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Advice on Pre-teen Daughter's Desire for Black Nail Polish

Hello moms. I have a daughter who is about to turn 13. She is trying to drive me bonkers!! I've told her I do not approve of the black nail polish. I think it looks too hard, too old for a young lady. I allow her to wear plenty of other colors, including the neons, like greens and oranges. What are your feelings on this? Am I being too hard, too old-fashioned? Is it worth battling over? She's hormonal, can't understand why she can't wear black polish, why her bangs can't cover her eyes, and why she can't open a Bebo account on the computer. She's 12~! Will be 13 in a few weeks, and I can't believe how quickly her transition from my precious lil girl to this teenage monster is happening!! Thanks for your thoughts.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Okay, Okay, I hear everyone LOUD AND CLEAR!!! Geesh, thanks for your input, I didn't realize this would get so many responses. But I did think about it, and I am going to let her know that it's ok, I don't mind.
Later I realized she was just having a hormonal moment, and that's why she was driving me crazy. I do want to have a much better relationship with her than I had with my mom. I appreciate ALL of the advice you have given me, the insight, and I know we will survive.
You just have to realize that my daughter does not look like a 12 year old girl. She looks like a 17 year old young woman, and so I'm not even ready to think about her and boys. I want her to just slow down, but I know I can't make her. But I will have a better relationship with my daughters, actually we already do. But as she nears teenager status, I feel the pulling away, and I'm the one rebelling! HaHa!! Thanks again for all of your advice, I will definitely consider it, it has been most helpful. God bless you all as you continue this journey called parenthood.

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I am 38 & I wear black nail polish. If you look in any fashion magazine, it's the "in" thing, as long as they're kept shortish. Long & black just screams "HALLOWEEN". It's a fashion fad which will pass. It's not goth or emo. Lighten up ma!! :-)

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I have a 12 year old and I would let her wear black nail polish. Much more things to worry about and deal with than that.


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Personally, I would not let her wear black nailpolish as it is a symbol of a heroine addict. They do it to cover the fact that they shoot up under their nails, and the black covers the deep bruising. I work in forensics and come across this stuff all the time. Do you want to represent herself as an addict?

Most nailpolish I would give in to, but not this one.


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As the mother of a 18 (almost 19...where did the years go?)...

we went thru the Goth stage...bangs in her eyes, black polish, black eyeliner....the whole nine yards. I fought it as long as I could, then I realized, we were fighting all the time, over things that were not really important.

I chose to give in on "black"...and focus on other stuff, her grades, what books she was reading, movies, doing things like going to theater in the park, sitting our lawn chairs in the river in the summer, painting things together...college prep courses..things that we both will remember long after the fighting stops...it is going to stop isn't it?

Anywho...pick your battles. Back when real estate was booming and we were doing better financially, we used to go get manicures...and yes, she got black...but just for me, she would occasionally put a white flower on one, or rhinestones, or silver tips.

She always got tons of compliments on her pretty manicures. I think it helped her fragile teenage self esteem. My rule was, just like with red...once it chips...you fix it or remove it....I hate ratty manicures. And I expected some respect...she could do black...but she had to be respectful of my feelings and keep it on the conservative side. No Vampire eyes and no black lips unless she was going to a concert.

And I was in the back with ear plugs.

Now...she's in college, at Cornel, living in the dorms 10 hours away...and my house is empty and oh so very quiet.

And I still have black fingernail polish in my frige.

Maybe I'll paint my toenails black with rhinestones for Halloween?

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Hi S.,
As the old saying goes..."pick your battles". This is not one you should battle over. I am the mother of two 20 something daughters and I guarantee you there will be other battles more important. She is just trying to find her individuality, even though it appears to be going along with what others are doing...it's just a sign of growing up. Just give her the boundries she needs at the appropriate times and always make sure you are there for her when she wants you to be. There will be alot of changes in the next few years...ride the waves with style. Good luck and blessings to you and your family.

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You know your daughter better than anyone else so trust your gut. I am a Middle school/high school teacher ret. so I have seen many kids go through this inc. my own wonderful daughter and son. I call hair and nails "safe rebellion" If your daughter is just trying out an independent look, let it go. She is trying to be herself and as an Avon lady you have tons of looks that belong to YOU so she really has to look outside the box. My daughter wore the black and dark in middle school. As a young mom she told me "Thanks for not fighting me on that. I would have hated to wear it in high school just to prove I could have." But back to trust your gut. Are there other risky behaviors, friends etc??? Deal with those, nail polish is easy to remove; if you give freedom there it may allow you to take a stand where it matters. LOL R.

