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?