IF YOUR TEEN DRESSES WEIRDLY

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
IF YOUR TEEN DRESSES WEIRDLY
26
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 5:15pm
I am a thirteen year old girl, and i just want to give some advice for parents of teens about their kids' styles of dressing. I've been looking at this site because I've been bored, and I've found a few articles that really bother me. Firstly, I think that it's horrible that some of the mothers who have sent in questions have said that they're embarrassed to be seen with their daughters because of how they dress. It shouldn't matter!

I don't dress "normally". I usually wear all-black and I wear a safety-pin necklace. i am not goth, i'm not depressed, i'm not suicidal or anything like that. i just like to wear it. i get good grades, and i have great friends (and yes, they do dress "normally") if you have a teen who dress weirdly, PLEASE listen to this! it will make it so much easier for your son/daughter, and probably you.

1) one thing parents need to realize is that not everything that you're kids do revolve around them. when i started dressing the way i do, my parents made it very obvious that they thought that it was because i was doing the whole "teenage rebellion" thing, or that i was just doing it for the attention.

2) one point that my parents brought up is that other kids will assume i'm goth (which i'm not), and i'll miss out on friends because of it. if you agree with this, you really underestimate teenagers. i have a ton of friends who like me for who am, and don't care about my clothes. if anyone would judge me by what i wear, i don't want to be friends with them anyway.

3) lastly, what you need to realize is that they're just clothes! i don't have any sort of message i want to send, and i'm not trying to fit in with some crowd. i just like the look of it. i don't understand why this is such a difficult concept to grasp, but it seems to be. Please, if your teen is like me at all, just try to accept it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 5:48pm

Thank you for your input.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 6:33pm
I so agree with you cm...someday it will be our turn to sit back and watch our kids being made nuts by our grandkids - and I will be ROFL!!!

I have four teens, and over the years we've had a spiked mohawk, blue hair, purple hair, fire engine red hair, torn jeans, the "gangsta rap" look, grunge, you name it. The two 19 y/os have pretty much settled into a clean cut "employ me, please" look, but I'm sure my 12 y/o and 16 y/o still have tricks up their sleeves! When I first encountered this 6 or so years ago, I cringed too, but I have since learned if they're staying clean, sober, out of trouble and keeping up their grades - it's just clothes, my sweet kid is still in there somewhere. Though I really do wish they'd stop trying to shock my dear sisters, all of whom have kids 9 and under - they all think I'm a terrible parent for "allowing" my kids to dress as they do. Wonder what they'll say when they see the tattoos the two older guys got???? LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 11:14pm
Most people who "aren't interested" in drawing attention to themselves don't choose to dress is a way that draws attention. So I can completely understand where your parents are coming from.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-02-2003 - 11:19pm
>>A few years down the road, these parents will probably step back and watch their grandkids do the same to their kids (you teens) and then laugh. They'll realize just how silly it was and it will be your generation who will be worried, fretting and turning a lovely shade of red over clothing your offspring will be wearing.<<

How silly what was? For them to have shown concern?

Do you think the children will ever grow up and find themselves thinking that very same thing? I mean about their behavior being..well...silly?

I think parents fear for their children. They know how idiotic they look when they dress is outlandish ways and they know how they will be judged by others because of it.... and it hurts them...... and they want to protect their children. It's completely understandable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 7:57am
I don't dress "normally". I usually wear all-black and I wear a safety-pin necklace. i am not goth, i'm not depressed, i'm not suicidal or anything like that. i just like to wear it. i get good grades, and i have great friends (and yes, they do dress "normally") if you have a teen who dress weirdly, PLEASE listen to this! it will make it so much easier for your son/daughter, and probably you.

>>

Michelle? Is that you?

You sound just like my daughter. :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 7:59am
As for the parents, I don't think it is terrible that they are embarassed. That's part of being parent, just like kids are embarassed by their parents for any reason. It's part of the growing process. . growing up for the kid and growing older for the parent.

>>

I don't think it's "terrible" but I do think they should look at WHY they are embarassed. Could it be they are afraid of what *others will think of them? Isn't that a sort of 'peer pressure'? Are we as parents always telling our children not to succumb to peer pressure? Children learn what they live.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 8:04am
think parents fear for their children. They know how idiotic they look when they dress is outlandish ways and they know how they will be judged by others because of it.... and it hurts them...... and they want to protect their children. It's completely understandable. >>

My daughter wears all black, she wears safety pins around her neck. She is a straight A gifted honor student. My son wears baggy pants with his boxers hanging out the top and his hat backwards over his longish hair. He is a respectful A student who commits much of his time to his passion of ice hockey. When * I * look at other kids that is what I think, that they are probably good kids with good hearts and it's a damn shame that there are "adults" out there that chose to make a judgement call based on appearances. As adults they should know better. I also think that adults who do that, most likely make those same judgements when looking at other adults. Most of the time they are only worried about what other adults think - that's 'peer pressure'. I don't want my children to dress 'for others' or to not be themselves because of 'peer pressure' or any other reason. It's important to be unique and happy with yourself.


Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 8:20am
I've changed my methods. I agree with "im a teen", although, as a parent, I understand the 'growing pains' a parent goes through as they watch their sweet little elementary school kid change their style so dramatically and look so grown up!

I've come to believe in "parenting growing pains"...

Why do kids and teens always get the out when it comes to growing pains? and "phases"!

I say it applies to parents, too! When they are going through it, so are we.

Anyway, I didn't always like the way my daughter dresses. When I didn't like something, I tried to communicate that I didn't like the way she dressed and I tried to do it tactfully and diplomatically. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn't. Nonetheless, no matter what I said, it seemed that the more I said something, the more she dressed 'her way'.

Anyway, the point I want to make is this. As she got older, and the less I said and made a big deal, the less conflict there was over her dress. I got used to her style more and she dressed less 'drastically'.

What I do is this....

I complement when I like how she dresses, but if I dont' like how she dresses, then I don't complement her.

Most importantly, I DON'T JUDGE HER !

I just think to myself, and like Twoki said, that when she has teens, I'll be watching her writhe internally when she doesn't like what they wear and smile to myself.

She will learn her own taste. There are things that I can prevent her from doing, like getting a belly button ring or a tattoo. And, there are things that I need to let her learn on her own. She needs to find her own style.

I keep this in mind whenever I don't like what she is wearing and remember that these are Just Clothes, not statements. She is just trying to "wear clothes" not "wear a personality" - she's trying to find her style.

I know that my style has definitely changed over the years and I applaud my parents for not being judgmental of me and my crazy styles ranging from feather earrings, black/black eyeliner, indian skirts, bandana's - which back then were considered more drastic then they are now.

The more you let kids develop their own style, in my opinion, this will contribute to their character and individualism.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 8:55am
>>I don't think it's "terrible" but I do think they should look at WHY they are embarassed. Could it be they are afraid of what *others will think of them? Isn't that a sort of 'peer pressure'? Are we as parents always telling our children not to succumb to peer pressure? Children learn what they live.<<

I think those are very good questions. And if that's what they're thinking it's a very valid point. I don't think it's normally the case though. Like I said, "Parents fear for the children"........how others will judge them (unfairly)....have concerns over why they feel the need to behave outlandishly. Children are making their way into the adult world and dressing in ways that are odd or offensive to mainstream population puts them at risk.

>> My daughter wears all black, she wears safety pins around her neck. She is a straight A gifted honor student. My son wears baggy pants with his boxers hanging out the top and his hat backwards over his longish hair. He is a respectful A student who commits much of his time to his passion of ice hockey. When * I * look at other kids that is what I think, that they are probably good kids with good hearts and it's a damn shame that there are "adults" out there that chose to make a judgement call based on appearances. As adults they should know better. I also think that adults who do that, most likely make those same judgements when looking at other adults. Most of the time they are only worried about what other adults think - that's 'peer pressure'. I don't want my children to dress 'for others' or to not be themselves because of 'peer pressure' or any other reason. It's important to be unique and happy with yourself.<<

I think most adults would view that sort of behavior as simply being "immature". They know the child likely look back at pictures of themselves and stare in disbelief at their foolishness one day. I believe you're fooling yourself a wee bit if you don't think your children are dressing for others. Do you think they invented the "all black or baggy pants" look? Of course not....they're conforming to their peer group. I would much rather have a child who sets the standards that others want to follow. If a child has such a need to fit in with the crowd that he's willing to worry his parents because he cares more about what his friends think than what they think,....well, let's just say a parent has every right to be concerned with what other type things he's doing to fit in too.




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 9:00am
>>Anyway, I didn't always like the way my daughter dresses. When I didn't like something, I tried to communicate that I didn't like the way she dressed and I tried to do it tactfully and diplomatically. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn't. Nonetheless, no matter what I said, it seemed that the more I said something, the more she dressed 'her way'. <<

So she makes all the decisions about her dress? You have no standards for her to follow? I would find that scary. I'm not sure if you're daughter is lucky here or not. I can definately say you're braver than I will ever be.

Other than that concern about your technique I think your methods sound wonderful. Everyone has their own way. I will keep your way in the back of my mind and use it whenever I can.

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