When 7 year olds check their reflection for more than just boogies

A friend recently accompanied her child’s Year 2 class to swimming lessons at the local aquatic centre. The lessons had finished and the boys had been in the bathrooms awhile so she went to hurry them up.

What she saw made her laugh – there they all were, lined up in front of the mirror, styling their hair with water from the sink. Some were slicking, others were spiking.

When she told me this story, I was actually horrified. The ‘metrosexual’ movement has been well-established in teen and adult males for some time….but SEVEN YEAR OLDS??!! As a 7 year-old girl, I certainly never worried how I looked except when dressing up for a birthday party!

I’d like to know what you think about 7 year old boys and girls paying attention to their appearance – is this something to worry about, or no big deal?

I guess it depends on which way you look at it. From one point of view, its a negative, where societal pressures are forcing the boys to join the girls in terms of being overly concerned with their appearance.

On the other hand, is it great to see children taking pride in themselves?

As amusing as the sight of 15 boys lined up in front of the mirror is, I certainly would prefer that children only look to see that there are no boogies hanging off the end of their nose!

What would you say to your child if they started becoming more and more concerned with their reflection?

Personally, I wouldn’t worry about isolated incidences, but if it became a trend I would do 2 things:

1. Make a humorous comment like, “oh look, your face is still there! Phew!”
2. Monitor my own behaviour by ensuring I’m not spending too long in the mirror, and being super-careful about making too many appearance-related comments.

Over to you!

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