Guest Author - LaTeisha Clément
When girls are young, you pretty much choose all of their clothes for them-the tutus, the tiaras, baby doll dresses, and all of the other frills. After all, wasn't this your dream when you discovered you were having a girl? Kiddie stores are your go-to location. Little Miss Princess is happy to frolic in whatever you purchase and proudly holds your hand from store to store. She has the utmost confidence in your fashion sense. But, your teenager feels differently and is probably wondering why you both are in the same place at the same time looking for clothes. As she grows older, the shopping dynamic changes drastically. What was once a bonding experience is now Tug of War.
Blame it on adolescence. This is the time of self-exploration and not to wear what Mommy picks out. It is a hard pill to swallow, but ever so true. Did you want your mother choosing clothes for you when you were coming of age? Maybe this was not verbalized out of fear of blatant rejection. But, the feeling is mutual and your teen is now screaming, 'Mom, please let me shop for myself!'
So, what next? It is either yea it nay. If you oblige, there will be leeway for her to search several options on how she can express her personal style. On the other hand, stifled freedom may lead to someone sneaking out of the house in outlandish attire that displeases you. It is human nature to go against force. Please keep this in mind.
If religion guides your household, consider allowing her to venture into appropriate gear that meets your standards yet is playful enough to suit this new phase. Find a middle ground that makes everybody happy without sacrificing your sanity. Conservative parents may opt on letting their teen research department stores that are modest but youthful. Lastly, if you are leaning towards liberal, loosen the rope a little and see what she comes back home with. You may not be disappointed.
In all of these cases, it is important to keep the conversation open. Dress is a very sensitive subject and self-expression is inevitable. Rest assured that both can be met within reasonable parameters. The trick is to find the perfect medium. It may not be easy. However, it is worth it.
Please note that these are purely suggestions of the editor and are not intended to infringe upon your personal beliefs.