So the question arises- what is the best way to handle the situation? And is this the right age to introduce makeup?
Before you lose your temper with your child, let us look the reasons why she could be demanding it:
- Being like you: She has seen you wear make- up when you leave the house and assumes that, that is the way one presents oneself to the world.
- Looking pretty: She finds that makeup enhances your looks and wants to “look the prettiest” among her friends.
If your child believes the former, it is easy to convince her to wait. However if it is the latter then there a few problems associated with it.
- Your child feels that she has to look at her best all the time. This perfection she seeks is skin deep and the feeling” I am only as good as I look” can affect her self-esteem.
- While you do tell her that she does not need to make up to look good, she sees you using it to achieve the same purpose. This sends her confused signals.
Here are some of the things you can try while handling this situation-
- It is for adults: This could be the most rational and logical explanation. You could point out that none of her friends are wearing make-up at school but her teacher probably does. Or even at home, it is her friends’ mothers who are wearing it, not her peer group.
- Occasional wear: She could be allowed to wear when she participates in a performance or is attending a function. However use your discretion and put boundaries on what exactly she can wear. It should always be done under adult supervision.
- Retain the innocence: If possible do not expose them to media that suggests that they grow up before their time. Make sure they watch television programs that are suitable to their age and the television characters are children like her. In short curb any source that gives her a wrong idea about age appropriate activities.
- Enlist support: Have a friend’s mother talk to her about how she does not allow the friend to wear make- up either. A “No” is easier to accept if she feels she is not the only one.
- Talk to them: Keep the communication open. If the reason she wants to use makeup is because she does not feel she looks good otherwise, maybe the issue is deeper. Find out the reason. Does she feel her friend gets more attention? Does she feel belittled or ignored in some way? Work on her confidence. Emphasize her positives. Notice and appreciate her talents.
- Positive role models: Talk about positive role models. Tell her about the women of substance and what they have achieved in life. Emphasize on their perseverance and hard work. Point out that the world appreciates and remembers these women for much more than their looks.
- Skin care: Tell them skin care need not always be about make-up. You could put them into healthy routines of cleansing and moisturizing with homemade natural products like lemon, honey, gram powder etc.
Your child has only 18 years to remain a child but the rest of her life to be an adult! So go slow on that make-up demand and let her learn tp appreciate real beauty first.