Is it normal that… My daughter’s already competitive dressing at 4?

My little girl will only wear one thing – but the reason why is disturbing me. I need some help.

So my four-year-old daughter has lots of lovely clothes. Some of them are cool and colourful, some are practical, some are pretty. But there’s only one thing she wants to wear… A nasty polyester purple ‘princess’ dress.

Right now, every morning is a battle to get her to wear something else to preschool, or the beach, park or playground. ‘Princess dress, princess dress!’ she chants as I go to sort her clothes for the day.

Weather conditions do not impede my girl's love of her 'princess dress'.

She won't be fobbed off by the idea that it might be dirty ("Doesn't matter, mummy!") or 'lost' ("I'll find it, I'll find it!"). If I 'disappear' the offending item - which I often do - she will hunt for it with the tenacity of a bloodhound, before throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming and sobbing. "Princess dress! Princess dress!" Seriously, who's got time for that at 7am, when four people have to get out of the door within the hour? So, I hate to admit it, but often, I give in.

But this morning I put my foot down, and I got an interesting insight into WHY she wants to wear her special dress every day.

"But Mummy," she reasoned, between sobs. "What if one of the other girls is wearing a princess dress, and I'm not. And she's a princess, and I'm not. And she'll be pretty, and I'm not."

Did I mention my daughter's four?


Where did that come from?

Now I'm worried that my daughter is hung-up about whether or not she's 'pretty', before she's even started school.

I'm worried that she's already worked out that what she wears, and what other girls wear, is important to fitting in and feeling popular. I'm worried that the fact she watches me get ready for work most mornings, putting on a skirt, and heels and some make-up, is sending her the message that she needs to look a certain way.

Really, I'm just worried that my girl is comparing herself to others already, and finding herself coming up short.

Tell me, am I worrying way too much?

Also see:

Is it normal that... I'm freaking out about school photos?

Is it normal that... My husband and I haven't had sex since my baby born?

Is it normal that... My husband's ex asked for money for IVF?

Order Mummy Bloggers

The Mummy Bloggers - a novel by Mamamia's Holly Wainwright

Three Women. Three Blogs. So Many Lies.

Available at all good booksellers or

Order Mummy Bloggers

More articles