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Coping With Your Teenager's Inappropriate Fashion Trends

Aug 23, 2008
If you're the parent of a teenager, then you know how teens like to keep up with the latest fashion trends. This is understandable, as teens are trying to establish their own identity, outside of identifying with their parents. However, there is the likelihood that some of these fashions may seem inappropriate, even to the most lenient of parents, and especially to those who are more conservative in nature. You don't really want your daughter in short shorts, or low cut tops, and you probably don't want your son looking like a thug or hoodlum. Where do you draw the line between your teen dressing in trendy fashions and dressing inappropriately? Perhaps, more importantly, how do you draw the line?

When it comes to dealing with your teenager and the fashion trends you don't find acceptable, your first reaction may be to lay down the law, and rule with an iron fist. You are the parent, after all, and in your home, your rules must be followed. That's a fair agreement, isn't it? However, this sort of philosophy may do more harm than good. Just think back to when you were a teenager. Most likely, you would respond unfavorably to being told how to dress by your parents. That may have worked well as a child, but teenagers want to establish their own independence and identity. The best option is to take a different approach than the authoritarian one.

One of the many cases where you most certainly should speak with your teen about their fashion choices is where those choices could end up causing harm. Many of the teen fashion trends involve wearing clothes that are quite revealing. This can send a dangerous message that your teen is marketing himself or herself sexually. Your teenager probably won't see it this way, but those who see your child very well may get that message, whether it was intended or not.

In this case, you should sit down and explain your concerns. Let your teen know that there is the possibility that sexual predators may interpret their provocative fashion style as being an invitation to receive attention. Calmly explain that if this is not the message that he or she wishes to send, then perhaps it would be wise to reconsider his or her fashion choices. Taking the time to explain the logical reasons behind your concerns will be more likely to be effective than simply demanding, "You aren't leaving the house in those clothes." You may even find that your teenager feels a sense of gratitude that you treated him/her in a more adult manner, and be more compliant with your wishes, realizing that your position on the issue stems from actual concerns for his or her well being.

You and your teenager should also be aware that fashion trends can sometimes change rapidly. What's in today, may be out in just a few months, never to come back in style. It's entirely possible that the fashion trend your teenager seems so enamored with, and that you detest so much will be a quickly passing phase.

You could also work together with your teen to look at trends that the two of you can agree upon. There is a wide variety of fashion magazines and online fashion sites that you can explore with your teen to look at alternative trends that may be more acceptable. You can point out things that, whether you appreciate the taste of them or not, are fashions that you would find to be within the confines of what is acceptable. This could also turn into a fun bonding experience, as well as a good way to come to a compromise with your teenager.

One more benefit of finding common ground with your teenager on what fashions are acceptable is that it could reduce friction between your teen and school dress code policy. Just as teenagers don't like being told "you can't wear that" by you, they can also resent the enforcement of a school dress code. Schools often prohibit students from wearing certain types of clothing, especially offensive or revealing clothes. Learning to work together with your teen may have the benefit of preventing an issue with school authorities from ever becoming a problem, or resulting in any sort of suspension or disciplinary action.

Taking these few steps to try to cooperate with you teenager instead of ruling your teenager should help reduce the level of conflict that you have between each other. Teens like to be fashionable, but that doesn't mean that they have to wear things that are inappropriate. By working together, you can help your teenager to understand why it is your duty as a parent to impose a more responsible sense of fashion.
About the Author
At Design Your Own Prom Dress Online you can find other fashion tips, including How to Turn Your Prom Dress Design into a Real Prom Dress.
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