Choices, School Shopping & Letting Go

“Sweetie, I found a really cute backpack at Gymboree. It’s got sweet little polka dots and a matching lunch box.”

“Uh, Mom, Gymboree is for babies. I want the backpack at the mall with the skulls.”

Skulls. Really? And I even had Gymbucks, what a shame.

I prayed about this one. As silly as it may sound, this is what happened last year when we went shopping for backpacks. It was tough. Not just a decision, but the realization that she had her own opinions, her own style, she was becoming her own self. It makes me tear up, even now!

The backpack had “girlie” skulls with heart-shaped eyes, pink flowers and pretty red roses. At least, that’s what I told myself. I still didn’t like the backpack, but it wasn’t mine. It was her decision to make.

And, then we went shopping for a new outfit. I wanted a cute little dress edged in ruffles with the matching hairbow and tights. But, we ended up getting a “Girlz Rule” shirt with a motorcycle on it and ripped jean skirt.

My baby girl is growing up. And, I’m learning to let her … little by little.

This year she wants a Vera Bradley messenger bag. Um, we’ll see about that one. Not quite sure if I’m ready to give her a bigger budget too?

I think choices are great, but they need to be age-appropriate. I’m trying to figure out what decisions a seven-year-old should be making. I still want to set boundaries as a parent, but I want her to be able to make her own decisions too.

So, I want to hear your advice! What choices do you give your kids and at what age? Do you give your kids a budget for their back-to-school shopping?

9 thoughts on “Choices, School Shopping & Letting Go

  1. Too funny! Last fall I had Abbie with me at Target and she begged me for a short demi lovato skirt with crinolin underneath. Seriously? She had a closet full of Gymboree and Gap! I bought it for her but don’t take her past the kids clothes at Target anymore. 😉

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  2. Ha! It’s so funny how they develop their own little style. I wasn’t prepared last year, but have been thinking about it since we’re getting ready to buy clothes & backpack for this school year.

    Thanks so much for commenting!

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  3. I love this-Riley is only 3 and definitely has her opinions about what she wears-and reading this made me realize that I need to learn to let go a little more! Thanks!

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  4. Kelli — Thanks for commenting! It is so difficult. When Ella was 3 or 4, I would give her choices, like put out two outfits a day and let her decide. But, as she gets older, the line is much more blurred. I don’t want to be controlling, but at the same time, I still want to be the parent! I just want her to stay little forever 🙂 But, I guess this is all part of the mom-journey.

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  5. Vera at her age!!! Ugh!! I just had to buy a Vera Laptop Backpack for Kaitlyn but she’s going into 6th grade!!! I’m so glad my 3rd grader doesn’t want one yet!!!! She picked a messenger bag at Justice. 🙂
    It is amazing how the older they get the more expensive brands they want! I don’t remember caring about brands until I was in high school!!

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  6. Thanks, Amy!

    Jennifer — I know. I don’t think she really understands that it’s “designer”, she likes the soft material. She saw several girls at school with them last year. Matt & I are still discussing what we are going to do. I am doubtful she’ll actually get one. If she does, we’ll probably work out a deal that she has to pay for 1/2 of it (with her allowance $$ that she saves). I doubt it will be that important to her then! We’ll see what happens.

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  7. mandy, i have the opposite problem with Presley. everything thing is “well, it doesn’t matter.” or “whatever you want.” it is kinda frustrating. I want her opinion, i want her to like what she wears, i want her to have ownership to her things. this year we talked about back packs and she says- well what is wrong with the one i had last year? so what do i do about that? i can’t pick out her prom dress…well ok, that might be nice.

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  8. Thanks for commenting, Marisa! Well, I think that’s actually a good thing … she’s just a sweet, easy-going gal right now. It will probably change at some point, maybe? We need to ask this question to someone with older girls!!

    Jennifer or Amy — I think you have older girls. Any advice for Marisa?

    I love how motherhood brings us all together!!

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