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#1 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two very traditional teen dd who have recently both become interested in boys. Problem is the boys their interested in. Nipple piercings, tattoo'd knuckles, want to drop out at 17 and get a GED boys. When we talk to the girls about their own worth and what we feel they deserve in a mate they tell us we're just judging them and thats how all guys are. Are we wrong for eypecting a certain type of class for our children? Is it our business? Is this hnw normal teen boys present themselves and i just never knew till now?

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#2 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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First of all, I think it's important to point out that being pierced/tatooed and being a good person are NOT mutally exclusive.

People are incredibly varied, and physical standards change from generation to generation. Piercings and tatoos are much more common than they used to be. I'm a woman in my mid-30s with a nose piercing. My parents and grandparents were horrified when I got my nose pierced, but it hasn't kept me from living a full, happy life and working in a professional job.

I think that talking to your kids about their worth and about how to choose an appropriate partner is great- keep it up. That said, it sounds to me that your children aren't nearly as concerned with physical appearance as you are.

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Are we wrong for eypecting a certain type of class for our children?
Believe me, I understand where you're coming from in wanting the best for your kids. But this comment DOES come off as very judgemental. And honestly, at this point, you can't choose for your children. You can express your opinion, but if you refuse to accept your children's judgement, you run the risk of your kids choosing to completely disregard what you tell them.

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#3 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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First of all, I think it's important to point out that being pierced/tatooed and being a good person are NOT mutally exclusive.

People are incredibly varied, and physical standards change from generation to generation. Piercings and tatoos are much more common than they used to be. I'm a woman in my mid-30s with a nose piercing. My parents and grandparents were horrified when I got my nose pierced, but it hasn't kept me from living a full, happy life and working in a professional job.

I think that talking to your kids about their worth and about how to choose an appropriate partner is great- keep it up. That said, it sounds to me that your children aren't nearly as concerned with physical appearance as you are.
ITA. Body modification and educational choice are not indications of worth, inherent goodness or even, in many circles "class."

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#4 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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...
But this comment DOES come off as very judgemental. ...
I think the OP was referring to not graduating from high school determining your social class in life. Sure there are exceptions, but this is a general statement about making more money and being more experienced in life with more education, and not a judgment.

I think the OP should keep helping her daughters, but I think generally you have to "kiss a few frogs" before finding your prince. She might need to get her heart broken by a jerk in order to realize she wants a good guy! (and what a good guy actually is!)
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#5 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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I agree that the comment about a certain type or class comes off as judgmental. And if I was your daughter, I would ride that kind of comment to the ground with the claim that you were being classist and unfair. I was a terror of a teen, I remember how it's done.

I'd run on two tracks here:

1. That is NOT how all guys are. There is a variety in guys, just as there is in girls. You, as a parent, are free to admit that you admire young people with ambition and find it a little disheartening that your daughters' boyfriends don't seem to have any.

2. You want your daughters to be happy, healthy and safe. You want them to know that they can always call you for a ride home, that they deserve to be treated well, and that they don't have to put up with people who pressure them to do anything they aren't ready for.

Keep in mind that teenage girls may be deliberately looking for guys who aren't long-haul good prospects, because they just aren't ready to think about long-term commitment. They may want boyfriends for fun, but not for keeps. Odds are good that they'll move on from these guys.
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#6 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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My daughter dated a few "nice" boys. You would have been thrilled when they showed up at your door. Clean cut, National Honor Society, captains of teams. However, the most picture perfect of them all was a manipulative, controlling jerk. As the mother of a 20 year old who has been dating for 6 years, I have found that how they look is absolutely no indication of how they act. And isn't how they treat our daughters of the utmost importance?
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#7 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I dated the long hairs all through highschool and then settled down with the cleanest cut, most all-american boy you've ever seen. He graduated from highschool the normal way and had a full ride scholarship to college. The pressure from trying to be perfect had done so much damage to him that he was not the person inside that you would have thought and he completely trashed my life. Luckily, I had two beautiful children and am now married to a prince among men who is kind, gentle, loving and respectful. He also has nipple rings, tattoos on his knuckles and pretty much everywhere else. I wouldn't sit in the same room with someone who was ignorant enough to think anyone out classes him. I'm going to be nice and not say anything else.
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#8 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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My daughter dated a few "nice" boys. You would have been thrilled when they showed up at your door. Clean cut, National Honor Society, captains of teams. However, the most picture perfect of them all was a manipulative, controlling jerk.
There are people I know that others just by their appearance would cause many people to judge them, but they have the kindest hearts of anyone I know. That is so life, you can't always judge a book by it's cover. Wouldn't it be so much easier though if you could?

