOT of children in the world who do not wear those brands of clothing because they are just SO expensive and they are doing just fine socially)

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C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

yes, normal, and I don't have a tween yet but we are getting there. I remember being about 10 or 11 when it really became important to get the "it" clothes. I never could get it right and was teased like crazy. I don't have any solutions, just to say she sounds normal.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't think she wants them because they are expensive; I think she wants them because it is what everyone else is wearing and where everyone else is shopping.

She's not materialistic - she's a tween girl who wants to fit in and have the same stuff the other kids have. Totally normal.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

How did you miss American Eagle? Oh, and Vans and Journeys? It's not just tween girls who do this; boys do it too. Totally normal, and yes, it is also materialistic. It''s part of peer pressure and the desire to fit in.

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D.K.

answers from Sioux City on

My kids aren't like that. My girls go for a look and if they can duplicate it at a cheaper store they will. We shop only on sale and my girls would never push me to purchase something that was expensive. They ask what the budget is for the item we are looking for and then we find what they like.

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H.G.

answers from New York on

My DD will be 13 in a few weeks and she's going into 8th grade. She is big-busted (as in DD bras - ugh) and she's an adult's size 8-10. She has her own sense of style and she's happy she doesn't fit into a lot of the "popular" clothes. She tells me she thinks it's stupid that all the girls wear the same few pieces from Abercrombie, etc.

I can understand why your daughter wouldn't want clothes from Children's Place. Those closed are a little baby-ish for her age. My daughter has been known to turn her nose up at some things I want her to try on but she's learning that seeing something on a hanger and then on yourself is different. We buy what we can afford and we don't buy into ALL the styles EVERYONE is wearing. I encourage my daughter to be an individual. She gets lots of compliments on her clothes because, quite frankly, very few girls fits into the clothes she buys. We make sure she wears a tank under anything with a low neckline (which is everything).

I'm not sure what I would do if my daughter was like the majority of girls who all want certain clothes to "fit in". I guess I'm thankful that my daughter doesn't care what others think. Buy what you feel comfortable with. If you can afford it, I'd say there's no harm in some clothes from the stores you mentioned (I draw the line at going in the blasting music/nightclub stores). I might be more concerned with a child having no sense of - we can't have everything we want all the time just because we want it.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 4 and I don't buy her clothes at the Children's Place or Old Navy. They are cheaply made and can't withstand constant washes. I prefer to buy less and wash more (I wash every day, and if she likes something, she will wear it 5 times a week).

I am very, very frugal, btw, but there is a big difference between quality clothes on the cheap, and cheap clothes that are overpriced (my experience with the Children's place).

Sounds like your daughter is growing up. At 11 I told my mom what kind of jeans I could wear. The social pressure gets really bad at that age, and if you live in an area with lots of upper-middle class kids, where you get your clothes becomes a very big deal.

At least you are in NJ and don't have to pay tax on your clothes ;-) My mom use to buy me all of my back to school clothes when we'd visit my grandmother in Jersey every summer.

When my children are your daughter's age, they will get a clothing budget to spend as they wish.

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S.R.

answers from El Paso on

This is (unfortunately) very normal. Another child has said something at some point to make your daughter feel like if she doesn't have the coolest clothes, no one is going to like her. This is the point where you need to step in and try to talk to her about what she's worried about.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

While kids have always wanted particular name brands, I think you as a parent can and should veto inappropriate clothing of any brand or clothes that are out of your budget. You can also teach her to shop at thrift or consignment stores to get some of the things she wants for less. When given free reign, my SD will spend her last dollar, but if it's HER dollar, she's in the bargain bins at Old Navy vs looking at more expensive brands. It may be helpful to you in the future to say "Our budget today is x and we need these items. You can either buy one shirt from x store and get no accessories or you can get a shirt from y store and have money to spare." That way she has to think about her purchases and if she begs for one more thing you can say the budget is the budget. Stop whining or you leave the mall.

So I think it's normal, but you can also pull the reins in and by giving her a budget upfront, then you teach her how to use money more wisely.

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L.M.

answers from Dover on

Your daughter is being a typcial tween/teen (both boys and girls these days) as those brands are very much the fashion these days. I personally don't see where you bought all that much but what you spent would be a lot because of where you shopped. Even if money is not the issue, I think you should have a budget in mind and stick to at least the ballpark of it.

Also, I have found that you can get some very good deals at these stores if you time them right and who ever wants to pay more than necessary. I would have had a conversation about her attitude in sort of demanding where you go.

