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.
My five-year-old asked me the other day when she can get her ears pierced. I just said "when you're older," because we don't have a firm date yet. It's something to think about.
Our children ask when they can do things, too, but thankfully they don't have a good grasp of time quite yet. Sometimes, they answer their own question with "when I'm a mommy (or daddy)." It's very cute. We haven't settled on specific ages yet, but I think we still have a while.
I have three little girls, and the oldest (8) is asking those same questions. The idea of age milestones is such a great way to build that anticipation- especially with the younger ones watching and waiting for their time.
This is great. It's the way I was brought up too – and I remember feeling so special and grown-up when I reached the various milestone ages required. My family didn't believe in make-up or buying mobile phones (we lived a very simple life) – but the things we looked forward to (which most kids have from a very young age these days) were "fancy" shoes (as a kid my mother ONLY bought us practical shoes), a handbag (prior to that we had homemade fabric totes while we were children), wearing our hair up in a bun (my mother raised us to always wear our hair in braids or pig tails until we reached a certain age!!!), and lastly, when we reached puberty we were allowed to wear pantyhose!!!! 😀
I'm not using the exact same set of milestones for my daughter, but we're certainly saving things for when she "comes of age"… And likewise for my son. 🙂
I remember being so excited when I finally reached the age my parents set for me to be able to wear pantyhose! Until then, I wore white knee socks to church. I felt like I had "arrived" when I could wear those hose!