Anyone who knows me well knows that I loathe shopping at the mall. I kinda hate shopping period. If I absolutely have to go shopping for myself, I pick a few things out, bring them home, try them on and if they fit – great. If not, they go back. I enjoy searching for clothes at places like shoppok and then if I find something I like, I can go and meet the seller. Simple! Shopping in store is a little more hassle though!
All in all I think we’ve been pretty lucky to have lasted this long before the excessive “I wants” started. Maybe it was because I always did the core shopping for them as well, brought things home and that was that. But, somewhere along the way, the 12 year olds urge to go to the mall has snuck up on us and along with it, its label conscious friend.
We are not extravagant people.. we do not rack up piles of credit card bills. So it is really hard for me to say ‘yes’ to an $80 pair of tennis shoes or $65 for Sperry’s. I am too pragmatic when it comes to that as I know they’re going to grow out of them before they wear them out. I’m not a complete bear – I do oblige every now and then because I DO remember the 6th grade when all the girls in my class had every color of Lacoste shirts and jeans by Calvin and Gloria.
I also admit and am very proud of the fact that the one thing ALL my kids have learned is the power of a good deal. When they come charging up to me at the grocery store with a Kid’s Cuisine or Lunchable, the first thing out of their mouth after they ask “can I have this” is “it’s on sale!” You have to love that. I was thrilled when I took Mackenzie to Plato’s Closet the first time and her eyes lit up as she realized that for $50 she could get 3! pair of jeans from Abercrombie instead of 1!
What is the happy medium though? How do you balance their need for the “right” labels with your need for the right bank balance? I’ve considered a clothing allowance at this point of her life, but what amount is that for a soon to be 13 year old? And what about the other “have to haves” such as concerts (hello $150 tickets for Bieber?), iTunes (please Apple find a solution there soon), school activities… the list is endless.
So I turn to those who are now past the 12-13 year old stage.. how did you handle the “I wants”?