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I'm now 28 yrs.old and I remember wearing black polish and lipstick but it was very short lived and as I see others who wear it I look back and think how STUPID that looked on me.I say let her try it she may like it but let her get a few comments from others and she'll be wanting to take it off.Or you can hold your ground because you are MOM and you have rules,but if you want to avoid an all out brawl give her a choice of a new color of polish that she can pick out.I hate to say brib her because it has happened to me a few times with my 2 kids when they absoulutely wouldn't listen to me.She is old enough to know that it is a privelage to wear makeup such as polish that it can be taken away.

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Pick your battles, enjoy this time with her and just keep your eyes open. You'll know if it is going in a bad direction, then it needs to be a battle.
My daughter went through the black nail polish faze and others, she is now a college grad, married w/ a beautiful 2 1/2 yr. old son.

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I did not have daughters biologically, however, had plenty of girls around. I raised 3 boys. And well, my middle son went through the black nail polish phase as well. He was a bit older and not at home much in those days. He also, went to shaving his hair off when he was about 15. I was not thrilled. However hair grows back. It took alot of things that we went through to realize that. Yes I agree black nail polish is not the most attractive. I am not even sure why they invented it. But it is only her nails and polish. It comes off. Tatoos don't. It is ok to be old fashion. Don't be so hard on yourself. As long as she is still showing you and your husband respect and her teachers. The bangs should be okay too. Even though I would not really like it either. But it is really all in the attitude. As long as she is still being respectful and following the rules. The hair and nails are definitely nothing to argue about. Now on the Bebo account. I am not sure what that is. But if it is something she could potentially get into something dangerous, I would probably have to put my foot down there. But it is up to you!
I am sorry that these teens years have to be so difficult. I wonder how our parents handled it? However, they did not have as much of the things the world has to offer now for the young people today. It is truly scary. I reconciled myself to the fact when we went out in public my son would be embarassing himself and not me. But we were rarely ever together. My best to you!!! K.

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i don't have a teenage daughter but i used to be one - and now i'm 30 and know better about a lot of things! lol. but i don't think the black is a big deal...just my opinion. she could be going behind your back and piercing parts of her body, or having sex (i know that's scary!), so it could be worse! just like at any other age, try to allow her as much freedom as you can without compromising her safety. she'll be less likely to rebel in more dangerous ways. just my two cents. hang in there!

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I have 2 lovely daughters and we've done and are still doing teenage years. I know you've had responses on this, but I wanted to share my thought also. Black nail polish is beautiful when professionally done on well manicured nails. Might I suggest take her and yourself for a manicure and enjoy a bonding moment with her. I am 43 and I sometimes wear black nail polish. My 20 year old wears it frequently also. Sometimes we have nail art done on them which shows up quite nicely on any nail color. As for the bangs let 'em hang, she'll get tired of them. Pick and choose your battles. These are the ones that will be the least of your worries. It's also a control thing between the two of you so give her some room and enjoy the time you still have with her while she is young and as she gets older you will become best friends!

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My thought it that it's not the worst thing in the world. You should give a little, you can't say no to everything, and I think as long as it's black nail polish and not the whole package like dark hair, dark makeup, hair in eyes, etc, its not going too far. AFter all, if you keep saying no to everything, your relationship will change faster than it is now. My son wanted longer hair when he turned 12. I said no. Then I thought, well, if he keeps it clean, trimmed out of his eyes, and is respectful, then it would be OK, and as it turns out, my husband and I love it and my son is happy too. You gotta give a little to get a little. Good luck!

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I think there are far worse things that she could want to do so as long as it's not hurting anything,let her wear it.You could ask her not to wear it for special occasions.I agree,I don't like the black either and wouldn't want my daughter to wear it.However I also firmly believe in choose your battles.So if she wants to do something that's not a big deal,let her.She is expressing herself with the way she dresses,does her make-up/finger nail polish.So unless it becomes inappropriate let her do it.

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Hi S.-

Let her wear the nail polish. There are so many things that teens & pre-teens don't get a say in. Black nail polish is something that is harmless and I am not sure what her bangs look like but there a lot of side swept bangs that sort of do cover the eyes worn by adults as well. I am sure raising a preteen is difficult but hang in there!

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Black nail polish is really in now. She is probably just trying to follow a trend. Its not just for goth girls now its for the prissy ones too! ;) Good luck with your pre-teen!

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I honestly don't see the problem with black nail polish. It's a form of expression... and it's really not as taboo as it used to be. It's gotten pretty trendy and mainstream. It no longer means "bad girl" or "rebel," etc. like it used to. I see women twice my age with black manicures. And if the worst she is doing is painting her nails black, I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

I also agree with the previous poster. Long side swept bangs are very popular and stylish right now. So, as long as her hair is well kept, I don't see a problem with that either.

