November 3, 2010
It can be tough living with a teen, especially if he or she is strong-willed, creative, and ready to take on the world. In the long run, you will be happy you have raised a kid with confidence and a willingness to strike out in the world, but the transition from child to adult can be tough for parents and kids.
One of the ways teenagers express themselves is through their wardrobe, frequently leading to arguments about clothing and personal style. As a parent, if you are able to guide your child’s fashion choices without taking the control away from him or her, everyone in the home will be happier. It is important for parents to encourage creative choices and help their children be trend-setters. No matter how strange you may think their choices, it is always better for a kid to choose styles they feel comfortable wearing, as opposed to following what everyone else is doing. If your child wants to wear military t-shirts and combat boots, while everyone else is wearing dress shirts and jeans, so be it. A military t-shirt can be a statement in the fashion world.
One of the important factors in helping your child develop a sense of fashion is budgeting. While it is common for kids to come home and ask for an expensive pair of designer jeans or pricey pairs of shoes, it may not be in the family budget. If your child is able to find affordable substitutes for fashion trends, it may be possible for them to wear the latest styles without breaking the bank. If only the designer originals will work, than you need to encourage your child to save their money so they can contribute to wardrobe purchases.
It can be tough when your child is wearing clothes that do not suit your personal taste to not speak up. Remember, if your teen thinks they are getting a rise out of you with their clothing choices, they will capitalize on their control. The important thing is for them to understand self-respect and respectable clothing choices, while still having the freedom to wear things you may consider weird or unusual.
When guiding your child’s clothing choices, help them understand the role event plays in their wardrobe choices. It is important for people to understand what they wear at home or out to a nightclub may not be appropriate for work or for family celebrations. While your teen may not be going to these extremes, they should still understand how time and event play a role in what a person should wear. When your child is dressing for an event that is different than their every day attire; help them pick something that is more appropriate for what they will be doing. The advantage of letting them have a say on the everyday basis earns you the ability to have your opinion respected when you speak up about what to wear to family events, college interviews, and out of the ordinary situations.
Help them realize putting together a wardrobe of clothing should be fun. There is a lot of pressure on kids to look a certain way, and while what your child’s friends think may be important, their own style should take precedence. Encourage them to choose colors and styles they like, as opposed to settling for what everyone else tells them to wear.
Author: Stewart Wrighter