I am not a mother, but I am an Aunt. My sisters daughter seems to be out of control.
She is just a young pre-teen!
She's 14 year old, and in grade 10.
She just seems like she's trying to rebel in every single way possible, and her mother lets her.
Let's start with her appearance.
She doesn't wear anything soft or elegant. She wears very punk rock/gothic outfits that are not suitable for a young girl.
She wears spiked belts and wrist bands, She wears distressed skinny jeans, and paints her nails black!! This is not appropriate for a 14 year old. I confronted her mother about this, and she says that she's fine with her appearance, so she's not rebelling against anything. Her mother said "I'm fine with my teenage daughter expressing herself, as long as she doesn't go out looking like a s**t"
I told her that 14 is not yet a teenager, and wearing black makeup, having a choppy haircut, and expressing yourself in that way is not proper.
Tomorrow, she is going to get her second set of ear piercings! Who in their right mind would allow a little girl to get their ears pierced for the second time!? She will have a total of 4 ear piercings!
Now lets go to the music she listens to. She listens to rock, punk and post hardcore trash.
And she swears. She says the words "crap, hell, and frickin."
Now, many of you might say these words are not swears but I believe that they are.
She's been to a couple of her friends house parties and came home at 11:00.
And once, she even went to one of the late showings of a movie, and wasn't home until nearly 1 in the morning!
She was alone with 3 other friends at the movies that day!
Her mother says that she's does very well in school, and that her going to a movie late is not a big deal at all.
Sometimes she will even add a streak of colour to her hair. She's just uncontrollable, and not like a proper lady.
She wears garments with skulls on them, and combat boots. She wears skinny jeans! Those are waay too revealing.
What can I say to her to make her stop her rebellious ways, and what can i say to her mother?
You can't say anything. She's doing well in school and not getting in trouble. Mom is comfortable with her child. She could get into some trouble for being out late without an adult though I don't know what the minor curfew hours are in your area. Otherwise, it's all a matter of taste. Most kids who go to more extremes in appearances and music grow out of it. It's less about rebellion and more about connecting with a peer group. 13-15 seem to be the worst. It passes. It passes quicker if the adults around them don't freak out. Every generation tends to look down on those that come after. She's not your kid. Her actions don't effect you. Just be a good Aunt and take her out for ice cream and a play once in awhile.
At 14 I would have been the blueprint of your niece, but it was no biggy to my foster mum who, though a harridan, was understanding and kept up the talking instead of running away getting into a froth. I'd say the same as whatsnextmum said above me, and don't forget to be that wonderful Aunt she can feel welcome to come to, any time.
I have an Aunt. Two, actually. They don't mince their words, but are fun to be with. And when I hit a downer I know I can come to them and cry it all out. Your niece won't be like this forever. She's just being a normal teenage tearaway like a I was. I'm still a teenager. And yes, sometimes I swear like a trooper.
Please feel welcome to PM me any time. :)
Edited to add: Fourteen is a teen. And three cheers to her mother!
Your niece's mom is doing fine. Your niece appears to be making age-appropriate choices, doing well in school, and communicating well with her mother.
My mom freaked out about hair and fashion choices (I was way less edgy than your niece - my mom basically objected to hairspray) and all it did was convince me that my mom wouldn't understand anything, and problems had better be taken elsewhere. If my daughter wants combat boots or a third set of earrings when she's that age, I won't even blink. She can have my old combat boots.
My daughter wears garments with skulls on them sometimes. She's 12. She also won't wear anything "soft or elegant", or dress "like a proper lady". I hate her clothes, but as long as they are not too revealing, I will let her choose her own clothes for weekend wear (she wears uniforms to school). I wouldn't count skinny jeans as "too revealing" and I'd probably allow them -- my daughter doesn't care for them, so it's not an issue.
My daughter also does very well in an advanced program at a magnet school, participates in extracurriculars and sports, and is active in church and volunteer activities.
I intend to let her continue wearing skulls and other (IMO) ugly stuff -- I'll even pay for it -- because the second paragraph is more important to me than the first.
Also, you're not the kid's mom. She has a mom who seems to be pretty in tune with her kid. Back off a bit if you want to continue a relationship with mom and kid.
I believe Liana may be trolling us. Who in the world, in this day and age, really believes a teenage girl should be a proper, elegant lady?
Okay, okay, I'll try to suspend my disbelief... ummm. No, it's still silly.
My 16 year old did most of those things at 14. And yes, she does wear my old combat boots. I saved them to hand down to her. She's smart, funny, ethical, hardworking and creative, and most of her swears are more colorful than "crap, hella and frickin." She's awesome. I love her.
Your niece sounds awesome, too. She's doing well in school and she has a good relationship with her mom. She's ahead of the game for lots of kids her age. Be glad she's confident enough to be herself.