However, you are her mom, and what you say goes. Just pick your battles wisely.

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My mother gave me the BEST advice for this one. Can it be undone in 24 hours for a family funeral.Yes okay if not it can not be done. So no tatoos but black nail polish yes.
Good luck and try to pick your battles carefully.

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I have a 12 year old and I would let her wear black nail polish. Much more things to worry about and deal with than that.


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I am gonna tell you what I think, you may not like it. Yes, I think you are being a bit old fashion. My daughter is 11 and I let her wear it. She's not a bad kid, she makes A's and B's, has a bunch of friends. The "gothic" look, crossbones is just a trend. Just like bell bottoms and mini skirts, spiked hair and BIG 80's hair. I know it's scarry being a parent with a daughter this age in todays world. My daughter will be 12 in Dec and looks like she's gonna turn 15....that's before she puts on a little make-up. I consider myself a very protective parent, I don't mind the black nail polish. The girls see MIley cyrus, selena gomez and all the young "positive" celebrities wear it, so they want to as well. Now if your daughter wants to wear chains and a dog collar and get mulitple pearcings...I would draw the line there, as I would myself. But I think the black nail polish is OK. MAybe you can surprise her with it and make rules on when and where she can wear it. No family gatherings, christmas, thanksgiving and such.......but OK for school.

hope I helped

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I say give in on the nail polish, but stay firm on the online accounts. Kids need to express themself, so give a little, but keep true to your beliefs in the major things, especially the online safety issues. Good Luck!

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I am 38 & I wear black nail polish. If you look in any fashion magazine, it's the "in" thing, as long as they're kept shortish. Long & black just screams "HALLOWEEN". It's a fashion fad which will pass. It's not goth or emo. Lighten up ma!! :-)

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Hi, I can totally understand your view. First, when I was growing up, wearing black was a down hill ride on the teens hidden emotions. I would investigate what is making her change. What are her influences. I would point out to her that children that have acted out in sparatic rampages wour black. example that ones at Calimbine Highschool before and during the shootings. And many children that have committed suicide have been known to wear black. And the nail polish a big shout out. Have you talked to any perfessionals about this. Even a minister might be able to help. Good luck.

Yes I think your being a tad bit old fashion. The black finger nail polish is just a trend right now, the darker colors are what the young girls are wearing now. Let her wear it, it'll be out of style before the paint drys anyway! LOL

What your daughter is doing is going through the goth faze and I would keep an eye on her. Do not let her do a Bebo account it doesn't sound like a good idea. She's only going to be thirteen and limit her on the computer as well or have it to where the parental controls are set and coded that you and hubby know the code. Black nail polish is just a faze but I personally don't like it either. Stick to your guns and be firm but fair about it. Hope this helps. My son didn't go through the goth faze.

Just remember to pick your battles...is black nail polish really that big of a deal? I wouldn't be surprised if you let her wear it that it will eventually be her least worn color!

If the worst thing that happens is black nail polish you are doing good. This is just the beginning and she wants to show her "individuality" from you by doing something you would hate... Normal teen stuff.... I work at a school and I see kids dress all in black, with skulls, coal black dyed hair, black eye makeup and lipstick....Some of these kids are great kids, some are messed up... As long as you know what is going on with your daughter, giving her a little freedom of expression won't harm her.. but make sure she knows this will affect the way people see her...People will judge you by appearance... She may just think it looks cool...Take lots of picture so you can show her how dumb she looked later when she is past this phase... I remember my stupid leg warmer over my jeans...Thought I was "hot" wearing those....OH MY...Good luck....

Hi! The more you resist, the more she will want to do it. My mom treated it like another form of dress-up and let us do it-- and it got pretty old, pretty fast. (Yes, the late '80s also had black fingernail polish and long bangs, tho most kids now wouldn't believe it). By the time I was in high school I had gone through waterfalled bangs, the punk/goth look, chopped short hair, dyed red hair, heavy makeup, and all the clothes that went with each style-- and I was done. In high school I dressed in a fairly normal, relaxed way, grew my hair out, and wore very little makeup. I got it out of my system because I wasn't actually rebelling against anything (and let me tell you, my mom treating it like cutsie Halloween costumes made me less likely to try again!).
Remember-- just like when she was three and doing it, she's pushing your buttons now to see if you'll react.
Good luck with the teen years!

Eh, she's starting to get at the age where you pick your battles. You don't want her to feel that your opinions on a color of nail polish are just as strong as your feelings on skirt length or web accounts. Maybe let her express her independence on the little things so your guidance will still matter on the big ones. Besides, black is really hard to keep up, smears when you remove it and is less noticable than neon green. :)

not sure what that kind account is. but I know my 19-15 year olds all wear black and the also wear white. I don't care for for it. but they I know I raised them right and hope they will remember it.I really don't think it a big deal. I don't think it means anything.

