I am so embarrased to ask this question to anyone. Any input is gratefully accepted. My 9-year-old daughter wants to start shaving her legs. She's blonde and so is the hair on her legs. You can't really see it. A girl made fun of her at the waterpark and now she is in major distress about it.
I don't know what to tell her...is she too young to shave? She's not even developing yet. She's very upset and I am at a loss on how to handle the situation. School is about to start and she told me she would only wear jeans.
Wow! What an overwhelming response! (And I thought I was the only one with this issue...) Thanks so much to all of you for your insight and advice. Here's what happened.
This turned out to be a greating bonding and teaching moment for my daughter and me. I told her I wanted her to make the decision about this issue and that I would help her get through this "girl stuff" as best as I could if she would come to me and talk about it. Right now she is in her "Mom is stupid about everything" mode, so I asked my neighbor's 13-year-old daughter if she would talk with her about it. Her mom and I took them to the mall to get a "pedicure" from one of those girl places and we left them alone and went "shopping" until they were finished. They talked girl talk and in the conversation, the 13-year-old (who is dark headed) told my daughter how lucky she was to have blonde hair on her legs because shaving was a major pain and she wished she didn't have to do it all the time." The four of us went out to lunch after that and then went home. I didn't say anything about it and she didn't bring it up. The next day she wore shorts to school and hasn't talked about it since.
Someone just recently asked that question and there were tons of answers. My 11 year old has the same issue. We read them all with all the choices - electric shaver that you can use in the shower, shavers with built in foam and Veet. I disucssed them all with her and we decided on Veet (even though several emails were concerned about the chemicals on such a young person). It was very quick and simple, but did smell a bit. Someone suggested soaking in a tub with Armor Hammer baking soda afterwards to get rid of the smell, which seemed to work. She was thrilled with the result. We did it about a month ago and the hair grew back very slow and thinner and she does not seem to be concerned about it at all now (we have not done it again). Also, we only did below the knee. Good luck.
My 13 year old daughter started shaving a couple of years ago and it was no big deal. Most people never notice that she did or didnt, but it made a HUGE difference for her!
My daughter has HUGE eyebrows (or should I say has A huge EYEBROW). She asked me to wax it at about age 8. I resisted because I felt (at the time) that doing so would send the message to her that she was not good enough as she is. A while later she came to me crying saying that people were really making fun of her, so I gave in. We now have waxing at the Brumleys every Sunday night...its kind of a ritual, with my husband, son, daughter and myself all getting it done (we are all big-browed people). None of the rest of us do it every week, but she really needs it that often. Sometimes we have family members or friends stop by for their waxing, as well...its a very well-known "date".
Not exactly the same experience, but just my .02! Good luck. :)
Im 32 yrs old now - (Dark brown hair - legs too) but in 5th grade a boy made fun of me (I still remember his name) I cried for days - my mom had no idea what was eating me - when she found out I was shaving that night! I say let the girl start sahving - if nothing else it will boost her self image and esteem and she will come to you more frequently with problems if she feels like you heard her!
Don't panic L.. As you can tell from the responses this is a common fact of life.
My daughter---also 9 and blond--was teased by girls that already shaved. One evening she she came in from her bath and had bloody toilet paper wrapped from ankle to knee!!! She said "I don't know what happened, Mama. When I got out of the water I just started bleeding all over." Trying to keep from laughing, I explained that that was what happened when you shaved your legs and didn't know what you were doing. Her eyes got so big--"How did you know?" She didn't do any major damage but it sure did sting for awhile.
SO--THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS: SHE IS GONNA DO IT! First time she mentions it you take her to the store to pick out a package of disposible razors and some lotion. Show her how--make a big Mother/Daughter event of it. She will always remember.
AND--all mothers out there--please don't lie to your daughters about hair growing back faster, darker, thicker etc. It ain't gonna happen either. The hair color and texture will change over time whether we shave it or not.
Ladies, I guess mothers have agonized over the question about being old enough to shave since the first young lady borrowed her dads straight razor to shave her exposed ankles.
We all shaved and we all tried to keep our daughters from starting it!! But when you get to be 70 years old you realize it is not worth the time and energy! You will be faced with long hair, short hair, baggy pants, tight pants, colored hair etc, etc. Pick your battles carefully and prayerfully. Is this something that will damage health, education, emotional development? And, yes, sometimes fashions can damage all of the above.
Enjoy your mother hood and don't sweat the small stuff!! Hopefully you will figure out how to tell the difference.
Love and God bless you all.
If it is important to her, why not? Give her an electric razor so she won't cut herself. We say no to so many things, why not let her have this one. I am blond and had someone make a comment to me like that when I was a year or two older than your daughter and it was a big deal to me, too. Sometimes I think adults forget how they felt at that age. At least your daughter confided in you. That is a good sign that she will come to you with other problems. Good luck!!
L., my dd is 10. She has been shaving her legs for several months now. In a day and age where our little girl's self images are so closely linked to their confidence, this decision was easy for me. This wasn't a battle that was worth fighting with her about. I didn't want her sneaking off and just doing it and cutting herself up trying it without support or supervision. First we tried VEET and the little plastic razor. It worked the very first time. The second time not so well, the third not at all. She got a Venus razor and she practiced until she got the hang of it. I also will tell you that she tells me that she feels prettier after having shaved. Her happiness is what makes it worth it for me. Try to enjoy the one on one time with her, maybe let her practice by letting her shave your legs. This is our foundation for when they need us to show them how to grow into the young women they want to become. Good luck Mom.
I have blonde hair and I was also made fun of for the hair on my legs when I was about your daughter's age. Of course, my mom would not let me shave them and, since I was already so insecure, I would not wear anything but jeans. My older sister was in the sixth grade at that time and she began shaving and leaving her razor in the bathroom....so I decided to shave without permission. When I had finished shaving, I noticed my hairs were all in the razor. I tried and tried to get them out by running water on the blades, to no avail. Being young, it never dawned on me that it probably wasn't a very bright idea to try to wipe those hairs out with my thumb! Needless to say, I had to tell my mom that I had shaved because I cut my thumb so bad and I couldn't get it to stop bleeding!
Of course, the decision is yours to make...do you want to let your daughter shave for her own peace of mind? Are you stopping her because you are worried about what others will think of you for letting her shave at the age of nine? Do you think she is responsible enough to properly handle the razor? As you consider these questions, you may also want to consider that girls bodies begin to mature alot faster nowadays than they did when we were young. The average girl begins having her period between the ages of ten and eleven.
