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Grown Up Too Soon
Q: My five-year-old daughter has always been "mature" for her age. However, she seems determined to prove that she is as "grown up" as her 10-year-old sister. She tries to dress like a pre-teen and talk like one (using slang that her older sister doesn't even use). She fights with us to watch TV shows that are not age-appropriate. How can we help her to be a little girl?
A: It's hard to stick to your values in a situation like this, but it will be important for your daughter down the road if you do.
You may have to choose your battles. It's probably more important to restrict her use of slang and her watching of inappropriate TV shows, so you may want to compromise on the clothes by letting her choose her shoes or what she wears on Saturday.
Encourage friendships between your daughter and other girls who are more traditional five-year-olds. Joining a soccer team or a Daisy Girl Scout troop can give her the opportunity to make friends with other girls with similar interests. Invite other girls from your daughter's class over to your house to play.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.