Are they growing up too fast?

Our children are growing up in a far more sophisticated and complex world than we did – and like it or not, our sophisticated world has its advantages. Your kids will have more opportunities and choices than you ever had.

However, it can create problems too. If your kids are always trying to copy celebrities or are acting differently to impress their friends, it can be worrying for you. And problems can range from them arguing with you, experimenting with alcohol or even dressing inappropriately.

Several schools in the UK have recently banned a brand of trousers called ‘Miss Sexy’, after teachers complained that the trousers showed too much flesh and were disrupting in lessons. But do you think that the schools are overreacting, or should they clamp down on what your kids wear? We want to hear your point of view – tell us by leaving a comment in the box below, or add your comments to our Facebook page.

If your child is acting too ‘old’ for their age, following these tips will help you to address the problem without causing arguements:

1. Set a good example

You and your partner will be your child’s first role models, the people they admire the most. If your main interests are lipstick and mini skirts, don’t be surprised if your daughter’s are too. If you’re a smokers or drinker your child will see that as normal.

Tip: Girly conversations about make up and clothes are fine. But make sure they aren’t all you talk about. They need to know that other, more important things, interest you too.

2. Be realistic

Kids have always wanted to dress and look older. So don’t fret if your child is pestering you for trendy ‘teenage’ clothes when they’re only nine. But use your common sense. There’s a world of difference between looking fashionable and looking like a Bratz doll or a gangster rapper with loads of bling. They may not understand the subtleties, but you do, so be firm.

Tip: Don’t wait until your daughter’s found the micro mini and matching crop top of her dreams and is begging you to buy it. This will only lead to tears and tantrums. Instead, plan the shopping expedition in advance. Look at catalogues and fashion magazines together and make sure your child understands and accepts your rules.