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Why Can’t Kids Stay This Little?

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Mommy confession time:  I’m more than a little intimidated about my girls growing up.  I prided myself in first steps, first swim lessons, first independent reading and church solos.  I sighed with relief at successful potty training and thanked God for reaching the point when I could work from my home office without worrying about a little one swallowing a marble in the next room.

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Now, here we are with two smart young ladies with their own opinions and fashion styles.  I smiled to myself when they went to their closets and picked out girly tutus with all-pink outfits for Valentine’s Day. It was a reprieve from most days when they push the little girl clothes aside for their ever-changing interpretations of “cool” clothes, whatever that is from week to week.

I’ve reluctantly started letting them do some of their own clothes shopping, within reasonable limits, even if it’s not at stores I would choose.  This is often prodded by the influence of young friends or the well-meaning generosity of a grandparent.

My daughters may choose clothes on their own, but they know I’ll look even more closely at what else they’re selling at the trendiest kids’ stores. I noticed that front and center in a couple of those stores, right at child’s eye level, was perfume marketed distinctly for kids.  So I started asking questions.

It’s not just the fashion influences I’m concerned about when wondering why they can’t stay this little forever.  It’s the health implications of something as mysterious as a bottle of children’s perfume.  I wrote an article you can check out here for Women’s Voices for the Earth, and apparently it’s causing quite a bit of buzz among parents.  How about you?  Where do you draw the line as a parent when trying to protect your children from growing up too soon?  Before becoming a parent, did you have any idea that so many seemingly casual shopping choices could impact their long-term health?

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