Dressing like a Vampiress

My daughter dresses in black and wears multiple silver leather type necklaces and black nailpolish. Is this a sign of an unhealthy personality? I have heard it described as Gothic. Is she in need of some type of therapy?

Question:

It's typical for 10- to 15-year-olds and even older teens to try out new looks. Some go preppy or punk, gothic or sporty. There is a "uniform" for each type. Gothic styles look scary and the music that they play sounds scary. Does this mean your daughter is automatically in need of serious help? Not necessarily. Try to look beyond the nail polish, black garb, and weird necklaces and think about these things:

• Is she well-adjusted in school and working up to her potential?
• Does she have friends with whom she has fun?
• Do you know thesefriends?
• Does she have interests or hobbies?
• Does she talk to you about what is going on in her life and how she feels about things?
• Does she participate in your family routines?

If these questions don't trigger alarm bells then you shouldn't worry. Clothing phases pass. If she's flunking classes, hanging with friends you don't know, (or none at all) if she does not share any details of her life with you, if you feel she's in trouble on an emotional level, then it's time to start talking to her, her teachers at school and her friends before deciding to take action.

Answer:
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