Either way, I would suggest you begin going over razor safety rules now. If she is that embarrassed about the hair on her legs now, it will be hard for her to resist the temptation if she happens to come across your razor.
Of course, another option is Nair. It really is a smelly product but it will remove the hair without the razor and might help her have a little more peace of mind.
Please let her shave her legs. It is very hard to be a girl who develops late. You can't do anything to accellerate physical maturation (having no figure or looking like a boy) if you are a late bloomer, but you can have an understanding mother that lets you shave your legs and maybe wear a little make up to compensate. BTW being a late bloomer has it's upside -- you look great at 40 and even 50. Good luck.
My daughter is 9 yrs old and has asked to shave her legs this year. She has not been made fun of yet, but I am definitely going to let her shave. Her hairs are pretty long and I can see them (even though they are blonde). Her and I are going to shave our legs together this weekend, so that I can show her how to do it properly.
I am not thrilled about it, but I don't want to give her any reason to have low self esteem or be self-concious about her body. If this can prevent embarassment for her, I will do it.
Hi L.: I agree with Gretchen also. You and your daughter should not make such an important decision based on what some mean little girls at school said. Who gave them all the power? I try to teach my daughter that she shouldn't give her pwoer away to anyone...not mean girls at school or a boy who wants to make out with her...I try to teach my daughter that her body is sacred because it houses her soul, that she has to take good care of it because it has to last her whole life...and that NOBODY should have the power to tell her what to do with it. I don't want her self-esteem to be tied up in what some guy thinks of her...or mean girls at school.
I really think that 9 is too young to be shaving...my daughter just started shaving her legs last year at 13. Make sure that you daughter understands that this is something that has to be maintained for the rest of her life, and that the hairs won't be soft and blonde.
I am 38 years old and can still remember an older boy making fun of my hairy legs, on the schoolbus! I was in 4th grade,so the same age as your daughter. I don't think I started shaving untill 6th grade when we were taught in JR High. So,I would say,teach her how to do it correctly and let her shave! There will come a day when she will hate to shave! In the winter my legs hardly ever see a razor! LOL Good Luck!
I think the better step to take is to sit down and talk to her about her self-image and also self-confidence. If her ideas about shaving are coming as a reaction to someone teasing her, then solving that problem by shaving is essentially saying that girl was right. You don't want to start teaching your daughter to listen to the opinion of others and make decisions based on those opinions (unless she asked for their opinion). If she is stubborn and gets upset, make sure you lovingly explain that you are the mom, you make the rules. If she only wants to wear jeans, explain that you are only going to do laundry on a regular basis, not extra, so she may have to wear her jeans more than once or twice. Or take her own money to goodwill and buy more jeans. That way, she has options to solve her problem that don't involve you solving it for her. Good Luck!
Wow! You really raised a question that brought alot of responses! I have 2 grown daughters and I don't even remember having to deal with this...must of not been that big a deal!
I say, you could always compromise with her, to try and hold off a little longer if you're still not comfortable, but my thought is, if she doesn't feel like you are on her level and understanding what she is going through, then she may not come to you in the future, and you want to avoid that at all costs!
Whatever you decide, I would definately talk to her about it...maybe ask her again WHY is it so important to her and then make sure she knows it REALLY doesn't matter what other people think, but age 9...it does matter to them! Good luck and congrats for being a mom who at least is open to other people's point of view! D. G.
I would buy her an electric razor and teach her how to use it. It is better if you help than one of her friends or her trying to figure out how to do it herself. Besides if the hair on her legs is not dark she won't need to do it that often anyway.
When I was about 9 or 10 my sister shaved my legs with an electric razor (she was 16/17) and teased me because the hair on my legs was so dark. After that my mom when out an bought me my own pink electric razor so I could do it myself after that. The whole experience did not do any permanent damage, I think I am pretty well adjusted even though I started so young.
I remember wanting to feel "grown up" and shave my legs too. I have dark hair, so my mom decided 12 years old would be an appropriate time to start shaving (even though I wasn't close to puberty yet). It was more of a right of passage--starting middle school and all. My friend had blonde hair so her mom set her age at 14 to start shaving. It was hard for her to wait when her friends had already started, but it comes down to what you, the parent, think is appropriate. Girls want to grow up so fast--clothes, make-up, jewelry, etc--they have their whole lives to be grown-up!
Hey L. -
Regardless of what you decide about the shaving issue, I think it's important to deal with the pressure of a "peer" who was a stranger. Your precious daughter has to learn that people can be mean, but that she does not have to receive their mean remarks. She is beautifully and wonderfully made. She may have some leg hair today, but what happens when it is something she cannot just shave away or cannot change at all? Girls can especially be catty - some are pointing out the obvious, but others might make fun because they are jealous, or for other reasons. When your daughter feels judged or mocked, what would you really want her to do? With my girls, we have talked about the importance of seeing what's going on with people - if someone is acting like that (the girl at the waterpark) why would she be that rude? Another good lesson here is in our own use of our words - being careful not to be judgmental or rude and put ourselves in the place of the one receiving our words - it helps us to tame our own tongues, for sure!
Good luck with the shaving thing - going through it now myself with daughter #2 - totally different than with the first one. :)
I have a friend that just went through the same thing with her 9 year old daughter. She was very embarrased about all of the hair on her legs so her mother went and got some stuff called Veet. You use a rasor that does not have a blade on it so that she can't cut herself. Maybe you can help her for a little while until you are comfortable with her using a razor.
I started developing at nine and I think I was like 10 or 11 when I started getting visits from "Aunt FLO" :o) I remember having hair on my legs to and was really embarassed and I think I got my older sisters shaver and shaved any way... and then I had to wear jeans so my mom would not know :o)
I have all boys so I don't know really what to do in that situation. But I know that my mom NEVER talked with me about any female hygene, periods, sex anything and I really wish she had because its a natural part of life and we should not be ashamed of our bodies and how God created them to work...
I guess my advise would be to talk with her about it and just tell her the facts about how once she starts shaving she ALWAYS has to shave... its a big hassel and her hair will grow back thicker and darker and from that day on she will have to shave every day or every other day and as a woman you would want to wait because its such a hassel and she has YEARS left to start shaving and I would tell her that she can go to school and see that the other girls in her class probably dont shave either...
a good place to go to for advise would be her teacher. privately email her teacher and see if its normal for the girls at that age to shave and if any in the class do... that way you will know if the other girls do or not and can tell her that non of the other girls do...