I would let her wear the nail polish. Truthfully there will be much bigger battles over way more important issues that you will have to fight.

Hi S.!

I dealt with that a year ago. My daughter turned 14 on Monday. I had the same thoughts as you and for a while said no on the black polish then started to think that there were going to be other battles that were probably more important. About that time I started reading a lot about teen agers and found that they are just trying to gain their independence and do things that are certainly different. "Like purple streaks in her hair!" That was a big no!

My husband and I finally decided to let her get the black polish and she wore it once or twice. Later she ended up using it to make designs on her border in her bedroom.

Hope this helps!

I think you have to pick your battles. She's just trying to be cool. I am a 34 year old mom and wear black polish on my toes!

Let her express herself! She will resent you for controlling such a minor thing. Pick your battles. It is just a color. My cousins daughter went thru this and horrified us all. My cousin never made a deal out of her dressing in black goth etc. She never treated her any different and now she is a normal girl. Married with a son. She will have to get a job and grow up at some point and she will figure it out. She needs to know you love her no matter what she looks like!

Hi S.! I am a conservative person. But the black nail polish isn't any longer a thing the "goth" wear or people like that. It has really become an "in" nail color for all! I wouldn't worry about that. Hope this helps! Have a great day! God bless!

BTW, I work with the youth at our Baptist church and girls wear it that are very good, clean cut girls:)!

sounds exactly like my 13 yr old daughter. The long bangs is definately the style. We have also had to deal with black fingernail polish which apparently is also the style. I gave up on that battle and figured it wasn't worth it. She also wears eyeliner dark and looks like raccoon eyes but I think most girls go through that stage as well and will learn that less make up is better as they get older. She has so many other moods and attitude issues to battle that I let the appearance battle go, however she isn't allowed to wear inappropriate clothing that shows too much and she doesn't even like to wear shorts or low-cut shirts so we at least don't have that issue to battle. She prefers jeans and t-shirts. I think girls at this age are trying to figure out their identity and don't want to stand out alone especially in appearance so they try to mingle in the crowd.
I do watch how her attitude is around certain friends and if she starts acting disrespectful like her friends act then she gets grounded from hanging out with them for a while and we talk about how she needs to stand up to them and tell them how they act is not appropriate especially being disrespectful to adults and their siblings. I don't allow the kids to argue and treat each other like that. I teach my kids to treat others how they would like to be treated and watch how their tone of voice sounds so they don't hurt people's feelings.

Just know that you are not alone and hopefully our girls will grow up to be responsible young ladies when they get out of the junior high stage.

One of the things I've always been told is to pick your battles. Black nail polish will not harm your daughter. My friend has a 17 yr old daughter who wears this awful black eye makeup.... I told my friend to get off her daughter's back. There are worse things they can do other than wear horrible make up or black nail polish. She's 13! I'm sure when she's 23 she'll look back and think, 'Oh my! What was I thinking????' Just remember, there are worse things she can be doing at her age. Good luck.

I don't blame you, I am not fond of any of the "dark" fashions and especially I would throw a fit if she got into the "goth" thing. This is your call. If it were me, it would depend on what she is wearing it with, and what her girlfriends are into. If they are into innocent things and you decide it's okay, I would decide how often she could wear the black (only during halloween season, etc). I would be teaching her NOW about modesty, and prepare her to not be asking for all the sexy, revealing fashions. Tell her other girls' moms may think that is ok, but your home has its own boundaries for a 13 year old girl. Stick with what is important to you, and what image is right for your daughter. Don't fall for compromise if it is not right for you. The fact that she is diving into fads for older girls at hyperspeed may need some tempering.

I am a mother of soon to be 14 teen year old daughter. Choose your battles wisely. Talking is always best.... But, you need a game plan. Bless her in to women hood and don't shame her. As teens they really can't tell the differance of what the do, wear or say from who they are. So you need to make that clear. That you are saying no to behaviors and yes to raiseing a beautiful young lady. You need to be someone she can count on during all the changes. Because as we both know hormons can be over powering. Not to mention the social presure of being a teen. In a time of discovering who she and will be in this big world. These are the questions... Will she have a good heart, will she have strength, character, will she dream, create, love, be passionate, be good friend, will she make wise and good choices? You can make her do anything... by putting enough presure on her. But, will you lose her heart? It is still in her heart to make you happy and please you. Be careful not to make it hard... Choose your battle wisely. You need to know what kind of relationship you want in the her adult years and you both need to see it. By no means is this easy. But, my daughter knows that at times there is more love in my NO than in my YES. She may not remember it right off. She may push with every thing she has but, in this discovery of hair, clothes, make up, hair, and every thing else. I am being to see what appears to be a young lady coming into her own. It is not show, not a performance of what she thinks I want to see, it is a real girl. Who is confident in who she is and will be. This is not in her hair, clothes, music, make up, friends and any thing else... She can stand up on her own to feet. My job is to reminder her that she comes form a family with core values and beliefs and while she is still under the age of 18 and living in our house she will be expected to live by them. We are a family of character, strength, honesty, respect, we have servant hearts, love, hope, fight for what is good and right, we defend those who need help. This is who we are... not what we do. Sorry to write book...

