April 30, 2007,
B.M. asks from Chambersburg, PA on January 05, 2007
Single Mom with Teen Girl :(
My daughter is 15 and dresses trashy has an attitude all the time and is always starting drama. How do i break these bad habits of hers? I have tried talking to her but she just ignores me.I havent bought these clothes for her and have no clue where she gets them from I have raised her better than this and have set a good example for her. I dont go out i dont drink or do drugs i am always home cooking cleaning or doing the laundry and i rarely have company. I have tried telling her that the way she dresses makes the wrong impression.
A.H. answers from Harrisburg on January 05, 2007
Did your daughter suddenly start dressing this way? Aren't you the one buying her clothing? My girl is 16 and sometimes she does "borrow" clothing from friends. And I'm straight with her and tell her she is not allowed to wear it. She might get upset at that very moment, but she gets over it.
You need to put your foot down now and explain to her that a woman projects the type of person she is by what she wears. I tell my girl, "If you dress slutty, that's the type of crowd you will attract and that's the image that boys will see in you...a sleaze." It might be a little harsh and she may not get it right away, but stick to your guns!
You don't have a "little about me" section so I don't know if you have any other children. Assuming she is your only child, you two must be close. It is so hard balancing that "mom" and "friend" thing with our teen girls. Be sure to let her know that she is the light of your life and you love her so much and that is why you care about how she portrays herself. Hope this helps you! Let us know how you do!
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L.S. answers from Philadelphia on January 06, 2007
I don't know if this is advice, but I do have a point of view on this subject. My whole life seems to be made up of teenaged boys. I have three sons, ages 16, 17 and 18. I also am an assistant scoutmaster for a boy scout troop, and it always seems like my house is full of boys from the troop or friends of my sons, or both. And to top it all off, I am the youngest of seven children and the only female. So all of my life, I could see how boys (and men) react to females in their lives. My older brothers and cousins were very protective of me, but I overheard many of their conversations about other girls, the way they dressed, etc, and while they were protective of me, they were very rude when it cames to girls they thought were "out there". And whenever I'm camping with the scouts, I listen to the conversations that the boys have about the girls. It's always the same. The boys read the signals that the girls send, and what the girls wear, their behavior, etc., are signals. When you combine that with the inexperience of these children -- and they are children and not yet able to make decisions about the most serious aspects of their lives -- these kids get into all sorts of risk-filled situations.
And then, of course, there's all that turmoil that goes with teenagers wanting to grow up, parents wanting to make sure their kids are safe, and the drama as the two groups try to communicate. I know from my experience with my scouts that they often won't listen to their parents, but it's amazing that they'll listen to me say the same thing their parents are saying. Eh. You know how it goes. You think your parents don't know anything when you're a teenager. My sons' friends tell them they have a cool mom. My sons think I've stepped right out of the middle ages!
Are there any other adults in your daughter's life that she feels close to? Someone that could connect with your daughter? How 'bout someone who can tell your daughter about the REAL attitude that boys have about girls who dress and act "easy", for lack of a better word. It is very true that we will always attract people to us based on how we present ourselves -- not just romantically, but in all aspects of our lives. Self respect attracts respectful people. Of course, your daughter just wants to exert her independence and none of this seems like a big deal to her. Getting her to bridge to a more mature understanding may require input from other adults.
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S.S. answers from Philadelphia on January 09, 2007
This sounds like a normal teenager. Do you know her friends, who she is hanging out with? My daughter is 14 and I can not say I have had the dress problem, but the attitude, well that is just normal I guess. With the cloths, she must be getting it from friends. I would check out who she is hanging out with and what they are doing. I tend to snup in my daughters room when she is not home just to make sure there is nothing going on that I should know about. I know this is invading her privacy, but at 14 in the world today, I do what I have to do. I have found some risky things before and found a way to bring it up without her knowing that I was in her room.
Have you tried to sit her down and talk to her about her attitude? Let her know that you will not stand for the disrespect and punish her for it.
I do not want to pry but does she talk to her father at all? What does he say about the situation? How do her brothers feel about their sister dressing the way she does?
Most of the time, when a kid gets into the wrong crowd of people they tend to change for the worse. Best thing I can tell you is to find out who she is hanging around and start being tough on her. Because if you don't do it know, it will only get worse. I pray things get better and I hope I have helped in some way.
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K.M. answers from Philadelphia on January 06, 2007
I have the same problem and your daughter is probably getting her clothes from her friends. They exchange clothes at this time. Anyways, I have been working with my daughter on this issue and I think I have made some progress with her. She is babysitting for my brother on a regular basis so she feels likeshe is working because she says it is her job. I treat her like she is an adult when I talk to her so it gives her the impression that she is equal. Of course she is not. But it seems to be helping. Try putting faith in her and explain to her that she is old enough to make most of her decisions but if she makes bad ones she can always come to you for help. It will make her feel important and that always helps because as you probably already guessed girls and moms are always at each other's throats when they are teens.