Another pp mentioned that your daughter may be dating these guys for fun not for keeps and will have to kiss a few frogs before finding her prince (sorry don't know how to quote more than one person in one post). I totally agree, and as another pp stated make sure she knows how she should be treated and that you will always be there for her when she needs you.

And I also want to add that if you try to not comment on the piercings etc and try instead to see the person inside your willingness to be open minded may go a long way towards opening the door for communication and then if there is someone you have a serious concern about she'll hopefully be more likely to listen kwim. As far as the lack of ambition/only wanting to get a GED you never know you may be able to make a differance for them and encourage even one of these boys to at least finish high school and that would better their life, not that they are neccessarily the one your daughter will settle down with years down the road.

Another thought is that sometimes teenage girls have also been known to pick their dates for the shock value. Your non reaction to the piercings/tattoos whatever will go a long way in making that phase shorter lived. Just a few random thoughts! You've gotten some really sound and caring advice from the pp's!

Good luck!
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#9 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Just gonna chime in with another "it's not how they look, it's how they treat her" post.

Tattoos and piercings doen't equal bad person. Dropping out and getting a GED doesn't equal a bad future. Heck Einstien dropped out of high school and he did just fine with his life.

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that a good portion, probably a majority, of these boys are good, decent individuals who will eventually become good, decent men. Until you meet them, there is no way of telling what someone is actually like.

I also have to say that, like some pp's have mentioned, the guys who are top of the class, clean cut, etc... as a father they scare me more then the alternative. They can be a wolf in sheeps clothing. They can end up being the one who is so used to getting what he wants that "no" isn't even on the radar.

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#10 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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I've got nothing to say that hasn't already been said here, except that I was bullied - badly - in high school, and there isn't one of the bullies that wouldn't pass your apparent criteria for being a "good" person. They were clean cut, well dressed, polite and had good grades. They were not "good boys". OTOH, a lot of the "losers" I used to hang out with were people who might have lacked ambition, but they also didn't have a mean bone in their bodies. They were loyal to their friends, kind to people who needed help, honest in most ways, etc. The tattoos, long hair, ratty clothes and pierced ears (mostly no other piercings, but those were much less common 20+ years ago) said nothing about how they treated other people.

I'll also add, based on watching a few of my friends years ago, that the more you disapprove of the boys your daughters are dating, the more likely they may be to keep dating them. I don't know if that dynamic is playing out in your family, but it's something to consider, because it's not uncommon for girls to deliberately date boys that will set their parents off (I actually think one of ds1's ex-girlfriends was dating him for that reason, and dumped him because it didn't work).

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#11 of 28 Old 12-20-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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My daughter is dating a VERY nice young man. He's kind, and shy, and good in school.

I hate him.

It's impossible to explain why, but I just am SO ready for this relationship to end. Maybe he will mature into a better "Man" someday, but right now, he's a lot of emotional work for my daughter. I just wish he'd stop being so clingy and freaking WHINY. He's 19 for Pete's sake.

Not that I want a tattood, peirced, smoker showing up at my door. But, there has to be a middle ground. Right?
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#12 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 05:12 AM
 
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Having piercing/tattoo's and wanting to drop out and go for a GED is not ALL that bad. I can understand wanting a plentiful future for your daughters, but these things do not classify a person as "bad". Also, going for a GED in this generation is way more common these days.

My DH has numerous tattoo's and he treats me wonderfully. Actually, he treats me so wonderful sometimes it still throws me off guard, if anything, I'm the bad one/bad influence and I totally look legit. So no, appearance does not reflect someones means to be considerate, well mannered, ect...

Someone who is extremely clean cut, dresses nice, has no body modifications, anything, could very well be a bad influence, just as someone with a different appearance and ideas of how they should look. It varies from person to person, and they shouldn't be judged just because they have this or that.