Mother of two teens 17 and 13 married 21 years.

Dear S.,
I don't have a teenage daughter, in fact I have 3 little boys, but coming from a family of all girls, the teenage years can be hard. My moms outlook on hair, makeup and nail polish was that all of it can be easily changed. IF you cut your hair, it will grow back. If you color it purple, come spring it may be platinum blonde. Nail polish can be removed, make up isn't permanent, and she let us pick and choose what we wanted to wear and how we wanted to present ourselves. Now granted there were a lot more rules within the school system about personal presentation when I was growing up, and it wasn't that long ago. Just remember that tatoos and piercings are permanent and can cause long term scaring and damage. I just say PICK YOUR BATTLES, there will be several more along the road until she realizes that her momma is the most important person in her life (early 20's). Right now, you know nothing in her eyes and she knows EVERYTHING :-)

I agree with many of the others. I think nail polish (and hair) are things that aren't worth fighting over. They can be changed easily. Is it really worth the fight?

It's just a color. It is October and black and purple are in. I teach dance and there are a lot of black nails there and ya know these are good girls. It really doesn't mean anything. Just a color. Let her be. It is a small battle really not worth fighting. Fight the online battle instead. Let her get her style as long as it's not risque. When she's a teen it will be harder to control her style, but she'll be more willing to listen if you let her choose now with some control. Good luck and God Bless.

Personally, I would not let her wear black nailpolish as it is a symbol of a heroine addict. They do it to cover the fact that they shoot up under their nails, and the black covers the deep bruising. I work in forensics and come across this stuff all the time. Do you want to represent herself as an addict?

Most nailpolish I would give in to, but not this one.


My newly-minted 15-year-old just dyed her hair black, and she sometimes wears black nail polish, and because I don't really react to it, I think she's already over it. She's a straight A student and polite, respectfuly kid.

I'm agree with the general consensus. There will be much bigger battles. My daughter knows there will be no body piercings or tatoos while she's living with me. But because I didn't make a big deal out of her hair or nail polish, she doesn't see me a totally unfair.

I agree with you about the computer. She isn't allowed to talk to strangers while out in the world, so she certainly isn't online. Give in on some things and you'll have more traction when you say no on others.

Choose your fights wisely.
Maybe look at fighting other negatives; however, educate your daughter that there are certain times and places that her type of dress is not appropriate. When appropriate, come to some sort of guidelines and agreements that allow her to show her own individuality. The more you fight it, the longer it will last. If you give in, she may decide she won't want to do "what mom allows" and move on to something else that you may or may not like until maturity kicks in.
Good luck!

Hello S.,
It looks as though you have plenty of responses. When I was a teenager my parents wouldn't let me color my hair strange colors. They wouldn't allow me to get anything pierced other than my earlobes. They didn't care about finger nail polish. My point is that I ended up getting piercings that were not visible behind there back. As soon as I was old enough I got a tatoo behind there back where it wasn't visible. I was a good kid. I didn't get the greatest grades, but I didn't drink or do drugs. It always frustrated me that though I was good I couldn't do things that wouldn't be permenant. My suggestion is the same as some others. Pick your battles. If it is something that can be changed without having to go see a plastic surgeon I would say it's ok. I was just always wanting to be different.

They say to pick your battles with your children. I don't think that the black nail polish is that bad. However here are some suggestions on compromise. Try stearing her to other dark colors that your ok with (ie dark blue or dark purple). I have a dark blue called Celestial that looks great. Maybe the compromise could be that you will allow the black on her toes but not her fingers. I personally only do my toes. Good luck

:) Good Morning S.. I wasn't blessed to have a daughter, but I have two son's who gave us two daughters in law's. The youngest has our only gr daughter, I mean drama Princess, Tia is 9.

When our youngest son had like his 2nd girlfriend, he would come home from visiting her and had his nails polished Alternating black & white. Some where white with bk dots etc.
How she did it I have no idea cause he bit his nails horribly short. Our eldest son, wore Nothing but black shirts from about 13 on. Still wears mostly bk, some grey and sometimes white t-shirts. No other Colors ever. His wife is all girlie girl and they have two boys.