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J. answers from Pittsburgh on January 08, 2007
attitude comes witht hte teenage territory but you have to set limits
I sought free counseling etc. for my son and myself and that has helped; we still have problems and I have let him know that its my house with my rules:
slam a door - I take it off
Break a dish - you pay for it - if I have to I deny money for something else
I've taken away Tv;music;computer anthing I need to
Chores are manditory and everything is written and posted so there can be no arguements over 'misunderstanding'...
Bring it down to the basics so you can really deal with the real issues at hand with no distractions.
Post rules 'of engagement' or rules for talking with each other - each person gets 5 minutes uninterrupted then switch; talking stick...
With the clothing I will go in and take the clothing that is trashy or help her to find a way to make it not trashy (a shirt or leggings etc. underneath. Make sure you have a mole at school to know whether or not she is switching at school etc.
Just remember - your kids will be parents some day and want the best for their kids too, it may take a few years - but they will understand and they will thank you for helping them learn how to set limits and learn discipline.
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M.S. answers from Scranton on January 11, 2007
By now, you have received a lot of good advice, but here's my opinion anyway;) I remember being 15, and with the exception of an occassional roll of the eyes and little "white lies", I respected my parents. I especially respected my mom because I feared her...now, hold on to all the mothers that are going to jump down my throat...I'm not saying that you should want your kids to "fear" you. However, it was an effective tactic for my sister and I!! I knew that inappropriate clothes were unaccepted in my house. I had very large boobs at a young age, and my mom put the fear of perverts into my head at a young age, too! This is so important because this world is going down the tubes so fast. 15 year old girls are dressing and acting like women in their 30's. It's really scary, because there are perverts in this world that prey on young, impressionable girls! Someone suggested that you have "appropriate" clothes and "inappropriate" clothes, which are allowed to be worn in the house only, in her closet. Although that may work in her house, I don't think it is a good idea to suggest that those "inappropriate" clothes are acceptable in the house either. It is setting a kind of double standard to assume that behavior (or attire in this situation) is accepted in the home but not in public. I am raising my son to be respectful in the house and in public. I would never allow my child to wear something in the home that was offensive to me, because then I am giving in and teaching my child that offensive clothes are okay. Your daughter really needs to be aware of the dangers in this world. Some mothers are probablly horrified by this advice. However, having said that, my mom made me aware of all the predators in this world and I grew up to be a classy woman that does not need the attention of men to validate who I am as a woman! As far as the rolling of the eyes goes, unfortunately we teach people how to treat us! If you allow your daughter to disrespect you by throwing an attitude in your face, then you are teaching her that her behavior is acceptable. She needs to loose things that mean something to her. No t.v., no phone, no hanging out with friends etc. Like I said, we teach people how to treat us. If you put your foot down, and don't accept anything less than respect...respect is what you will get. Good luck, teens can be tough:)
A.W. answers from Philadelphia on January 07, 2007
I totally agree with going through your daughters room. I do it in front of my kids to take the sneakiness out of it and let them know that I wont tolerate the trashy clothes. My mother used to get my daughter whatever she wanted to wear and she would bring it home and I would put it right in the garbage! She now knows that if Grandma gets something too short or sexy that mama will trash it and she actually checks the clothes herself now! She still occassionally tries to sneak in a few pairs of sexy (too sexy) undies but I have to stay on top of it. I truly believe that my girls appreciate me disciplining them so they know their boundaries. You are the boss. It is hard sometimes at their age. I used to be afraid of hurting her feelings or the yelling that would occur when I disciplined her for something and I would actually let a lot of things go that I sholldn't have but once I let her know that this is MY house and she is just borrowing it and that I am the boss and I didnt back down, life got much easier. She still tries me but I don't give in. My daughter is a honor student and is heading to art college in 2008. Hang in there mama and love her through it.
L.L. answers from Washington DC on January 06, 2007
I am also a single mom of 4. The oldest is my 16 year old daughter so I can understand completely where you're coming from. It's difficult, but you'll just have to get tough with her. There are clothes in my daughters closet that are appropriate and unappropriate. The trashy stuff she can wear around the house and that is it. She was disgusted when this rule was implemented. We were enemies for a while until she realized I'm the boss and if I have to make her life miserable I will. It's not easy, but in the end you will receive the respect you deserve. It may take years. We always have dramatic issues that arise. Stay strong. L.