Updated 08/22/2012 05:00 AM
Child Wellness: Teens testing their style limits
Most teens go through a phase of wanting to fit in with what they wear or perhaps a hair style or hair color. As Marcie Fraser reports, parents need to learn when to say ‘no’ and when to let go.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Teens will often test the limits with attitude and style. Some styles can be quite extreme and alarming. Keep tabs on sudden changes.
"When you have a child that wants to join with certain groups like goth, sit down and seek to understand where their interest is coming from,” said Meghan Lemery, LCSW-R psychotherapist.
If there is a change in their behavior, grades or friends, don't be judgmental but certainly take notice. If possible, allow some creativity, but apply dress codes for school and lighten up at home.
"You want to open the door to more conversation. What is it about this clothing that you can identify with? What is it about the music that you like? Seek to join them so they don't immediately shut off from what you have to say," said Lemery.
Talking to your teenager and giving them suggestions as to what to wear, what won't work, is badgering or threatening. What will work is supportive shopping. Show them what attire is acceptable but parents, be flexible.
"Don't buy clothes that will be a temptation for them to experiment with or buy things you are comfortable with and step back and see where you can make a little room to accommodate their interest as well," said Lemery.
Do you suspect your teen is changing their clothes once they leave the house? Check back packs for additional clothing and a surprise visit to the school at the end of the day may be helpful.