I have 12 year old twin daughters and they are both blonde. When they wanted to shave at 9 I let them, due to someone "commenting on it to one of them" even though my Mother made me wait until I developed and started...
It worked out just fine for us as (like most of us!) the novelty of doing it has worn off very quickly and now they just shave when they have to : )
THey have a lot of really good razors now that are pretty "cut proof" so that helped as when I was a kid I was always nicking myself up : )
That is just my opinion, but the less things they have to worry about for being teased about or worried about in their appearance - I think the better : )
Im so glad you asked this! My 7 yo has alot of hair on her legs and my 2 yo is the hairiest leg toddler ive ever seen...so I know it will be coming up for me at an early age also. I say let her do it- but I would also recommend the Veet razor. Thats what we will start with when the time comes. Good Luck- let us know how it goes, if you decide to do it.
Tell her to tell whoever makes fun of her that she isn't allowed to shave until she is 13 or whatever age you set. That way she can blame the parents which is always popular in school. :) I wasn't allowed to shave until 13, date or wear makeup until 15. So I just said hey my mom's rules what can you do?
If that doesn't work make sure she knows how much of a hassle shaving is and to really decide if it is worth starting to shave so young. If it is barely noticeable now and she starts shaving make sure she realizes it won't grow back in the same.
Good luck won't be easy to do with an upset girl.
Let her! If she thinks girls will insult her for not shaving, by all means let her. There are too many other things to worry about and I try to do everything I can to ensure that my girls do not have to go to school worried about any item on their appearance. And most girls in our school district start shaving just before they start 5th grade (intermediate school) whether they are developed or not. This really shouldn't be an issue to argue over.
My daughter started transitioning into womanhood (slowly) starting at age 9. That's when she needed to start using deodorant and shaving under her arms. It was strange for me at first, because I was expecting it to happen I guess, all of a sudden when she was a few years older. It didn't dawn on me that it was a long transition, becase I don't remember much of my puberty. If she is embarrassed, let her shave and show her the right way to do it. My daughter just started shaving her legs this year (she's 11 now), and even though she was eager to do it the first time, she really doesn't do it that often. I bought her an Intuition razor (expensive!), because there was less chance of her nicking herself. This is the beginning of the difficult adolescent years, so to be allowed to deal with something that's causing her distress rather than wait until "other" moms think it is age-appropriate will greatly boost her confidence and inner-strength. Plus, she can be proud that she is becoming a woman, and that's a time in her life to be enjoyed, not feared. Don't worry about other moms' opinions, and don't let any possible discomfort on your part stop you from helping her to blossom. :)
I had the same situation with my daughter when she was 10. Let her shave her legs. Help her buy a safe razor and get some shaving cream and show her how. I think you'll find what I did, after a while she starts shaving only a couple times a week or even forgets about it for a few weeks at a time.
If you say no she'll get more upset with how she looks. Also, around this age all the girls start comparing who is shaving, wearing deodorant, wearing bras.
My daughter is now almost 13 with great self-esteem. Letting her shave her legs made it a nonissue.
I guess I agree with the minority and Barbara F. by saying she has bigger issues to worry about than primping. Peer pressure can lead kids to do things much worse than shaving. It is only hair but in my opinion 9 is a bit young. I never knew it was this big of an issue! I guess I'm one of those moms that want their baby to stay babies forever!! lol. This whole world is mean and cruel and this is just the beginning for her. Work on her inside before changing her outside.
I think 9 is rather young to start shaving. I understand about the self esteem issues others have mentioned, but she has to learn that girls/boys are going to say cruel things to each other and of course it's not right, but we all know it happens. If someone talks about her hair, eyes, etc...she can't go changing those things because of what children say or think. If you start with this, it may lead to more changes she wants down the line they may also be inappropriate at her age.
Being 9 is such a tough age. I taught 4th grade before I resigned and girls can be really cruel to each other, but tell her honestly how you feel about it and give it a few more years. Who knows...that other little girl probably wants hair on her legs or she's just trying to find something wrong with your daughter because she may feel insecure. I'm not saying you are, but do not allow her to change what's special about her because someone else may view as a negative.
Wearing jeans will be fine. She just wants you to give in to her request.
oh boy..does this bring back memories. I started shaving my under-arms withOUT permission because my mom insisted that I wear these sleeveless cowl neck shirts my grandmother made me. The hair under my arms was long and so if I asked a question in class, I would hold my arm up with my other hand over my arm pit!! So I shaved it I was so embarrassed. but I did get permission to shave my legs age 11. I totoally understand how she feels. But I look at my own 9 year old, and putting a razor in her hands scares me at the moment. If you do it, get an electric. I think in the grande scheme of things, it's a very minor issue. Her feelings are more important.
I snuck and did it way before my mother said it was OK. My main complaint is that once you start you can't stop. You must maintain it. If she's willing to maintain it, and you feel she's old enough to make that kind of decision let her. Personally if it was me, I would ask her if she could wait until next spring. She won't be wearing dresses in winter and maybe she will see that no one else is doing it and she'll forget about it, or you'll at least get a little time. Its a fine line. I have dark hair and you can see it a mile off, but you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.
wow 9 yrs old, girls can be so cruel in making fun of other girls. They are probably jealous but anyway personally I think its too young my daughter is 10 and its a big no for me. My niece is the same age and she shaves already. I think that its just part of growing up but ughh I am not sure what to do in your situation . I would just tell my daughter that she is to young and meeting people that talk bad and making fun of each other is just part of life and that is not the first time nor the last that will happen. And she needs to realize that what is best for her is the most important thing then worrying about what other people say and think. Good luck with your little girl i'm telling your girl they grow up so fast.
My daughters are still young (just 1 and 3) so I haven't gotten there yet but I can answer from my past experience. I started shaving when I was 11 and it was for the same reason. I know this is 2 years older and that makes a big difference at this age but I'll also tell you that that was extremely embarrassing. Does she have hair under her arms yet? That was even more embarrassing. I'd say start with a cheap electric razor. They don't shave that close and there isn't as much worry with cutting herself. But it would at least help with the self esteem issue...which is really what this is about. Then move on later to a real razor.
Hope this helps.
