Is everything in the Apple Store. So says the girl child…in blissful ignorance of our family budget and the realities of choices which must be made in the adult world. Move over ghost of Christmas future, Steve Jobs is taking your place. What happened to wanting a Barbie?

At age 10, the unwelcome siren of peer pressure has begun calling to my daughter. She sees what her friends have and wants the same (or better) to keep up in her social circle. Her brain is now capable of making associations between individuals, objects and their surroundings.

Was I any different? Yes, most definitely. I grew up in a community of families with roughly equal economic status. I did not know about people who were better off as I had no contact with them. Not until I entered the job market as a teenager did I begin experience the consequences of the socioeconomic strata. But by that time I knew who I was and how to stay true to myself.

So now as a parent my task is to help girl child find out who she is and who she might become…despite her immersion in the connected society. Body issues are probably not in her future thanks to good genes, but the potential for retail idolatry and focus on presentation and appearance will be problems. “People should like you for who you are” only goes so far on a Fazed Book page where all you see are photos. Do you like what is popular? Do you follow who is popular and why, pray tell me, *are* they popular? I want to see the man behind the curtain who is my opponent in this match.

I try to show her how an independent woman can find her way through society. She accompanies me on some of my photoshoots and sees how I work. Our time together is ever more important now…before the hormones kick in…before I have to get to know the girl teenager…before she thinks it’s time to begin pulling away. I have a couple of years at most.

Oh, and if anyone asks, I’d like one of everything from the Apple store too! I didn’t say girl child had bad taste.:)