While I don't think you should "give in" to peer pressure, I also think you shouldn't send your child to school wearing things that will get them teased if you can avoid it. I personally would have gotten her a few key pieces from what was in fashion and some staples from JC Penneys or Old Navy....tweens don't like The Children's Place.

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Totally normal.

Forever 21 is really cheap, it's actually a great store. But it's okay for her to want certain brands, just not good for her if you to give in to her every desire, especially if the items are overpriced, just because of being a popular brand.

Go to those stores, just buy the items only if you think they are worth it.

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T.M.

answers from Columbus on

Yes, it's normal and materialistic. When my daughter was that age I did not buy her clothes from those stores. I don't want her self esteem based on wearing name brand clothes or other such superficialities. At that age I tended to stick with the department stores because I thought that much of the clothing at tween stores like Justice and Limited, too were inappropriate for kids that age.

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L.B.

answers from Biloxi on

Not only do girls go through this, but so do boys.

JC Penny had always been my go to store for school clothing. Low prices and slender sized jeans for my long legged, skinny boy. A couple years ago, he told me he didn't want to shop at JC Penny, or Old Navy. He wanted Aropostle, American Eagle, and whatever the other "cool" stores were at the time.

I explained our budget, and he said he would be happier getting fewer things that he really wanted then a bunch of stuff "no one would wear". LOL

Glad to say, that at 16 now, he has calmed down about where to shop, but is very particular about what he will wear. We roamed the entire boys and men's departments at Kohls recently and came away with only 2 shirts.

I learned to shop the sale racks, and specials at the "cooler" stores in order to keep in my budget. Also, I scour the Thrift Store for the brands he likes - find really nice things, for under $5. He sometimes gets less items, but he likes them more and takes better care of them. So it all works out.

I don't see anything wrong with what you bought for your daughter :)

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

My friend's young teen/tween kids are into those brands too. She refuses to shop full retail though, so she looks at the sale/clearance racks and finds them at yard sales and thrift stores. That method takes time and planning ahead.

If you don't mind and can afford it, then concentrate on keeping the items appropriate. We just had orientation day for my 12 year old, and some of those 7th grade girls were wearing shorts that barely covered their rear, and backless, abdomen exposing halter tops. Tween girls should not look like hookers. Fortunately, the outfits that we saw are against the (very reasonable) dress code for the school year.

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❤.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, it's normal. The kids these days. Does that sound like a familiar
phrase? Don't think our parents didn't say it.
Those places are all the rage & the norm for kids shopping today.
I remember specifically asking my parents to take me to the places that
were "in".
These days with bullying being so prevalent, I think it's important to help
our kids a little in any way we can. If it's buying some clothes from a
regularly populated store, it's not a terrible thing if you have the means
to do so.
This is the age/stage where the cost of things start to change. As they
age, the amount spent on certain things changes. For example, clothes,
activities, driving lessons and a car etc.
It sounds like you did just fine. She won't get to buy from these stores
every day. You can mix in a little Target here and there etc.
Look for sales at these stores, reward cards, if a family member wants to
know what to buy her for her birthday suggest a gift card from one of the
stores.
Buy staples like bras & underwear at Target.

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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

Sounds totally normal to me and you've listed some very inexpensive stores by my estimation. Forever 21, Pacsun, Aeropostle are all pretty reasonable. H & M is another less expensive store with clothes both my daughter and I can wear.

Teach her to check the back sale room of stores like Hollister, Abercrombie and Pacsun for great deals, we rarely pay full price and no matter what your budget it goes a lot farther.

I am not getting how it's materialistic or "designer" the stores you've listed are not high end boutiques by a long shot. My daughter might wear and more expensive brand of jeans and find a top at Forever 21 for $5. She also loves shopping thrift stores. We find unique, vintage, one of a kind pieces that are very reasonable and fun. I think you should set the amount and help her work within that budget to get what she wants. Also, just because she wants to shop at Hollister or Abercrombie doeasn't mean she wears daisy dukes and a half shirt. As you found out, within those stores there are really cute stuff for an 11 year old and then things that are wildly inappropriate. Help her find what you will BOTH be happy with.