I started shaving at 10. My hair wasn't thick but very dark, and I remember being made fun of. I would let her do it. If it is something that is bothering her and there is such an easy solution, why not? That age is hard enough without the added stress of being made fun of. Be sure and go over razor safety. I remember getting some cuts until I really got the hang of it.
My daughter is 12 and just started shaving this summer. It' something we women have to do the rest of our lives. Does your daughter realize that once she starts it's not something she can just stop doing? How mature is she? I think if I was you I would tell her to just wait until the summer between 6th & 7th grade. Once she gets to school check with some of the parents in her class and see if their daughters are shaving - then you can make your decision then.
Good luck - have two daughters and have been thru this battle twice.
Oh goodness... I went through this when I was your daughters age. Like your daughter I am blonde and looking back the hairs on my legs were not noticible. The summer before 4th grade some snotty older girl made a mean comment and like your daughter I refused to wear shorts and insisted on shaving. My mother told me I was to young and would not allow me to shave. Let me just say that to your daught this is a real problem and she is probably terrified that someone is going to make fun of her at school. I suggest that you make a deal with her that she continue to wear shorts and if the problem arises again you will allow her to just wear jeans or allow her to shave if you feel comfortable with that. BTW when my mother refused to let me shave and refused to compromise I snuck one of her razors and shaved my legs anyway..without any instructions on how to do so I ended up with a very bad slice on my leg and still have the scar, so talk to your daughter!!!
In my oppinion I think 9 is too young to start shaving esp since she has blonde hair that is not that noticeable.
I was in 6th or 7th grade when I begged my mom to let me shave and I have DARK hair (hispanic). My mom agreed to let me shave my legs but only up to my knees until I was in 8th grade.
I would tell her she will never see the little girl who picked on her at the water park and that she is just too young. That if she wants to shave her legs she will have to wait until she is in middle school to do so.
But if it really is a self esteem issue and she is really distraught over it...I would say okay but only use an electric rasor with the gard over it! And only up to the knees!
I don't know if you could reason with her that some kids are just mean, and pick out something they think will bother you, and no one else even notices. Also mention hair starts to get more prickly and stiff when you shave it, and (if this is true) have her stand a ways from the mirror and honestly see if she can see it ( of course don't if you can)ha. Nine just seems really young to start, but kids are so sensitive.
At nine, she is too young to shave. But, if she's having major stress about it, let her use nair or something like that. I learned, when my children were young, pick your battles wisely. I'm not saying that this is a battle between you - but, even at her age, the hormones have started kicking in and being made fun of is a horrible experience. I don't remember how old my daughter was when she started shaving, but I remember thinking she was too young as weel - however, I let it be her decision after a lot of prayful times. Hair burgandy, shaved legs. There are bigger battles on the horizon.
Ouch, that's a tough one! My ten yr old wanted too but when I explained the actual committment she changed her mind :)
9 is a tough age, it is when girls get catty and pretty much mean. (not your daughter, but the pressures at school) We dealt with a lot of mean kids last yr ourselves. I think that if she is that serious about it, you should think about letting her. Be sure to explain what a pain it is and see if she still thinks it is worth it. She is at an age where her self esteem reaalllly matters. If that will boost it, I just don't see what it would hurt. Good luck to you guys. I know, raising kids is hard :) It's good to know that we have each other!!
I'm not sure how many have responded to this. I know when I was on a trip, by myself, to see family friends when I was almost in maybe 4th or 5th grade, I shaved for the first time. The girl I was visiting, just like me, had a hair problem. Black hair EVERYWHERE!! I had to start using facial hair remover on my upper lip in 8th grade. My Mom wasn't too upset that I shaved my legs, she just taught me in a better way than my friend.
But, since your daughter is saying that she will only wear jeans, that would concern me, too.
I know a girl that is a natural blond, grew up in rainbow gatherings (hippies), so they never told her to shave. She never did. She is in her thirties now, and has never shaved her legs. They look awesome. Just a tiny bit of blond hair, if any. Imagine not having to worry about shaving your legs. If you don't start, it won't keep growing.
I would tell your daughter "ok, go to school this week wearing jeans. Take a look at your classmates' legs and compare." She will see girls like me with dark hair on their legs. I have to trim my arms!! She should know that if she doesn't start, it won't be all stubbly, like Mom's. It will just stay the same. Then she would have to worry about possible cuts, or razor burn.
If that doesn't work, just get an electric razor that doesn't cut so close that her hair will start getting stubbly. Just enough to keep her happy.
Wow! Good question. I've read some of the responses and I don't know what you finally decided, but I would like to say that you just need to relax about it all. Go ahead and let her shave! Who cares about how old she is! I'm an old mom now - and what I've realized is that the age thing is just not that important in the big picture, but to the young person in the moment some particular thing is very important.
I have a long story about why I feel so much like "go ahead and indulge the girl" but you don't really need to know all the details. All you need to know is that it really doesn't matter in the long run. Help your daughter out by making her powerful emotionally! Encourage her by building her self esteem (you are more valuable than your body, what people say does not affect your value as a person), but remove her sense of powerlessness - let her shave - it doesn't matter!
(part of the long story: as a teenager in the 60's and 70's, my sister had to wait until she was 16 to shave. I was two years younger and allowed to shave at a younger age because I was so much hairier than her. I was also allowed to pierce my ears at a younger age(because my Mom pierced my sister's ears and had a chance to have someone else pierce mine!). At 54 my sister still comments about that! Do you see how an age limit is stupid? What difference did it make in the long term? The difference was emotional - my sister felt it was unfair - and it was! But she had broken the "social barrier/blockade" for my parents and the age limit seemed unimportant when they saw how harmless the outcome was).
(the other part of the long story is about my daughter who is 16 now, but developed breasts at 8 yrs old and had to start shaving very early on because she has pale skin and very dark hair)
Tell her she would be taking on another responsibilty like having to shave alot afterwards becouse it grows on thicker and looks more unattracktive if not shaved. when I told my daughter that she waited. Becouse I told her the more you wait the better.
I started shaving my legs at 10 (5th grade). I have black hair and my leg hair was very thick and dark. At that time all the girls were starting to wear cute skirts and dresses to school and I was very embarrased. I just did it on my own and my mom found the hairs in the tub. She was cool about it, just telling me that I had to continue shaving from that point on. It made me feel more secure with myself at school. This is such a hard age and kids can be so mean. If shaving her legs will make her feel more self confident at a time when girls' self esteems are getting battered every day, why not let her?