So it can go both ways.
Tia our little Drama girl wears all colors of polish except Bright RED. Tia and her momma sometimes do their nails together, right now mom has dr blue with white tips. Tia will get all of her small bottles and polish each one different.

There are a lot worse things then fussing over polish S., and you will be hoping it was polish again.
Also like on the news a few weeks ago some schools now are sending kids home if they have HAIR to long, or colored to bright or weirdly or nails to long. Anything that causes a distraction to learning it is considered a violation of dress codes. So I would be really tempted to allow them a little more freedom with the small things now. It gets a lot harder as they grow up.

God Bless and have a polish party
K. Nana of 5

If you think the terrible twos were bad, you are entering a long, difficult time in your relationship with your daughter. Since I don't know anything other that what you posted, I think you need to answer your own question - is it worth battling over?

You daughter is redefining herself. The chances of her defining herself the same way you do is small. If all she is doing is experimenting with nail polish colors - consider yourself lucky!!! She could be cutting herself!

The fewer battles you pick, the more likely it is that you will have a good enough relationship with your daughter to weather the really big issues you both will be soon facing.

Having said that, you don't have to enable her new look. If she can buy all her nail colors and other things on her allowance, odd job money, etc, fine. It doesn't mean you have to go out and buy it for her.

the black polish is actually in style right now. Not in a Gothic way but a hip and trendy way. My niece who is now a freshman at MU wears this quite frequently and she is great kid .. went to St. teresa's Academy and graduated with 4.6 GPA. She is not gothic but totally hip and trendy.

My daughter is 11 and lots of kids wear black nail polish now. Its like someone else said, its not really a goth thing anymore and she'll probably even lose interest in the color anyway. Yep, pick your battles...this may not be one that's worth battling over.

I don't know about you, but I was a "teenage monster" too at her age. In fact, most of my grown friends remember being a rebel at that age. From ages 12-15 it's like they're trying to figure out who they are, and being different and trying new things and "looks" are just experimental. This age is a very "look-at-me" stage... My daughters are still very young (6 and 16 mo), but if they're good kids, and they want to wear black nail polish, long bangs, or black clothing, I'm cool with that. Most likely it's a phase and she'll grow out of that. I also found that the more you tell them NO on the little petty things, the MORE they will rebel. I know that's how I was! I don't know how old you are, but in my younger school days, I can remember teasing my bangs until they touched the ceiling, peircing my ears 6 times in one ear, and tight rolling my jeans to where my circulation was cut off! My mother allowed, but certainly didn't agree. And now I'm a well educated, working wife and Mother of two..and I think I'm doing pretty good! And one thing is for sure - as I look back, I appreciate that my Mother let me be me at that time. If black nail polish is all the conern you have with your 12 year old, you've done a great job Mom!

My personal opinion is that if it's just nail polish, it's not that big of a deal. ;0) At that age, I do think it's wise to choose your battles...on the grand scheme of things, there are worse things she could be doing. =0) Good luck!

I do not have a teen daughter. I think black nail polish isn't that big of a deal and isn't work battling over.

I like the phrase from an earlier response, "Bless her in to women hood and don't shame her." I need to remember this one, maybe post it on my bedroom wall as a reminder.

First, I got the definitions from my 15 year old. Goth is not Emo. Goth is a dress style. And, black dress and finger nail polish are not necessarily Goth, unless the person has the entire look. Emo means more, like death cult added onto Goth. Emo is bad. Goth not bad, just ugly.

Also, there is Skater-Girl and Skater-Girl / Goth combo. Very interesting dress with that combo. Can't even start to describe it. . . took a long time to recognize it.

So, I look to my kid's attitude, actions, and grades. I'm a lot like the other moms who focus on the kid's actions, not necessarily the fashion (with in reason).

My oldest (girl) went through the Grunge stage as a teenager in the 90's; and, now has two children, a job, and going through college. My middle (boy) did the semi-Goth black pants with huge legs and spiky hair; and, is now in the Navy. My youngest (girl, 15 years) has been in the Goth (black hair and all) and Skater-Girl/Goth for quite a few years. Now, she is looking to get a job, and is demanding nicer clothes so she can get a job to save for a car.

I hope all these posts that show kids going through this stage and comming out the other end as 'normal, non-druggy, non-muderous' people sets your mind at ease.

I too have a 12 yr old daughter she will be 13 in June. I have allowed her to paint her toe nails black this month for halloween only. Sort of a compromise. I don't like the black goth looking stuff that you see on so many kids these days and she knows it. We have the same war over the bangs. I also have allowed her to have a Bebo but I do keep a close watch over it and almost every night she shows me stuff she has done on there. It is so hard to let them go from little girls to young ladies. I try to tell myself that as long as we guide them in the right directions they will make better choices. We have to let them make their own decisions and fail at somethings in order for them to become adults that can stand on their own. Best of luck with your daughter. Sounds like she is one lucky girl that has a mom that loves her.