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A.H.

answers from Canton on

Totally normal. My 8yr old son is already starting this...thankfully I can shop the sale racks at Kohl's and Macy's and get him all the cool Nike clothes that he likes. Now, if they would only have clearance shoes that he likes, my shopping would be much easier (and cheaper). My 17yr old daughter was the same way at that age but by the time she was 15, she was OK with shopping anywhere. And I'm happy to say now she is quite a thrifty shopper. She goes right to the clearance racks.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds very normal to me. My daughter is 17 and does her own shopping now.Her regular stops are Hollister, sometimes Abercrombie, Body Central, H & M, Bebe, Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom

She buys a lot of name brand things but also mixes with some other cheaper brands. The cheap stuff only last for 1-5 wearings if that much.

I didn't catch how old your daughter is... but it sounds very normal.

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B.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

Yes it is normal and yes she is being materialistic. I think most girls that age are. I learned the hard way that you might as well get what she will really wear and not spend a bunch on money on things that end up on the floor with tags still on them. After the first year of fighting with my oldest daughter I just gave her the amount, in cash, that we were willing to spend on school clothes. We are not cheap and I did want my kids to have what they wanted (needed) to fit in with their friends. You would be surprised how frugal they become when they have the actual money in their hands and realize how fast it goes if they buy $100.00 jeans. We spent hours going from store to store deciding what she wanted to buy. It was really quite fun for me to watch her decide whether she really, really wanted to spend her money on a certain item or whether the other store was a better choice. Good Luck!

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My friend who has MS and is older than me has a daughter this same age. She was going through her closet to sort out the clothes that were too small for her to give them to my granddaughter and she hit the roof.

There are clothes with the tags still on them for Justice and other places. She paid a lot of money for most of these clothes and her dd never even put them on. AND the daughter picked most of them out herself.

Sad situation. I don't know what I would do if that happened to us. If my granddaughter does not like it then I try to understand and go a different way.

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J.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

It is normal that she doesn't want to go to Children's Place!! As for everything else...I think Forever 21 has amazing prices, but not sure they have much for an 11yo. Aero is probably a great choice for that age. PacSun sometimes has jeans buy 1, get 1. Hollister too sometimes has okay sales. As for A&F I only let mu daughter find clearance items. (unless it is her own money) Old Navy...my daughter never finds anything there, but my son loves it. I would say her favorites are Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe (also good prices).

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I.W.

answers from Portland on

Sounds just like my daughter, who is also named Paige. She is now 17 & I let her shop by herself, lol.

M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter turned 9 in June and all she wanted was to spend her birthday money t Justice. So we went to the nearest mall with a Justice and she spent her money there. Totally fine with me. She also wanted her new school clothes from there - also fine with me. My boys aren't picky yet, but they may be when they get older. We stopped shopping at JCP when they were little...Old Navy is okay, but the quality isn't great. Again, the same with Children's Place, we walked in there for our boys and left immediately. I think it's COMPLETELY normal and I'd take my kids where they want to get their clothes from.

I don't think it's materialistic, it's her not wanting to be made fun of for wearing little kid stuff. At 11 she is in middle school, so appearances are becoming very important (to the kids). I wouldn't worry about it or stress on it.

The only store I would have said no to is Forever 21, and that's because the displays in the windows are too skimpy for me...but I bet inside you can find better things...we'll just avoid it until my daughter asks to check it out!

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

So it looks like you bought 3 pairs of jeans, 2 cardigans, 1 hoody, 2 dresses and 5 tops (plus a cami). I don't see that as a lot at all.I also don't see the chains she is looking at as 'high end'. They just seem trendy and a bit over priced for cheap clothing. But I also don't see anything terribly wrong with her wanting clothes that will make her life at school easier. She is young enough that she can still learn a lot from shopping with you - how to shop sales and how to recognize fit and quality.

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P.M.

answers from Harrisburg on

She sounds normal. Kids get made fun of at the drop of a hat in middle school. Why give the others something to harass them about by making them wear something different? Both my kids have shopped at the stores you mentioned. In middle school - they just want to fit in.

When they get to high school, the undergo another style transformation and may no longer want clothes from those stores. My high schooler now wants trendy tee shirts from a web site.

The exchange between the two of you sounds normal, but I would not tolerate the anger. She is not OWED anything. We've told our kids - we owe you food and clothing, but it doesn't have to be your favorite food or clothing you like. Bad attitude would probably have resulted in a shortened trip if it were my child. Also, we never buy things at full retail. We could afford to, but I just don't think it's a good use of money. This is a great opportunity to teach your daughter about finances. My daughter always heads to the sale rack first. She knows she can get more for her $$ there. Aero had a 50% off sale last week. You've just gotta keep your eyes open for the timing.

