Hi Dr. Singer,
Halloween is here again. Woohoo! Yippie Skippee. I am not a big fan of Halloween in the first place, but this year, I am having an especially hard time because my pre-teen daughter wants to go as Miley Cyrus. I have a lot of difficulty with any costume that that chick wears on stage and don’t want my 13 year old daughter dressed in it. Of course, I am getting a mouth full from her as well as some of our neighbors. Any words of wisdom for how to lay down the law? P.N.
The good news is that it’s coming soon so it will be over soon too! Just do it, mom! Lay down the law. If the costume is too much (or shall I say too little) don’t let her go there if it is your desire for her. Actually, I see several problems here. The costume is one thing and I will get to that in a moment, but if your daughter is idolizing Miley Cyrus, there may be more discussions that will need to happen. Her costumes are the least of her problems from what I see.
Now depending on where you live, there may be an obvious issue that can maybe help?! When Miley Cyrus wears her outfits (pieces of material????), it is usually on stage, indoors, under very hot lights so she doesn’t freeze. Might your daughter be outside at the end of October? Maybe quite a difference. Of course that doesn't help for indoor parties right?!
The type of situation you are talking about here is really no different than any other behavior that parents and kids differ on. She, like any kid, will want to do lots of things that you don’t want her doing and somehow you have to be able to stand up to those things. If saying “no” to your daughter is tough for you, you need to get beyond that and that becomes the real issue which may be tougher. She is at an age that this may become common. You will need to be on top of more than costumes.
I have only one thing to say about the neighbors. Forget them! Who cares what they think, at least on this topic. You can be friendly and nice about rejecting the comments, but the truth is, this is your daughter and your preferences, morals and values must prevail for her. Don’t be surprised if you get a bunch of “guff” from both your daughter and them. If you believe in what you are telling her or what you are asking her to do, and it is in her best interest, it cannot be wrong. Also, there are a lot of parents out there these days, who are very permissive and are allowing their very young kids to do things that are really not in their best interest. Just like your mom used to say to you, “if your friends were going to jump off a bridge, would you do it too?” What is good for your neighbors is not necessarily good for you. Also, be ready for your daughter to tell you about how willing the neighbors are to let her do what she wants. Don’t’ let it get to you. Just follow your instincts and do your best and know that what might be tough to do now for her and what might seem ill advised to her, will most likely be something she will thank you for later in life, especially after she has her own daughter! November 1st is only a little bit away! Good luck !
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