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Organizing Your Teen Daughter for School
by Rachel Paxton
It's almost time for school to start again, and time for one of my most unfavorite activities... school shopping with my teenage daughter.

Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter, and we have a lot of fun hanging out together. But I hate shopping. I avoid it whenever possible. If you have a teenage daughter in middle school or the first couple years of high school, then you understand that it's not quite yet time to let them shop alone.

I'm sure I'm not the only mom unhappy about fashion styles these days, especially the fashions being advertised to young teen girls. Shopping for them is truly a challenge. I think for now, however, we have managed to somehow get my daughter ready for school.

Every year before we go school shopping, we go through my daughter's bedroom. We go through all of her clothes, both in her dresser and in her closet. Anything she knows she's not going to wear goes into a pile. Old underwear gets thrown away, and holey socks are discarded. It's time to start making a list of what she needs for the new school year.

The next pile we go through is her shoes. Some get thrown away, some get put in the pile to give away, and some can be polished up with a bit of shoe polish and a soft cloth.

After we finish going through the clothes, we put them into bags to give them to a women's or teen shelter, or give them to a friend who doesn't mind hand-me-down's.

Then we head off to the store. I hate shopping at the mall. I avoid it whenever possible because of the high prices. I forget sometimes, however, that they do actually occasionally have good sales. My daughter knows her clothing budget is limited, so we compromise on getting a couple of good pairs of jeans (on sale), and then spending less on tops and other accessories. And while we're on the subject of jeans, I always have my daughter show me how her jeans fit before we buy them. No jeans allowed that are so low-waisted you can't bend over in them.

We also have a hard time finding shirts that fit. My daughter is a little larger in the chest than other girls her age, and she has a hard time finding shirts that fit her. We have found that at the mall, in general, all of the shirts, even size "large", don't even come close to fitting her! What they're calling large looks like "small" to me. Once in awhile we hit the jackpot, though, and this year it was at Target. We found 4 or 5 tops (this time the large was really "large"), and she loved them. After the 100% cotton "large" is washed, it will fit her perfectly, and we're both happy.

We accessorized her outfits with a couple of belts, and now she's all set.

When we got home and I started washing the clothes, I realized her room still wasn't off to a fresh start for school. Out came all the throw blankets, pillow cases, and everything else in her room that is washable. Tomorrow we'll put it all back and she'll get her clothes all organized for school, trying to decide what she'll wear on the first day of her sophomore year of high school.

Copyright 2003-05. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, Christian wife and mom. For parenting tips, organizing hints, gift-giving ideas, and more, visit her web site at http://www.Christian-Parent.com.

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