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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

Help My Daughter Without Hurting Her Feelings?

Posted by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM
  • 24 Replies

Hi - I have a 16 year old daughter who is just finishing up her sophomore year. She is very ambitious and talented, and has really found her place in high school. She has joined drama, gotten her lifeguard certification, is an incredible artist and musician (she is self taught on the piano, ukelele, and guitar), she performs in our local coffee shop, writes her own music, and has placed first statewide in her chorus, both individually and with the group. She also started to love school so much she has really thrown herself into studying and has become an A-B student, as opposed to the C-D student she was in middle school. She seems to have really come into her own. Now, she is starting driver's ed and wants to get a job this summer to save for a car. I appluad her ambition greatly and I am very proud of how far she has come. The problem is this: she does not seem to understand how to present herself in a manner that would be conducive to her getting a job. She has never been interested in fashion, she wears ill fitting jeans and plain t-shirts most of the time, and she does not bother with any preparation save for showering. She also has thick, curly hair, and because she does nothing but throw it in a ponytail it frizzes all over the place. Lately she has been very down on herself because she has gotten many interviews but no call backs, and I feel that this may have something to do with the way she is presenting herself. How can I gently nudge her in the direction of paying more attention to her dress, hair, and make-up habits without discouraging her or hurting her feelings? She is so driven and talented, and I would hate to crush her or make her feel as though she isn't good enough, but she needs to understand that presentation counts.

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sahlady
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:44 PM
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how about telling her how proud you are and suggesting you have a mom and daughter spa day.  offer to get her hair cut, and do a little shopping under the pretence of spending time together.

Roo1234
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM
1 mom liked this
I would suggest the policy of 3 positives for one negative. Tell her two things you really admire about her, then talk to her about the importance that society places on hygiene and presentation offering a couple of suggestions about what she can specifically do to help herself, and then end with another amazing quality that she has that you- or anyone else- can admire.
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02nana07
by Ida on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:04 PM
1 mom liked this

 Maybe you could both go for a makeover get a new hairstyle and makeup done and finish off by getting some new clothes.

MamaSnaps
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Well, were you born knowing what proper etiquette and dress for an interview was? Neither was she. When I started interviewing my mother drilled it into me how you dress for an interview. It's your job as the mom to teach her how to navigate the world. 

sorsha2013
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Thanks, I get that. I was simply asking for some tips on how to do so without hurting her feelings. There's no need to be rude.

bizzeemom2717
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM
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I would take her on a mom and daughter spa day. Honestly is usually the best policy or like my dad used to always tell me, the truth is always kind. Explain in a nice manner or Google and print off an article on professional dress tips/techniques. If you approach it in the right manner, I don't think you have to worry about hurting her feelings, she sounds like a smart girl who would appreciate the tips.
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gdiamante
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM
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Considering how many adults aren't getting hired, it may not be her presentation at all. But here are some basics. You can tell her you got this from a hiring manager (I used to be one):

NO jeans, NO T-shirts when she's out job hunting. Take her shopping for some nice black pants (khakis are fine) and blouses to wear for interviews. No sneakers either... a pair of black flats. That's her job hunting uniform.

Hair and makeup... really depends on where she's going. Food service, clean is more important than fashionable. Retail, you've got to look like the store image.

Check her hands and nails. She doesn't need a fancy manicure but the nails should be trimmed or filed neatly.

Consider taking her to a salon for a cut that will be less work for her. Often the ponytail is just a timesaver. Best thing I ever did in college was cut my hair really short, and I also have curly frizzy hair.

I understand where she's coming from because I was just like her. And I didn't have to get "girly" to get a job; I just had to get businesslike.

gdiamante
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM
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One more thought. DOn't approach this as what she's doing wrong. And don't harp on the really trivial. My dad used to complain that I wouldn't wear lipstick. "People will think you're a lesbian!"

I continued to refuse to wear lipstick. I do to this day, and I'm turning 50 this year. 

My mother took a different approach. She's the one who took me to the salon for that really short college haircut, suggesting it would ave time in my day. She was right as always! And she introduced me to the black pants uniform. Any short you want, but the pants are always black. Still wear that to this day!

sorsha2013
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Thanks, she is very smart. Typically she does take things like that pretty well. Mainly I was concerned because she has seemed so down on herself from not getting callbacks, and has been asking me why people aren't calling her back. I agree, I am a big fan of honesty being the best policy. :) Thanks to you and also to everyone else for the great ideas. I think we can work this out. :)

BelleVernonGirl
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:05 AM

This is exactly what I was going to suggest...good luck!!!


Quoting sahlady:

how about telling her how proud you are and suggesting you have a mom and daughter spa day.  offer to get her hair cut, and do a little shopping under the pretence of spending time together.



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