This is in response to Lisa W.'s post on Mon. Aug. 25, 2008.
WOW, LISA!!! 5 years old and already shaving! Can't you say NO!!!? What's next at 13 she'll ask for implants and because you think that will help raise her self esteem what will you do? I know that's a little exaggerated, but you get the point. You raise a child's self confidence by telling/showing them you love them and telling them how beautiful they are just the way they are. Your 5 yr old, probably would have dropped the subject had you told her that shaving happens when you get older. Then you tell her she can't say anything to ANYONE... that's teaching her to lie. Be a parent not a friend or you're going to have more serious problems in the future.
I would just buy her some Nair so that she will feel better about herself and she can't cut herself. Her hair will probably grow so slow that she wont have to do it very often at all. I know some people will disagree with me about this, but if she is that self consious about it, it's an easy problem to remedy. Good Luck! I had to make my 12 year old start shaving, she was looking a little sasquatchish. :)
I agree with Gretchen. Self esteem is so important and she needs to learn that other children (especially girls) can be so cruel. They are probably just jealous of her. But, more importantly, remind her that once she starts shaving her legs, it becomes a lifelong task. The hair will grow back stiffer and not as it probably is now, soft and blonde. It is not something she will enjoy for many, many years. Good Luck!
It is a great time to teach her, or find some book or pro to help teach her, how to respond to those hit-and-run statements which she will be getting progressively more and more through middle school. A confident response can help cure both of them. (I'm no pro but something like: You're kidding right? I'm only 9, silly. You think a 9 year old should shave?) And then laugh lightly as she smiles in a friendly and all knowing way. This can be practiced in the mirror.
Next, I like the idea offered here too about letting her wear long pants in the beginning so she can notice other girls legs and perhaps appreciate how much better hers is than brunettes. That might do it.
Remind her that if she shaves, some other girl might take a sideswipe at her and mock her for shaving.
If all else fails, let her choose to use the electric shaver (so she won't cut herself). If you don't give her a little space to error with your knowing -- she may do it secretly anyway and naively hope you won't notice.
Morning L., girls are maturing so fast these days, my daughter came to me when she was 10 with the same problem but unfortunately her hair is light brown and she was "hairy". I told her she was too young to start with a razor, but I purchased NAIR, showed her how to use it and told her she could use it ONLY once a month, otherwise the hair would come back thicker. This kept her from cutting herself with a razor and boosted her self confidence. She turns 12 in a month and I may begin with a razor, we'll see. good luck!
My heart goes out to her, because I had a patch of black hair on my shin in the 8th grade and went behind my Mother's back and started to shave. I know there is a lotion that helps reduce hair and that waxing is best, because it reduces hair. Standing up for herself against others is hard and will be a really rough time for her and she will remember it always. I tired to talk another friend into letting her daughter do something about her leg hair by asking her if she could stand going a week without shaving and then wear shorts and deal with the embarrassment. She couldn't sympathize with her daughter and how she might be feeling. If you really understand your daughter, and put yourself in her shoes, and still think she's too young then I think it's the right decision. Good luck with everything.
My stepdaughter is 10 and started shaving in the last 6 months. (She has also started her period in the last month and has had to shave under her arms for about a year now.) I bet if you let her do it, she will get sick of it really quick. I bet my stepdaughter only shaves her legs once every 2 weeks.
I had a boy tease me in 7th grade about my hairy legs. That was the first year I wore panty hose to school. I was so embarassed that I went home and shaved my legs with my dad's safety razor. I didn't know anything out using soap or shaving cream, so I just did it dry. Apparently, my dad was getting on my mother's case for using his razor, because she came to have a talk with me about it.
I think shaving is a big nuisance, but I do employ the razor when I have to expose my bare legs.
We learned several months ago that my almost four year old granddaughter had been sneaking in and using her grandfather's razor to shave her legs. Apparently, she has a razor at her other grandmother's house. I think it's a phase with her. With a nine year old, it's something different. It's one of those rights of passage like your first bra.
I never had any instruction really from my mom about shaving. You might as well teach her how and let her make her own decision.
I am so glad you asked this question! I went through the same thing with my 9 year old daughter at the begining of the summer. I let her use "nair" cream hair remover. She loved it (no cuts or nicks and she felt like a young woman)...and has not asked again all summer!! What ever words were said to her don't seem to matter much anymore. I think she realized she is the same beautiful person with or without hair on her legs. Don't stress about it and enjoy some special "girl" time with your daughter!
My daughter Lindsay who is 28, cut her legs all over when she was 8 for the very reason that your daughter wants to shave her legs. When she was in middle school she started shaving her arms. She has brown hair.
I would just tell her you will help her so she does not hurt herself. She may decide it's not worth it. Remember with all these little battles,it's just hair.
Mom to 7 Mimi to 10
I've raised three daughters...and have chosen to allow them to shave when it started bothering them. If it is causing her to feel self conscious, let her shave. Why wait? Each of my girls started shaving at different ages. I can honestly say that it has not been a problem for any of them.
I don't think it is that big of a deal to let her shave her legs. However, it is ashame that she would feel like she has to at this age when she should be only thinking about playing and not primping. Kids can be so cruel... makes me so mad. I remember when I was about 11 yrs old I started sneaking the shaving cream and razor to shave my legs. If you do let her shave her legs, I just wouldn't mke a big deal out of it. She may not even shave them but once because she won't really know that she needs to shave them every day. I wouldn't purchase her own razor or shaving cream. Just let her borrow your stuff whenever she mentions it; however, I wouldn't be proactive about it at this age. I just wouln't make a really big deal about it. Gosh kids are growing up so fast today!!
My daughter is also nine, and we just went through the same thing. I decided to let her shave, however, we bought a spray on hair removal cream that works well. That way, she doesn't run the risk of cutting herself.
Don't feel embarassed! I was that same age when I started shaving my legs b/c I saw my older sister doing it. My parents went ahead & let me keep doing it, but they told me I'd regret it one day (were they right - what a pain it is now!). Anyway, I turned out okay in the end - it didn't send me into early development socially or anything. :) Altho' I think when my daughter is that age, I'll do my best to discourage it as long as possible - just for the sake of preserving her childhood in a world that seems hell-bent on making little girls grow up way too fast.