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S.L.

answers from Chicago on

She sounds like my 12 year old who is dying because she's too small to fit into those stores. They want to look like their friends who buy from those stores. They've hit the age of blending in. Unfortunately, they are also growing and are buying teen/women sizes with similar prices. From shopping for my nieces, those stores aren't expensive.

C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I can understand how she feels. When I was 10 years old my mom had made me (she would sew my clothes) a mickey mouse sweat pants and top. I had to go to school in 4th grade and be laughed at and called a baby. Once I was old enough to get my own job at 16, I did mostly my own shopping and yes, I did shop at places like your daughter likes. Actually, I still LOVE forever 21, american eagle, delia's, H&M and gap. I can't always afford it, but I save up for it and when I need clothes, I have the money for it. My daughter is 7 and she still likes the childrens place and naartjie and kid stores. She has told me she wants to look in justice, which we did one day and some of their clothes I'm not sure I would let her wear just yet.

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B.R.

answers from York on

Since you found the total price to be surprisingly high, even though you can afford it, I think next time you go shopping it is worth making a budget in advance just to teach your daughter about shopping wisely. Learning to budget is an important skill regardless.

From teaching 7th grade, this is pretty typical behavior. (Though that doesn't mean it is right!) The kids just want to fit in. They want their clothes to show the cool store name. The boys even keep the tags on their hats now, to show that they're authentic! The kids are super-conscious of who is wearing what. I remember a group of girls doing a drawing of their classmates for some project (I forget why) but I was shocked to hear them trying to remember if one friend was wearing Aeropostale or A&F that morning. It was very important to them to have the correct logos on everyone's clothes. One day they were complaining about their gym uniforms and when I asked them to come up with some reasons why they disliked the uniforms their favorite argument was that it took away their self expression and personality. To back this up they claimed that they can't even recognize each other in their gym uniforms! So funny! As if they haven't chosen their own store-brand uniforms all year long!

Anyway, it's worth trying to make your daughter think critically about her clothing choices. Does she look good in the shirt, is the color and fit right, is the price in budget? Or does she just want the logo no matter what? We all want to fit in, but it might be useful for her to learn to do what most adults with a budget have done: mixing and matching the status items with other less expensive ones. So maybe she gets the Aeropostale shirt, but she matches it with jeans from JC Penny to stay within her budget. Good luck! This is a fun age, she'll be testing you all the time, but you've got lots of opportunities to guide her into being a wise adult!

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes this is normal :) 6th grade is the end of elementary/beginning of middle school. They start becoming MUCH more aware of things like clothes and social standing and stuff like that.

I have the ultimate and final say in the clothes my kids wear. And those particular "fashionable" stores ... WAY too slutty for my daughter and just don't fit my sons properly.

I'm also lucky that I've got a military base I can go shopping at. Quality, fashionable (but modest enough for me) clothing at a decent price AND no sales tax.

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K.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

If I could afford to buy more expensive clothes, within reason, and had only one child I'd probably not shop at Walmart, lol. With that said, it's not usual with her behavior. Should you have tolerated it? I wouldn't have. If I could afford to shop elsewhere I would have at least expected her to ask properly and use a nice tone. That alone would have made me drag her to Walmart and KMart and Target! I have 4 kids so I can't afford to shop anywhere but Walmart and Target, and an occasional stop at other places if there's sales or looking through clearance. I have 5 kids total and on my 2nd teen. He's not picky and we can find decent enough clothes at Walmart and Target and he dresses nicely. I have no problem telling my kids TOUGH. My teen son does like DC shoes. I won't spend more tha $30 on sneakers for him so if they're on sale or find them at Marshalls then he gets DC shoes. Well, he has enough clothes to start him for school so I spent $40 instead of $30 for DC sneakers and bought him an $8 polo at Walmart. That's all he's getting to start cuz his closet is full. Later I'll buy him jeans for winter and more socks. He's 17. If he wants anything more he'll get a job and buy his own. I think what bothers me about your daughter is her attitude that seemed disrespectful and demanding. If she would have kindly asked you without the eye roll type attitude I think it would have been fine as you could afford the other stores and she is an only child, which goes only with affordability. If you don't want her stretching her wings into a teen world yet then don't endulge her into her fantasy that she'll be an outcast if she doesn't have the right clothes. Seriously? Reel her back in, put your foot down, demand respect and she's not too young to get a job. She's concerned in labels. Blah.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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N.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

hmm, you live in NJ? Look for a Plato's Closet near you. I'm pretty sure there is one in Mount Holly or Cherry Hill.

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