Teen Dress Code: You're Not Leaving the House Wearing That!

Let’s face it; today’s teens have a completely different fashion sense than when we were their age. You really can’t blame them; however, the styles are dictated by the fashion industry experts who seem run the gamut in what they consider trendy clothes for teens.

How many times have you said to your son or daughter, “You’re not leaving this house wearing THAT?” Probably more than you care to remember.

Take comfort in knowing you are not the only parent who is dealing with spiked colored hair and outrageous clothing, from mini skirts and shorts to low cut jeans and jeans which hang off the butt. This is a different world than when we were teens, and the clothes today are meant to reflect ones individuality. Honestly, it’s not a bad thing. It is certainly better than what we had to wear. In fact, we didn’t have the wherewithal to express ourselves in a fashion sense and if we did, we were considered out of the norm and grouped with the hippies and the beat generation.

When you see your teen wearing clothes that make you cringe, take a deep breath and try to compromise so that both of you are happy with the final result. The importance of gentle persuasion can alleviate your teen feeling self-conscious and ultimately lose self-esteem.

Celebrate the fact that your teen is different, but at the same time work with your teen to find a solution which both of you can live with. The mindset of the baby boomer generation is quite different than our parents. Baby boomers with teens are a bit more tolerant as far as fashion is concerned. Nonetheless, some teens can go a bit overboard especially when they are exposed to TV personalities whose children wear clothes and hairstyles even you as a parent find abhorrent.

The next time your teen presents an outfit he or she is wearing to school, a family get-together, or whatever the occasion, a few alterations here and there without dissipating the individual style and expression of your teen can be achieved through communication and funky new ideas. While you may not ”get” the outfit, remember that you aren’t the issue, your teen is. You are not required to “get” it or understand it. All you can do is to ensure it is somewhat appropriate for the occasion for which it is worn.

Freedom of expression, freedom to voice an opinion, and freedom to choose is a basic right we all have. Your teen needs to feel you not only approve of him or her, but that you support them in their desire to be different. This makes for a higher self-esteem and self-worth. Okay, so you’re not crazy about the outfit; remember, however, you love the person wearing it.