My concern for my dauther to start shaving was because when I started I cut myself so much at a young age(early bloomer). So when my daugher was 10 and wanted to we started with Nair. It is great because it gets rid of the hair but they can't nick or cut themselves plus if she decides she doesn't want to keep it up it seemed to not cause stubble as bad. Let her try it. She may get tired of doing it or if it is something that makes her feel better about herself she will keep it up.
Don't be embarrased! I have a 9mo old girl and I know some day I will be going through this to! I was a 4th and 5th grade teacher for 9 years and I know that age group pretty well. Unfortunately, this is the age when they start really picking on each other and noticing the differences they all have and zeroing in on them. The girls seem especially bad. I was constantly having "meetings" with my girls about how to treat one another with respect, how we were all different and we should be thankful for that, and that hurting someones feelings was not appropriate. It worked to a point, but that underlying need to "fit in" was still there. I would keep talking with your daughter and see if she will work her way through it with your help. That being said, if she can't seem to work through it and shaving her legs would make her feel more comfortable, you might want to let her try. You might let her try an electric razor first to take some of the nicking danger out. I think most of us remember how hard it was to get the hang of it, and she might decide it is more trouble than it is worth! Or, she might feel much more confident about herself and that would help to solve the problem as well. Good luck!
At this age, her hair is probably not growing very fast. My suggestion is to wax them. After this experience she may not want to mess with it for a LONG time. By the time the hair grows back, she may forget about it (plus, it will probably be jeans season again by then).
I don't know if it's too young. I just know, as I'm sure you've told her, once you start, you're doing it the rest of your life! If you can persuade her to do a little more "observation" before shaving, try that. She may find that there are lots of girls with blond leg hair who look just fine and don't need to shave yet.
My daughter was in the same situation about 8 months ago. I was concerned about her using a razor so we started using Nair. The Nair has been a lifesaver. I felt it was a good idea to let her use the Nair b/c I noticed that she was only wearing pants. No shorts or dresses and now that we are using the Nair she is wearing shorts and dresses again. The Nair helped boost her confidence b/c she was not worried about people making fun of her. I say go for it. Yes we are suppose to help our kids learn to deal with people making fun of them and we are suppose to help them understand that we should not worry what people think about us but the leg hair issue was something that we could do something about. It has made her feel better about herself. I hope this helps.
If this really makes her feel good about herself, let her do it. If she gets tired of maintaining it and it grows back, so what. This is a very small thing and if it gives her a boost to her self esteem it's very worth it. I had an older sister who started shaving, and I had dark hair on my legs. I didn't ask, I just did it around that same age. I peeled off a layer of skin cause I had no clue what I was doing. You should be glad she brought you into the discussion so you can show her how to properly do it. If my daughter asks me at age 9, I will definitely allow her to do it. Good luck.
I started shaving at 9. My mom had left her razor in the bathroom and I had seen her do it so many times that I tried it. She cried when she realized what I did, but she didn't stop me. It's just a rite of passage. If it is stressing her out, I would let her do it. I don't think there is any reason not to. There are so many things they worry about at that age, just take this one off the plate.
A few things I would worry about are 1) She will be the "Matuer" girl and that means boys! They may get the wrong impression of her. and 2)And cuts I am 26 and to this day have a very large scar form when I was sneeking my mom's old razers out of the trash in 7th grade! It might ba a bad idea to tell her no because of that possibility.
So here is what I would do if you decide that she is old enough, below the knees with an electric razer.
If you think she is not old enough and want to avoid my problem get her a waxing kit, best senereo: She finds it overwhelmingly painful and decides that it is really not worth it! Or Worst she succedes and does it the rest of her life. Which really means that she will only be bare legged 25% of the time anyway because to wax you have to let it grow for 3 weeks and you are only smooth for a week. I know it sounds mean but boys even at that age only have one thing on thier minds! Trust me I am a schoolage Summer Program Director
who had the horor of seeing a six yearold boy's eyes jump out of his scull when he saw me in my swimsuit (and it is pretty modist!!!) Even though she thinks it is the worst thing in the world now if she looked around she would see a lot of hairy 9 yearolds. Good luck!
Don't be embarrased, you think you are the only one this has ever happened to? This is one of those peer presure moments. You can bow to it and she will bow to it when she has a daughter and on down the line or you can stop it now and just say no. Tell her when your body changes and it will, you will know when is the time to ask again and you will be happy to revist the issue in 6 months and make a judgement call. But never do something just because someone else makes fun of you. It hurts but what does it say about a person who hurts you just to control you? Are you going to change something about yourself everytime they do? The old "if they call you a pumpkin, does that make you a pumpkin?" could use a try here. She is a girl and a strong one and to be a strong woman you need to make your own decisions.
I am 27 yr old and I started shaving in 5th grade. I don't really have any advice but I do remember getting made fun of. My mom would only let me shave up to my knee. I don't know what her reasoning was but it was a major battle. Anyway, I eventually won and started shaving in 5th grade.
You have alot of good wholesome advice, But I want to add to it by saying, my little girl was 9 as well or there about. I have told her over and over not to shave and she was teased so much about it she did it anyways, aftershe did she had hurt herself pretty bad by not knowing how to do it the first timeshe had gashes on top of gashes. I wish now that I would have let her when she did cause then I could have been there to supervise as well as to show her where to STOP not only did she shave her legs she shaved her kitty area poor girl went around here for weeks itching she thoguht you were suppose to shave every hair on your body the next time she shaved she ask me to come help her she wanted to see ME shave my legs thing is I am a very private person I dont like people seeing me bathe and I do it in the shower so I had to let my hair grow out and shave my legs first instead of takign my shower which I felt odd but girls need to see how to do it, you cant just hand then a razor and tell them to do it "well I guess you can" but seeing her legs afterwards I didn want her to. so that is my story...God Bless and Good Luck wit your growing little lady..
Hi L.. I'm a Grandmother of 7 & raised 2 daughters. I have 4 grand-daughters & been down this road with my 2 girls and my now 11yr. old grand-daughter. There is no age limit on shaving legs or under arms but if it's going to help her self esteem why not. You never know whats going through their young minds but something this minor can be a huge deal to them. I know you will make the right choice for her but I also understand as a mother it's hard to see your little girl growing up. It's just hair & legs but it's her self that's important. Kids can be unknowingly cruel but sometimes we can carry simple words for a lifetime. God bless you. Give her wings and let her soar.