Are you serious? What kind of mom are you if you don't allow your child to experiment with things she's interested in? I would understand and totally agree with you if it was drugs or having sex or even a boyfriend...but come on, it's freaking NAIL POLISH! It doesn't mean anything. I think you are just afraid that she'll become a Satanist...lol! Please! I was gothic throughout high school. I also went through a punk stage and a hippie stage. They were STAGES! Something every kid goes through and should be allowed to go through. That is how a kid finds out who they really are. I am so glad that my mom was not close minded like you. I'm so glad she let me find out who I was and WAS NOT! I grew out of goth, and I got married, had a little girl, went to college to become a nurse and a graphic designer/web designer, am now pregnant with baby #2, have a wonderful husband, and run a non-profit organization for single soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Give your child her space! She's never going to respect you if you don't respect her. What you are going to do is force her to become a rebel, and then you are REALLY GOING to have some problems!

S. ( Just a second while I compose myself as I am laughing) not at you, but I am in same situation...BUT, with my son! He is going to be 13 in December and He wants to wear black nail polish ( Ewwwww) its some kind of "Emo-Goth" thing, dumb to you and I but a kind of fashion statement for them. My son Also wants his hair in his eyes. At first I said as long as he kept his hair Clean I was ok with it, thankfully ( I guess???) he didn't keep his end of the bargain and after being SICK of looking at Long Greasy hair I took him and got it cut and we compromised ( so neither of us is happy LOL) I told him I have to see his eyes, end of discussion he has plenty of years ahead of him when it will be his sole discretion what he does with his hair.
Personally I do not see HER wearing black nail polish as too big a deal, except I would say not when you go out as a family or to church, I won't let my son wear it except for halloweenm and I make him wear regular blue jeans when we go out as a fam, no need for him head to toe black Every day.
Pick your battles wisely....some of them are doozies, others are not such a big deal in retrospect.
Good luck to you, I do indeed feel your pain.

My daughter is 11 (12 in April) and I know we have many battles ahead of us. If it were me, I would take a look at her friends, see what kind of people she is hanging out with. If they are not extreme and it's just nail polish (not everything including attitude that's "black") then I wouldn't worry too much about allowing it. After all it is October. Hang in there, it sounds like you are doing a great job!

I dont like it either.but,as long as she stays on the honor roll,and involved with the youth at church. SHe is wearing black polish just to be in

Black nail polish has been quite in style, even with grownups, for the last year or two. It's no longer an indication that the wearer is "goth" or "punk" or anything. It is way more mainstream now. I would not be concerned about the nail polish if she is otherwise a good kid.

Wow S.... you are going to have a tough road ahead if you're concerned about black fingernail polish! It's something that IS NOT permanent, just like the phase she is going through. Thank goodness for my parents who didn't like or agree with the particular form of expression I was going through- but stuck by me and let me do the things that were still safe but reversible. Self expression and finding out "who you are" does not make your daughter a monster. What will make her a monster is your constant dissastifaction with how she might look to other people because you're afraid of what those other people might think. Let her experiment and have fun otherwise you might end up with a rebellious young woman who ends up getting into worse situations that are irreversible! You can still set reasonable boundries, but don't try to control who or what YOU want your daughter to be... or your precious lil girl might sadly resent you forever. Don't forget you're only young once and we as adult/parents know that it's such a short amount of time. Let her have fun and you can have fun with her... open up a little bit!!

Yeah, I was a pretty big monster from early on as well. I wanted to be just like my older girl cousins, who were all at least 3-10 yrs older then me! When I was a teenager it was in the 90s when the whole grunge thing was cool, and the skater phase was starting etc... Once I hit about 7th or 8th grade is when my Mom started letting me play around with nail polish, make up etc... I couldn't dye my hair till I was in H.S. though, then I did all sorts of chunks of semi permanant colors etc... because my Mom knew in the end, they'd wash out for one, and two, I was trying to figure out my style and who I was at the time. As well as trying to fit in. I think if it's just the black nail polish, let her go for it. Maybe tell her she can only wear it if she does every other nail black, and the other another color. That way they're not all black, but some are, and you both might be happy... Or tell her she can wear it one or two weeks a month. It's only nail polish, and it eventually comes off. Find a compromise for the both of you, to make you both happy! Otherwise, the teenage years are going to be a lot harder ; ) Pick and choose your battles, and compromise the rest! That way she feels like she somewhat won, and she can be herself, or fit in, whatever it may be she is trying.... Good Luck!!

