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Help My Daughter Without Hurting Her Feelings?

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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
Replies (21-24):
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I would just explain to her that In the working world you have to present yourself as a professional. Take her shopping for "interview clothing"  idk why that would hurt her's just the way life is.

by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

I don't think that explaining that would hurt her feelings so much, it was more an issue of the fact that she tends to take everything very personally, so if I were to say something like that too directly, she would be likely to hear "you aren't good enough the way you are". I think that everyone here has given me some really great ways to approach this, though, and I appreciate all of the suggestions. Between all of them I'm sure I can find a way to approach it so that she won't hear it as though I am telling her she isn't good enough. Thank you everyone again for all of the great ideas!

by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 4:21 PM
2 moms liked this

With the change in the weather ask her if you can go through her closet with her to get all the Winter things out to store them away for the Spring & Summer seasons. This might bring her closet down to some minimal things. So suggest you go get her a couple new outfits. While your out shopping suggest you get a outfit or two for interviews. It won't hurt anything, it can be used for school as well. Since the weather is warming up and her hair is so thick and long ask her if she would like to have it thinned or have a few inches cut off.  It's nice to have a new hair do too. She might feel nice and refreshed. I have done this with my daughter a few times, it has worked. She actually told her friends how much fun she had with me. We mad it into a mommy/daughter day. Had lunch and just hung out for a bit. Good luck to you!

Michelle Davis

Have a Great Day & May God Bless <3


by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 8:13 PM
2 moms liked this

UPDATE: First, thank you to everyone for the great ideas! I have a day planned for us on Wednesday, and I'm happy to say that two days ago without any prompting whatsoever, my daughter decided on her own to get a FANTASTIC new haircut! It looks GREAT!!! And, to boot, she donated her hair to a charity for wigs for child cancer patients. She makes me prouder every day, she is really growing up. :) Thanks again, everyone! simple smile

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