Well, whatever. Perhaps you would like to jump in on some other threads across the forum and share your thoughts on mothering.
By the way, I gave birth to Juniper the day after my 13th birthday. Does that make me a teenager or a young woman?
OP, nothing in your description shocks me. It sounds like her mother is well-grounded and focussing on the right things. I knew elegant girls and spiky-hair girls and both were in the same honors class. My spiky-haired friends were empathetic and conscious about society's big problems (nuclear proliferation and apartheid and human rights in the '80's). My once-best friend came to be a trouble maker and promiscuous at a young age. She was "elegant". It is difficult to look at the snapshot from the outside and judge what is happening. But from your description, it sounds like nothing I would be worried about.
Take a page from your sister's book and value the relationship before the image. Value the communication before the curfew hour. If you were my sister, I would want as little contact from you as possible until you could look past the surface and stop harassing me and my daughter.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
36, hoping to have a new member of the family in 2015, to join my queer clan: Me , Things 1&2 , my long-distance KD/cheerleader (the guy who's been telling everyone what a great mom I'm going to be) , and the rest of the superheroes and sidekicks .
If you were my child's aunt, and I was aware of the opinions you express here, you'd be on the list of things I was protecting her from. It's hard to give you credit for good intentions when your objections arise from such superficial issues, and encompass so much of your niece's self-expression. Remember that, given your niece's age, she needs some kind of adult assistance for a ton of what she does. She needs a ride to the mall to get her ears pierced - and her mother gave it to her. If she goes to a party or a late movie, she probably needs someone to pick her up - was it her mom who did that? She's too young to hold much of a job in most parts of the U.S., so when she buys clothes or gets her hair cut, her parents probably know what she's choosing. If she were making choices that offended the central adults in her life, they would have plenty of opportunity to do something about it. The fact that she has the choppy haircut strongly implies that her mother doesn't mind it any too badly.
From what you've described here, your niece is a good kid, and adorably retro. If you really wish her well, recognize the things that make her fantastic, and find a way to enjoy her company.
None of what you lists is "rebellious." You seem to like to make up your own definitions for words, but it doesn't work that way. Words have meanings. "Teen" for example, has a real meaning and
you don't get to make up another one. Trying to do so just makes you wrong.
You can talk to her mother about something that you have in common with her. That's how relationships work -- polite conversation about things we have in common with people.
Rather than being hung up on your nieces manner of dress or movies habits (which all sound VERY normal to me) I suggest you work on yourself -- letting go of your need to control other people and the definitions of words, and working on your own ability to have positive relationships with people.
I think there is a link between your compulsion to make up definitions of words and your dislike for your niece's choices. You are deciding what her choices mean, but you don't get to decide what they mean anymore than you get to decide what "teen" or "rebellious" mean.
but everything has pros and cons
This just reminds me too much of things my grandmother used to say to me. Though even at 80 she wasn't this judgmental. I suggest dealing with your own issues and leaving your niece and sister alone. It sounds like they have a great relationship.
The friends I had growing up who played "proper lady" for their parents were the most secretive, wild, etc...doing the most illegal stuff you could imagine. They were the ones wearing the skimpy outfits under their baggy sweaters and stripping down to barely nothing once they were out the door. It's better that your sister is accepting of this "rebellious" stage. I agree that letting her stay out that late might be a problem in some areas with curfews, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with this situation. OK, so cursing in front of your parents is not OK by me either...but at least she's not cursing AT her parents and at least it's not the F word.
She most certainly is a proper lady! She's respectful and kind with a great sense of humor. She helps take care of her Grandparents, sisters and cousins with a cheerfull attitude (ahem, most of the time ) does her chores and holds paying jobs, is homeschooled mostly independently at almost two years ahead of her age-grade. Has friends of all ages, helps our elderly neighbors with errands and yardwork. It's ok with me if she curses around the house or with older friends..but she knows to curb it around elders, just as I do.
Sure, she has her moments, but she's a great kid and her style not being "soft and elegant" at this age doesn't change that.
Her actions are what make her a proper lady, not her clothes or taste in music.
My mother never got over the fact that I didn't "show my figure". I wore oversized sweatshirt, and really was a tiny stick of a thing (forgotten what that was like!) and my mother went to high school in the fifties (I'm imagining Reese Witherspoon's reaction to the tightness of her clothes in "Pleasantville".) Now I'm of a size that I can't help showing off my figure if I don't want to drape myself in a sack.
Talk about contradictory!
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
OK. Sorry for the insinuation. Sometimes we get first-time posters who are just trying to stir things up. But to answer you -- there is no reason a young girl can't be elegant. IF she wants to be. It sounds as though, at this point in her life, elegance is not something to which your niece aspires. It is appropriate for her to make her own choice in the matter.