I say definately let her shave her legs, since self esteem is so very important. However, I wouldn't let her shave with a razor. At 36, I still cut up my legs (however, I just switched to a Venus razor and I'm not cutting up my legs anymore!). I don't see how any nine year old could shave with a razor w/o cutting up her legs. Get her an electric shaver, so she won't have to deal with razor cuts and bleeding.
I have also gone through this, but with my 8 year old daughter. She has a step sister that is about a half year older than her, and her mom let her start so my daughter wanted to. Also, she has really dark hair and had a lot on her legs. I went and bought her Veet and it seems to be working great. The only thing I limited her to was where she shaved. I told her that it was only necessary to shave the bottom portion of her legs. She was okay with that.
I think that our children are growing up so much faster than any other generation, and regardless of the reason, things are going to happen sooner. I was reading something the other day that said our daughters could start their menstrual cycle as early as 9. OMG! My point is, hormones are more prevalent at this age than we think and hair may be getting thicker, etc. Just my opinion...
Bless your daughter's heart. I was like her (blonde) but I still had comments at her age as well. I begged my mom daily until she finally let me when I was 10. I would only wear jeans and would "sneak" and shave the part of my legs that did show (back when pencil leg Guess jeans were in style, above your ankle would show). I was responsible so there was no reason that I couldn't have shaved earlier. To this day I have sworn that when my daughter asks (and it seems like a big deal), I am going to let her assuming 1) she's mature enough to use a razor and 2) realizes she'll have to always do it. I shave every day so it's just a part of my life (until i can afford laser hair removal!!).
Honestly, I would let her. Girls have so many reasons to feel self concious. Why not take one of those things away. My daughter was about 9 when she started shaving and she as well is blond. I actually made a big deal of it. She got a razor and shaving cream for Christmas. It was probably her favorite gift that year. LOL. Anyway, use it as a bonding experience. She will tire of the shaving....won't want to do it everyday anyway. Hope this helps.
I'm a blond and I remember this issue very well. I was a cheerleader, so it was very important to me since the other girls were shaving. We got an electric shaver. Mom still wasn't very happy that I was shaving so early, but it made me feel much better and it was safer than razors. If she's already been teased about it, she's not going to feel any better until she's allowed to shave. At least that was my experience also.
I can remember going through this with my daughters, especially the youngest.....I am sure they were a bit older though. The basic problem is that she is letting another person make her feel badly about herself, about a very normal thing.....If she doesn't have hair in her armpits and isn't shaving there yet, chances are she doesn't need to shave her legs......maybe you could let your legs grow in a bit to show her how dark and thick it comes in, because of shaving....the longer she can wait the better off she'll be. I imagine this other girl has an older sibling that is shaving and wanted to see if your daughter was also? Kids are cruel. So what if she wants to wear jeans? See how long that lasts when it's 100 degrees and everyone else is wearing shorts and skirts! I think she's considered a "tween" and it's a difficult age....best of luck and just never stop encouraging her and loving her, it's tough to parent kids but if you can form a real bond of trust with her now and a close relationship you can have better teen years?
I can't remember how old my daughter was when she started asking me if she could shave, I just remember "all her friends are doing it". My answer was and will be for the next two, you can shave your legs when you get underarm hair. That gives you a little more time and believe me, it will happen soon enough.
OK, I am not of the majority, Im sure. My 5 yr old has very dark leg hair and she said the same thing. I just shaved her lower leg a few strokes and told her it can only happen once in a long while, yes she is 5. But it really bothered her so much. She is so much more confident of her legs. I am blonde and she is brunette, and she asked all the time why her legs were hairy, because she never saw my leg hair.
If it raises her confidence, then why not? There are so many more things out there that destroy their confidence as youn girls. Plus, I made her promise not to tell anyone, even family, so it would not become an issue. =-)
We had the same issue and we purchased an electric razor for our daughter. That worked well and made her feel better, without the repeated accidents with the razor blade. This also gave her practice time and when she did move to a traditional razor she had achived some skill at the process!
My Mom would not let me shave until I was about 12 and I remember being embarrassed about my hairy legs.
You need to think about why it's important to you that she wait and weigh that against why it's important to her that she starts shaving. Decide how important it is to you that she wait and pick your battle accordingly. I don't think she is too young but you are her Mom and you need to make a decision you are comfortable with.
Also talk to her about not letting anyone else make her feel badly about herself or her body. Help her to have a healthy appreciation and outlook on who she is inside and out.
My almost 12yo is beginning to develop, and she also wants to shave. Simply put, the answer is 'no'. I explained that she is still just a girl, and I intend for her to remain a girl as long as possible. Additionally, if she is going to allow others to dictate her behavior, whether it be shaving or wearing jeans, she is most definately not ready. The ability to make your own decisions is a sign of maturity, and shaving is for more mature people (i.e. young women, not girls, which she needs to be as long as possible).
Anyone hear of an electric shaver? No worries about cutting herself, just don't do it in the bathtub. I have blond hair and it is still blond, it doesn't get dark with shaving and if you quit, it doesn't grow to your ankles. I frequently wait a while to shave, it's not that noticeable with light hair. She can try it, give her back her self esteem, and if she realizes it's not worth it nor are the brats who are making fun of her, she can quit until she's ready to try again. JMO
I remember having the same issue when I was young...too young to shave but someone making a comment so I had to do it!! I had an older sister so I just used her razor...ouch...she needs to learn how and use shaving cream...I cut my ankles too many times. Also, she needs to understand the maintenance...she is too young, but this is a minor one to do at a young age...it's all on her (the maintenance). Good luck.
My 9 year old wants to shave as well. I told her she's too young. If she starts shaving now she'll have to do it more often. I think I will allow her to when shes 11 or 12. I just told her if she starts now it will grow back darker and coarser. It seems to work for now. You just need to tell her that her legs are fine and make sure she knows people only make fun of others when they don't like something about themselves. Thats how they feel good about themselves.
Perhaps when you decide she is old enough she could be allowed to start with an electric razor? She is pretty young to be trusted with a blade and so many scars could come from shaving. Nine is young to start, but I can speak from experience that this is something she could be harrassed about. I was supposed to have waited 'til 14 but I couldn't handle the torment and rebelled at 12. So you have to decide if it is worth it for her to struggle with this difference with her peers, or if it just isn't that important of an issue.