I would let her wear the black polish and get that phase over with. I'd tell her however, even though to her it's just black nail polish and no big deal, to many other people it's communicating something else - that she's goth or a bad kid (which, right now, may be what she wants to communicate, to be cool.) But she should be aware that teachers and other adults may be on guard with her. As an example, my niece, who is not goth, bought a pair of "trip pants" (those big baggy black pants with chains and zippers) just for fun and hung out with her friends at the mall. They weren't doing anything wrong, but they were followed by security. She was never followed when wearing jeans. So when you try to look tough, people will treat you differently.

Also, as you let her do this, consider that this may be the beginnings of her really pushing her limits. I just went through the heartbreak of thinking "my kid would never do that" and finding out that I was completely bamboozled. This is the time when she needs to know that mom is no dummy and will find out if she's doing things she shouldn't - and needs to know you care enough about her to put a stop to it. So, when she says she's spending the night with a friend, make sure you know the mom and have the home phone number. Follow up to make sure that's where she really is. Get to know all her friends' parents and talk with them regularly about what the kids are doing. When she's asleep, check her purse for cigarettes or evidence that she's doing things she shouldn't. If she has a cell phone, check her text messages to see what she's up to with her friends. Absolutely do not let her get on those social networking sites - they are unbelieveably inappropriate for this age. And if she does have a MySpace of Facebook account, get the password and check it every so often to make sure she doesn't have any suggestive photos on it or that she's not communicating things she doesn't really understand.

While all this may feel like a violation of privacy and trust, I now know that it is absolutely necessary in order to know whether your child is making bad choices or not. She doesn't have to know you are going through her stuff. But she should know that you talk to her friends' parents and that she needs to check in with you when she's out. That will help her know that mom's still watching when she's away.

I just learned the hard way that the most dangerous thing you can think is "my kid would never do that" because as long as you do, you have blinders on and won't see what's really going on right under your nose.

Hi S.,

I think black nail polish is fine. What about the two of you having a mom & daughter time getting your nails done together? Could she pick out a nail color for you to wear? Maybe you could jot down some of your daughter’s strengths and talents, taking a minute or two every day to remember these. There may be days when you can hardly remember your precious little girl but she's still there. As she becomes an adult the ways you've helped her understand her individuality in a well-rounded, positive way will be beneficial.

I think fighting over her choice in finger nail polish is a huge waste of time. As a teenager, soon to be, you have very few ways to express yourself. The more you fight the little stuff like nail polish the more she will push back and rebell. Of course there have to be limits on what a 13 year old can do, but is the color of her nails really that big of a deal? My parents were great when I was that age, I just realized how long ago that really was. They didn't stress out about what color my nails were or even my hair for that matter. I turned out to be a normal mom. Finger nail polish seems pretty harmless. I was allowed to express myself freely and I don't think I ever went overboard with it. Let her get it out. Some teenagers express themselves in much worse ways. Be happy that it is just nails.

Wow, oh Wow. How those kids do test!

It is easy for me to say this because I do not live in your house with your daughter. But I think holding firm is a good idea. I may be niave but I believe that sticking to your rules, being a little hard and old-fashioned is what it takes. As long as she is thinking about fighting you about nail polish and bangs and a Bebo account she is not finding some other rule to try to break or push the limits on.... something more serious like boyfriends or drugs, alcohol, sex, etc...

Teens need to push the limits so give them some to push. It helps them want to leave home when it is time and helps the learn to keep a job that requires them to follow rules.

Those are my thoughts.

I'm wishing you ALL good things as you plunge into having a 13 year old.

One of the best books I ever read on teen girls is Reviving Opehlia by Mary Pipher. I met Mary Pipher, too, and I thought she was very practical and well grounded with good solid relationships with her kids.

L. C.

I grew up with two younger sisters and I know we pressed my mom for lots of things she wasn't comfortable with. Remembering that, and still having a sis in college, I would guess this is more of a fashion choice. I'm about as conservative as it gets with my dress for work...even casually....and I have black polish on my fingers and toes. My sister just turned 23 last week and that's what she wanted for her birthday. When I went to Beauty Brands to buy it, all the new colors were really, really dark tones of purples, browns and blues. OPI makes some nice really dark colors that have a hint of color in them, so maybe that will help????
Girls love to grow up fast - we always want to look older and in style. Like someone else said....if she's a good kid otherwise, the polish is a small thing.
Best of luck!!!

I always think boundries are good, but I would pick them wisely. 13 is so hard, and it is the style, feeling like you fit in is nice. I honestly think it doesnt look that bad, or as bad as the black colored mohawks I have seen this year. I say, give her one, for the fact of letting her have a win. Give her a hug, tell he you love her, and let her have one.

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