Since our girls are getting older, we sometimes hear questions that begin with the words, “When can I….” as they seek permission for new privileges.
From painting their fingernails to getting their ears pierced, they want to know how old they have to be to do certain things. They know that my husband and I have set specific ages for many of these activities.
I can’t give you a Bible verse about why we chose a particular age to allow them to wear lip gloss in public (as opposed to wearing it to play “dress up.”) However, a principle I learned from my dad is that it’s wise to give children things to look forward to as they get older. If at the age of nine I’m allowing them to have privileges that a teenager might have, there won’t be much new (that’s appropriate) left for them to do as they get older.
These are personal decisions that each family makes for themselves. We’ve just decided that we want certain activities to be celebrated milestones, from having their own cell phone (not happening for awhile yet!) to wearing makeup (no, not that one either!!). It’s a delicate balance between giving them age-appropriate freedoms and not allowing them to move ahead too quickly.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have it all figured out yet (nor will I ever!), but I hope that our daughters will always know how much we love them and that we have their best interest at heart.