My daughter went away to summer church camp. I believe she was going into the 6th grade or maybe 5th grade... Anyways, as we were waiting for her luggage, I smoothed her shorts and noticed there was no hair on her legs! I looked at her sleepy face and said so you shaved your legs... Her look was a typical Kodak moment. What can you do? Let her shave her legs. Your daughter might not like the "maintenance" entailing shaving her legs. I know I welcome the winter months... hahahaha! Get her cheap shaving cream and a disposable razor. It'll be okay, Mom.
My daughter just turned nine and at age 8 was teased by someone about her hairy arms and legs. She started wearing sweaters and jackets in the hot weather. I went thru that as a child & wasn't about to let her go thru it as well. I did sit down and talk to her about being thankful that she had arms and legs (you know how mothers are) but in the end I went to Target and we bought an electric brow trimmer. I thought she was too young to shave. This works great on both her arms & legs! It doesn't remove the hair completely but trims it down so you can barely see it. It is much safer and quicker than shaving. But most importantly she is not focused on it anymore. Kids can be so cruel so I thought that if I can do anything to make it a bit easier-I will.
My daughter was 9 when I noticed she would never wear a skirt or dress. Finally when I questioned her, she told me she was embarrassed because of the hair on her legs. I handed her the razor and taught her how to do it. She was a very happy little girl who grew up to be a beautiful woman. I feel it's a very minor thing on the scale of battles you'll have to face in rearing her. Let her have the small things that matter to her. You'll be drawing much deeper lines in the dirt in just a few short years, and you'll be able to tell her you've tried to understand her, she'll have to try to understand you. I believe most mothers' objections have more to do with not wanting to let go of the "baby" than it does with any moral stand. Meanwhile, the other little girls keep ridiculing. I experieced this in my childhood which might be the reason I understood my daughter's pain.
I'll give you the same advice that some other mothers gave me when my daughter was just a little older than yours (about 10). They recommended letting her do it. Their daughters did it a couple of times, the novelty wore off, and after that, they stopped for a long time because it was too much of a bother. My daughter did exactly the same thing. She started back around age 13ish.
I have to say that I suffered from the same trama as a child and it was pretty devastating to me. Now my daughter also has notable hair on her legs at a VERY young age and I too have asked myself what I would do. One thing I have considered is that if and when she asks I will encourage her to have them waxed as opposed to shaving. It comes at a higher level of pain but that is an indication as to how important it may be to her.
It does hurt, but it is much safer than regular use of a razor and it is also more beneficial because it causes the hair to grow thinner and less often.
I have thick, blond hair. I was concerned somewhere around 5th grade because it was "shiny" in the sun and I was embarassed. Mom gave me an electric razor, too. She wanted me to practice the first year or so. It didn't make the legs silky smooth (but who cares??) , but it kept the thick glittery hair back and made me feel better. I started shaving with a razor about a year later.
I would also work on some esteem building lessons and even classes. Start working on teaching her to be her own person, and to not be ashamed of herself or her body.
We are going through the same issue with our 8-year old! I am going to allow her to use Nair-like product, and told her we would worry about learning how to shave when she's a bit older. Her 11-year old sister is already shaving, so I think this might have something to do with it also.
Unfortunately, children can be cruel and once the "word" gets out, she'll be teased at school. For her peace of mind, I don't feel we have to wait until she's older. Besides, come winter, no one will be looking at their legs, right? :o)
I think I was about that age when I started shaving. I have dark brown hair so it was a lot more noticeable. My mom understood though and she took the time to show me how and what to do. I don't think anyone teased me about it, it was more or less that I noticed and wanted to do something about it. My daughter is 8 so I'm sure we'll be dealing with this as she's also blonde. :) You can reassure her as a parent, but ultimately, I don't think it will hurt to teach her now. If you don't, you run the risk of her doing it anyway and hurting herself.
My daughter started shaving the summer after 6th grade, she was 12. We had ongoing conversations about it for a few years prior and I told her that it was something she was going to have to do for the rest of her life and it was a pain in the rear. My hair is blond, and I have never shaved beyond about an inch above my knee. My daughter's is dark and she shaves to the knee unless swimming is involved and she shaves up to her suit.
Tell her she is too young and you can revisit the conversation in six months. She really should not allow someone to make her feel poorly, the kid was probably jealous of her to begin with. This is a form of peer pressure and it is better to make the decision outside an issue like this.
BTW, my daughter recently said she wished she listened and delayed it a year or so more.
L.- I went through this- except my dgt had dark brown hair and very think. When we first naired her legs it was like bathing a monkey! ha She was around 10 but she was a dancer and it was definitely noticeable to her- I only even considered it b/c it was her issue no one elses.
I do think that 9 is too young to shave- its just one more thing to worry about. Maybe wait another year or so and then start off with nair - trust me once they smell that and realize that they have to wait- it will become a not so important issue. I would make it a point to let her know that she shouldnt care what other people think- by allowing her to shave it b/c of the girls comments- its almost like giving into peer pressure.
Once you give permission to shave - you basically give permission to shave ANYTHING_ I have a 13 yr old so imagine.......lol but she def is hairy so it's warranted.
Let her wear the jeans and don't worry about it. Trust me- my dgt shaved her arms b.c it bothered her so much- she she truly is hairy! - I told her that if she didnt shave them anymore in a few years I would get her lazer.
But 9 is difinitely too young. She has her period and all that to worry about.
Then- I would go find that girl from the waterpark and give her a piece of my mind!- ha!
If its light and not real noticeable I would hold off- even until she is ten- give her something to look forward to.and def nair before shaving for a while.
Maybe even tell her- when she gets her period thats when she can do all that- but I am with you all the way- go by your instincts mama! Stnad hard girlfrine-its only the beginning. My dgt will ask for things like fake nails, highighted hair- colored contacts and when I say no- I seem like the strict mom but she realizes that the girls that need all that are the insecure ones at her age. Point taken and she is more confident because of it. I let her dye her hair with straks of temp color and that sufficed.
I take her for manicures instead of fake nails- compromise. She has to wear contacts and I told her at 15 she can get colored ones. She has a friend that doesnt even wear contacts and uses colored ones- I jsut cant deal with that. So get ready mama!lol
ps- sometimes kids say that other kids make fun of them so that we give in to something.- and word of advice get the book Queen Bees and Wanna bees- like a moms bible for girls!