I know some parents have high standards and an "ideal" mate that their child should be with, and that is their right, to want their child to have the best, but in the end that child will more than likely be with who they want anyway.
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#13 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 05:38 AM
 
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The guys I dated at high school were all the boys my parents adored, looking back and having met a few of them 16 years later I'm so glad I left all that behind, I dated a guy in university my parents hated, he was a jazz musician, he was kind and gentle and so respectful, but didn't 'look' like the sort of guy my parents would choose for me, now I'm married to a man, again not the person my parents would choose for me and tried SO hard for me not to marry him, everyone said it'd never work out, but he is also kind, generous and respectful but doesn't necessarily look the part - he has some flaws but then don't we all. I'd let it go ... easier said than done and it's not a bad thing to want the best for our kids but judge the person not just how they look.

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#14 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 05:52 AM
 
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We all want the very best for our kids, and I think the best differs from mom to mom. I'd say focus on the biggest life lessons right now. Teach your daughters about finding mates who are kind to them, who make them laugh, and who have good hearts. As they mature, so will the men in their lives. As a teenager my husband wore funny clothes, didn't have much ambition, and was a bit of a slacker. As an adult he is hard working, well educated, and mostly clean cut (save for the beard he grows every winter).

Teenage boys turn into men. But they're not men yet, and probably shouldn't be held to the same standards. Wait until your daughters are women before you worry about the men in their lives. For now I'd just focus on making sure that they understand that the boys in their lives need to treat them with respect and kindness, regardless of appearance or ambition.

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#15 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to first apologize for not being more specific concerning the words nice and class. I actually have 2 tattoo's myself and have no problem with non profane tattoos on adults. I do see homemade tattoo's saying the f word on a boy a reflection of class. Rather than argue the issue of class can you ladies please give me the benefit of the doubt that i am not judging these boys on their outward appearance or parents economic standing but on the moral character that they have shown me. My concern is to why my dd's would pick these boys and cling to them despite of how they are being treated. We have always strived to teach them self worth and respect and it seems to have disappeared

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#16 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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I want to first apologize for not being more specific concerning the words nice and class. I actually have 2 tattoo's myself and have no problem with non profane tattoos on adults. I do see homemade tattoo's saying the f word on a boy a reflection of class. Rather than argue the issue of class can you ladies please give me the benefit of the doubt that i am not judging these boys on their outward appearance or parents economic standing but on the moral character that they have shown me. My concern is to why my dd's would pick these boys and cling to them despite of how they are being treated. We have always strived to teach them self worth and respect and it seems to have disappeared
You didn't mention anything about character, or how these guys treat your daughters, in your initial post. We don't have a lot to go on here, just the stuff about tatts and plans to drop out and get GEDs.

How *are* your daughters being treated?
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#17 of 28 Old 12-21-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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So far as I can tell, your girls are in high school. I'm not sure how to react to the fact that they are "traditional" but I really hope it doesn't mean you are expecting them to choose mates for life at this point and get married soon. High school dating, IMHO, should be about learning who you are, who other people are, and how you want to be treated. Dating in college and beyond (way beyond in my ideal world) is more focused on finding "a mate".

For many girls, especially those from more strict families, see high school dating as an extention of their search for independence and authonomy from their parents. Just as a guess, if you object so strongly to the boys they area dating, could this be their primary motivations? Driving mom nuts can be a lot of fun at that age, after all. Perhaps if you backed way off, after making sure they were safe of course, might serve well here?
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#18 of 28 Old 12-22-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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Maybe they're doing it to piss you off?

And we're all stupid when we're young to some extent. My DH had some HORRIBLE tattoos that have been covered now with some beautiful ones. He was homeschooled and only has a high school equivalency and dropped out of college. He now has (along with his full sleeves of tattoos) a great job as the senior software architect.

I think what people are saying, is even if a nice clean cut boy is sweet to your face he could be mean to your daughters just as much as the "stereotypical" bad guy.
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#19 of 28 Old 12-22-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I have two very traditional teen dd who have recently both become interested in boys. Problem is the boys their interested in. Nipple piercings, tattoo'd knuckles, want to drop out at 17 and get a GED boys. When we talk to the girls about their own worth and what we feel they deserve in a mate they tell us we're just judging them and thats how all guys are. Are we wrong for eypecting a certain type of class for our children? Is it our business? Is this hnw normal teen boys present themselves and i just never knew till now?

Your definition of a Nice Boy is extremely prejudicial. My DD's bf is an EXTREMELY nice guy and very good to DD. Still, he is also a high school drop out, he has one (huge, ugly and filthy) tattoo and a few piercings.

