My daughter is 11 and is just now (after years of yelling she hates her hair) starting to not be so negative about her hair. She still won't wear it down. She calls it poofy even though the curls are defined (just her hair is so thick). I started CG on her last week (she was reluctant to do it before). And yeah kids make me mad. Girls! Called her hair poofy. I told her they were jealous, etc. You're right it doesn't matter what we say because we are not peers. I would try Curly Girl. It is helping my daughter gain confidence in herself and hair. **She is super shy too.
Here's some pics when wet.
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