Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Today, it seems like kids are pushed more and more and allowed to be young and innocent less and less. With all the magazine and television advertisements itís no wonder they are showing an interest in wearing makeup, sometimes at the ripe old age of seven. But, where do you draw the line and how do you handle their requests?
First and foremost, at such a young age, their skin is still developing and applying cosmetics that contain harsh chemicals may cause more problems, now and in the future, by damaging still delicate skin. Wearing makeup used to be considered a rite of passage that came with puberty or was typically reserved for girls once they entered high school. What do children so young have to look forward to and what message are they getting by allowing them to wear makeup so young?
Usually, 14 to 15 is an appropriate age to begin using cosmetics, but even at this age it should be light and minimal. They only have 18 years to be children but they will be adults for more than 40 or 50 years. Why allow them to look and act like adults so soon?
If they are showing an interest in makeup before this age, try to steer them toward skin care. Teaching them how to care for their skin will give them a lifetime of beauty that makeup canít create.
At this age they should be focusing more on building their self esteem and confidence and less on how to look like a magazine model. But, if they are determined to wear makeup they will find a way.
Rather than creating a world war in your household here are a couple of suggestions:
First, open the line of communication. Start by explaining how delicate their skin is and the damage cosmetics can do at their age. If you have a friend in the cosmetic industry, ask them to stop by for an open and honest discussion. More often than not, kids will be more open to the opinion and advice of someone other than mom. And, as a professional they can show them the proper way to apply make-up lightly, not thick and heavy, for every day wear. Make an afternoon of it and have fun with it.
Pepper your conversations with role models you approve of instead of talking about individuals who make the news for outlandish behavior or appearance. Female role models can be found in every aspect of daily living, in sports, government and television. Point out that self confidence is much more attractive than wearing tons of makeup.
Itís really time to stop pushing kids to grow up so fast. They will only get one childhood and it shouldnít be overwhelming and filled with a desire to be older. They will get there fast enough. Help them focus on their childhood and creating memories they will have forever.