He strongly regrets his tattoo. In fact, he regretted in the week he got it, a med the doctor has him on messed him up and he said, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

He doesn't regret dropping out at all. With his GED he recently started community college. His first semester he made all As and recently he got a letter inviting him to join Phi Theta Kappa honors society.

In addition to being nice to DD, he is also very nice to me. He helps around the house, he is polite and fairly shy.

Are there nice boys out there? Yes. Will you see them? Not if you are going to judge by appearance alone.
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#20 of 28 Old 12-22-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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How *are* your daughters being treated?
THAT is a very valid question. Appearance does not necessarily speak to a person's character. Actions on the other hand speak volumes.
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#21 of 28 Old 12-24-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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Yep, there are nice guys left. My little brother is one of them. He's 17, started college early, dyes his hair on a biweekly basis, has a 4.0 gpa, stretches his earlobes, self-idenfies as a feminist, is politically active, doesn't smoke, drink, or do any kind of drug, and from what I have heard is a wonderful boyfriend.
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#22 of 28 Old 12-24-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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ITA. Body modification and educational choice are not indications of worth, inherent goodness or even, in many circles "class."
Exactly. Read this post and couldn't not comment. I was a pierced, funky dressing, hair dying girl in high school. I also played a sport every season, volunteered after school and graduated at the top of my HS (and later college) class... which I guess is a good thing because my parents would be classified as middle or (gasp!!!) lower "class" because of their income, so I went to college on scholarships.

ETA: Maybe take some time and get to know them before passing judgement so quickly?

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#23 of 28 Old 12-25-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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A person with a tattoo and piercings isn't normal?

My son is a good kid. He's 14 and a girl will be lucky to get him one day. He's laid back, caring, honest, has been home schooled and loves people. He's great with babies too (we have a 3 mos old).

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#24 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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As the mother of one of the "good guys" as well as a teenage girl, I have to admit that I'm amused by the premise that outward appearance is the end all and be all. Both of my kids are pretty much straight-edge. And they've had all sorts of friends. Prep, jock, emo, punk... There have been kids in every group who I love to have around, and there have been kids in each group that I'd as soon have disappear. It's not how they look - it's what's inside that matters.

My boy went out with a girl who was very "alternative"... piercings, tats, clothes I wouldn't let my daughter out in... Her Dad was rabid when it came to my boy - he wasn't allowed inside the house for 6 months. Regardless of the weather, they had to sit outside. If he had to use the restroom? He could walk to the corner donut shop - he wasn't walking into that house. Different people have different perspectives. Kiddo finally had enough and broke it off with her.

My daughter's had the experience that the "nice" boys? Are actually not as nice as one might think.

I'll admit that I would have a problem with a kid with no ambition. But ambition doesn't necessarily mean going to college. Open your mind some, Mom.
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#25 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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from the first time my parents were disapproving of tattoos etc when I was 14 i started hunting for punk rockers to date. just sayin'.
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#26 of 28 Old 12-30-2009, 07:26 PM
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I think everyone here has done a fair job of pointing out the problem with judging by appearances etc.

As a former teenage terror at times (it varied on and off through my teen years). I can tell you that when I was a in a rebellious phase the fastest way to get to me to run to whatever my parents thought the "bad" guy was would be to tell me to stay away from that type. My parents weren't bothered by tattoos or ambitions of a kid in high school though. I am 24 and still don't have a clue what I want to do with myself and that goes for my DH as well.
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#27 of 28 Old 01-04-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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and no one has mentioned it yet but where are all the good girls? there are just as many bad girls as there are bad boys.

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#28 of 28 Old 01-04-2010, 06:29 PM
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I have two very traditional teen dd who have recently both become interested in boys. Problem is the boys their interested in. Nipple piercings, tattoo'd knuckles, want to drop out at 17 and get a GED boys. When we talk to the girls about their own worth and what we feel they deserve in a mate they tell us we're just judging them and thats how all guys are. Are we wrong for eypecting a certain type of class for our children? Is it our business? Is this hnw normal teen boys present themselves and i just never knew till now?
Ditto to the poster who mentioned not judging boys because of piercings.

To answer the question - yes - boys are out there who don't pierce or tattoo. I have one and none of his friends do either.

Instead of questioning the boys - why aren't you questioning your dd's and their choices........

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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