Sex & Life
Sex & Life November 21, 2016
When you think of big moments you experienced as a young woman, shaving might not be on the top of your list. However, when your daughter feels ready to start shaving, you might feel uncertain about what to do. If a few girls in her grade have started shaving, she might feel left out and curious. In fact, she might have asked you how it feels or even “sneak” a razor (like 39 percent of girls admit to doing).
While the right age for a girl to start shaving varies between households, cultures and places in the world, all moms have one trait in common: the need to be prepared. Here are ENTITY’s top five steps to take when your daughter wants to start shaving.
Why does she want to shave in the the first place? Even if you don’t think your daughter is old enough or ready to start shaving yet, don’t just shut down her requests for a razor. Instead, explore the reasons she wants to shave in the first place. Motivations could vary from feeling uncomfortable with the hair now that she’s growing older, wanting to fit in with friends who already shave or simply wanting to appear more grown up.
Don’t have a number in your head that you consider the “right time” for a girl to start shaving. Rather, “the right time is when your daughter feels self-conscious about not shaving,” according to Emily Yotte, the woman behind Slate’s Dear Prudence advice column. If you talk to your daughter and learn that she wants to start shaving because of self-consciousness, it might be time to begin your lesson on shaving,
Before you let your daughter venture into the world of shaving, you should also consider explaining all of the options available. For instance, Cynthia, a mother with two daughters, suggests giving younger or accident prone girls electric shavers, which can be less dangerous to use than razors. You could also discuss how some women – ranging from celebrities like Miley Cyrus to the everyday businesswoman – choose not to shave. If your daughters seems to want to shave because of peer pressure, it’s especially important to let her know that shaving is a choice, not a requirement.
Don’t forget to talk about the responsibilities either, like needing to dedicate more time to showering or being careful and slow enough to not cut herself. Danna Gresh, blogger at Secret Keeper Girl, advises mothers to discuss stories about your “shave-gone-wrongs.” Explaining that cuts can get inflected and that shaving can hurt will help your daughter evaluate whether she’s truly ready for her own razor.
So you’ve talked the talk. Now it’s time to walk the walk … to the store for supplies and then the shower for a demonstration. When you shop together, make sure to explain why you buy particular products. For instance, you can also explain the benefits of using a razor or shaving cream designed for sensitive skin and the importance of moisturizing afterward.
READ MORE: The Benefits of Lotioning
Once you’ve collected all the supplies you need, take time to demonstrate how to safely shave. Your daughter is probably nervous about shaving for the first time. Ease some of her anxiety by showing her the process. You can shave one of her legs and watch her shave the other, or start off even slower by letter her watch how you shave yourself. Be sure to also tell her any shaving tips you’ve picked up over the years.
As a simple Google search will reveal, other moms are asking the same questions as you. In fact, tons of books, websites and blogs full of advice exist on the topic of shaving for the first time. For instance, the website Circle of Moms offers several online communities where women can connect and receive advice. You can even find shaving tips for your daughter’s particular razor on the company’s website.
READ MORE: The Power of Having Other Moms as Resources
Reading expert opinions and advice can help you feel more confident in your decisions and help you see the situation from a different perspective. If you find an especially interesting article, you could even share it with your daughter. Not only will it help her learn more about shaving, but it will also show how much you care.
Accepting that your daughter is growing into a young woman can be difficult. However, you should see her interest in shaving as an encouraging sign of personal growth – and you should be proud that, unlike many girls, she asked her mother about shaving before she tried it herself.
You can even adopt the same perspective as mom Monica Bielanko and see shaving as a form of personal expression. Bielanko writes, “I want my daughter to try on all different kinds of personalities until she figures out which one best represents who she feels like she is on the inside and I don’t want to equate leg-shaving or make-up wearing with anything other than a beautiful human being trying to express herself in the way in which she feels most comfortable.”
After all, as a mom, your main goal is probably to help your daughter mature into a smart, successful, independent woman. Teaching her how to safely shave may be a small, yet important, step toward that goal.
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