‘Go change your clothes, Mom!’
What gives a child the right to criticise her mother’s outfit, wonders Masanda.
‘You are not going to my school dressed like that!’ a friend’s daughter said to her.

You might think ‘the nerve!’ but little Missy was not backing off. A shabby mom was just not acceptable.

This friend’s daughter takes a look at her before she leaves the house and if - according to her - she does not look presentable, she has to change her clothes. In the mornings, says the mom, she sometimes wants to be dressed in track pants and a T-shirt and put a cap on. But Missy does not want to be embarrassed. She is in grade 1, and my friend wonders what is coming up as she grows older.

‘She really gets irritated when I put on a cap or a hat or cut my hair as she prefers the weave.’ Missy also asked mom when they are getting a bigger car. Are our kids that materialistic these days?

I remember back in high school, I wanted my mom to dress well for school meetings. The idea of her meeting my teachers not dressed up was unacceptable. I wanted her to put her best foot forward. It was even worse when there was going to be other students around. Kids can be cruel and being teased about how mom looks can be heartbreaking. I remember one boy who used to be teased because his dad drove a noisy old car.

Another friend who is a fashion stylist struggled to get her daughter to understand her but eventually won her over. She follows trends and given her industry she needs to look the part. One day she decided to have a Mohawk hairstyle.

Mommy prepared her first that she was going to have the hairstyle. When she went to fetch her daughter, all the friends asked ‘Did she really do it?’

‘Yes, I told you she was going to do it and you know my mom is the fashion industry,’ Mom heard her reply.

I think this was so cute and mature of her standing up for her mom like that. The daughter sometimes copies her father who objects on mommy’s fashion sense but she has come to understand her mom. One thing she does not compromise on though is mom dropping her off in she has slippers on and with untidy hair.

I was quite surprised that kids are like that.

The two friends I mention have daughters and I'm not sure if this is a girl thing or not. My son has never said anything besides ‘mama umhle’ (mommy you look beautiful). Perhaps boys are more lenient than girls?

Does your child criticise your clothes or car?

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