What should I do if I hate the way my teen dresses?
Real Mom Problem
“My son is in that phase were he wants to dress like a skater. He is 14 and I swear all of them are dressing like this. He won't even let me take him to get his hair cut!”
- 1. Dress as an example for your child
- 2. Compliment the outfits you do like and approve of
- 3. Decide what's truly worth arguing about and try to ignore the rest
- 4. Focus on your child's other good qualities to foster a positive self-image
Real Mom Solutions
Teens love to express themselves through their clothing, often in ways that make their parents scratch their heads. See how the moms of CafeMom suggest you deal with a teen who could use some fashion advice.
Support Your Teen's Attire Choices
My daughter went through a Goth phase. I really hated it, but I did support her. I figured she is only young once and I preferred she went through it while I still had some control. Plus, I didn't want her trying it out as an adult where it would be even less acceptable. She did outgrow most of it. She still loves funky hair and facial piercings, but overall she has turned into one heck of a lady.
They need to spread their wings and make decisions. In the grand scheme, how big of a role is his hairstyle today going to matter 10 years from now?
I think we need to let kids be kids and express themselves, to a point anyways. And if it's with crazy-colored hair or some crazy clothes, then whatever. Hair will grow out or back and clothes can be changed, piercings can be taken out, and for the most part a lot of tattoos can be covered up!
Compliment your teen about the outfits you like and try to meet halfway on the ones you find less appealing.
Be Open, but Set Some Rules
One of my sons wore all black throughout high school! He only wears work boots, black pants, black tee shirts, a black jacket and a black beanie cap, regardless of the weather. I hate it! He has expanded his wardrobe (finally) to include a couple of brown shirts, a dark green shirt, and camouflage pants. I'll take it! He also grew his hair long at one point. He constantly changes his facial hair. I just go with it. As long as he is clean and looks well groomed, I can handle it. I did draw the line at piercings and tattoos. Lucky for me, he doesn't have any desire along those lines, as they are too popular and he does not like to follow trends.
I don't battle my teenager over clothes. I have rules and boundaries. She has the option to disobey me and deal with the consequences. But we are both fairly flexible, so for the most part I don't have lots of rules. Don't go in public half naked; I must know where you are at all times so just call or text if you move locations; be honest; be kind to siblings; do chores; have good grades.
I pick my battles: hair, clothing and makeup are all things that I chalk up to self expression. However, if my daughter was going out with boobs, butt, and belly hanging out, I would veto the outfit. Just as I will veto butt and boxers hanging out of my sons' jeans when they are teens.
Pick Your Battles
For me, this was really a matter of picking and choosing my battles. My eldest was the expressive child. It began with coloring her hair every unnatural color of the rainbow. Then the bondage pants and the Goth dress. Then she shaved one side of her hair, then the other, and now she has NO hair. Every time something happened and/or changed, I had to take a step back. I was always honest and told her that her appearance would eventually have to mainstream itself because employers wouldn't hire someone with her personality in her appearance for certain jobs; that it wasn't necessarily right that most people judge you based upon your appearance, but that's the way the world works; that I didn't necessarily like the way she wore her hair or her clothing and I'd prefer it be different, but I still loved her.
Ignore most of it. They're learning to rebel and discovering their own personal style (which will almost certainly not be yours). Clothes are a small battle -- they really aren't worth fighting about.