Anyone with teens struggling with this? I guess it's my karma, I raised them on rock and roll. Sometimes I feel like we are the Osbournes. 14 yo dd wants her nose pierced, eyebrow, or will settle for an industrial. (she already has 2 holes in each lobe and one cartiliege piercing, her bangs are pink) 16 yo dd wants the tongue done (already had 3 holes in each lobe). 11 yo ds has pink hair, both ears are already pierced. My dh is more conservative than I am. what have others experienced/made decisions about?
My 11 and 1/2 year old ds is excitedly awaiting his 12th b-day because we have said that at twelve he can pierce his ears and dye his hair any color he wants. He has been begging for ear piercings for a few years now and we decided that if he were a girl we'd ask him to wait until age twelve to make the decision, so the same goes for a boy. Dh has a pierced ear so we obviously have no problem with that. He plans to dye his hair blue, I think mostly because it is his favorite color and his hair is so white blonde that the more common top bleaching or tipping wouldn't even show on him. We have gotten a bit of grief from a few of his friends parents because they feel like we're setting some kind of precedent that they will be pressured to follow, but I feel that if they want to sweat the small stuff that is their problem. I see it as a sign of confidence and independence, and I love blue!
I have to laugh!!!
My ds, now 18, has had blue hair, black hair, bleached white with blue bangs, now he is growing dread locks!!!
Dd.15. has yet to try bright colored hair yet. She is more into hte reinassance thing. She goes around dressed as a fairy most of the time
Dd 13, has been blue once but too many people were blue at the time so now she has gone back to old hair color
Dd 8, wants dreads cause she has long hair and would never have to brush it ( this she hates)
I remember when they were young I said I would let them be themselves. We have homeschooled ( unschooled ) them. Let them chose what and how they were going to learn. I have always been an AP parent even before I knew the term!!
I have always let them make choices on their own from when to stop nursing, when they were ready to sleep in their own beds to when they were ready to read.
It is funny I am shocked when they chose to do something like "dye their hair blue" I had to tell myself along time ago that "their choices" may not be "my choices" As long as they are doing anything to hurt themselves or others, what the heck!!!
They are all loving, secure, creative, free thinking, independent souls. They may have blue hair, dreads or be dressed in fairy wings but they are their own person and thats really all I ever wanted!!!
Good luck and remember, this too shall pass.
my great friend who's two children are now just out of their teens had a rule of 'no permanent body modifications' until they were adults (18, or so I think). Her son and daughter expressed themselves with colored hair, shaved hair (her girl!) dressing like marilyn manson (her boy!) and more, but there were no piercings, tattoo's or other permanent modifications allowed. (I'm not sure if her daughter had pierced ears or not...)
Anyway, she told them they could express themselves through thier wardrobe and hair choices, and they found this reasonable. Her philosophy was that once they were 18 and considered an adult, they would be free to modify themselves however they saw fit but since tattoo's and (some) piercings can be permanent or permanently disfiguring, she wanted them to wait until they were fully adult to make those decisions.
I think this is sound, but most teenagers would probably object. Her son did push the limits by wearing dresses and (marilyn manson style) makeup to school. However, I often see teens here in Chicago with their boyfriend's/girlfriend's name tattooed on their NECKS--I think it's an inner city thing--anyway, this seems like dooming yourself to a life of turtleneck sweaters if you fall out of love or decide on a more conservative lifestyle!
all the best,
#1 edd 12/04/02
I don't have this problem. DD has no piercings (not even her ears) and doesn't ask to dye her hair or anything. She likes temporary tattoos though and bindis.
Maybe it's because she has parents that are inked up and pierced?? Nothing to rebel against.
Just a though. Maybe if the parents run out and get pierced the kids will not want it??
Thanks everybody for your responses.
My unschooled kids aren't doing it to rebel. I have one tattoo (a celtic triquetra on my back, and I want a dragonfly), 2 holes in each lobe, one cartilege pierce! I wouldn't mind the industrial pierce (thru the cartilege twice, with a barbell between). I minded the colorful hair when they then wouldn't wash it often enough! Now they are being much better about washing.
I had to wait until I was 13 to get my ears pierced and I really resented it, so I let them get their first holes whenever they were ready (ages 5,6, and 8 respectively) But the facial piercing I have a bit more problem with, altho we see lots of it around here. I think, in slightly older kids, most of the time.
Unfortunately, dh is more conservative about clothing and fashion in general. he just wears jean, plain t-shirts, flannel shirts and a ball cap every day. So he doesn't "get" all this fancy stuff, and is resisting it. The kids are doing lots of web research on care and sefety, to try and convince him...
I was into punk when I was a teen. Back then, pink hair could get you temporarily expelled from school and ejected from convenience stores. After my father threatened to shave my hair off, I swore that when I became a mom that I would "let" my kids do whatever they wanted to their hair when they turned 15. It's one of the few things that I've managed to stick to.
When my oldest son had his 15th bday I took him to the beauty college and let them bleach his hair. It took half the day and he was pretty disappointed with the results. Then there was the red color that he put on top of the bleach a few weeks later. (I hated it!) But, he found out that sitting for a hair process is too smelly and time-consuming and swears that he won't do it again. That was easy!
My soon-to-be 12 yr old son is already chomping at the bit for his turn. He likes temporary color. It's only hair. Just grin and bear it. Piercings, etc? They have to wait until they're adults.
Rain started dying her ahir at 7, it's been blue, green, and pink - she got on the news once as a Brownie with bright pink hair. She'd sort of like to do it again but the last bleached bits are almost gone and the theater show she's doing now won't allow it, which does make sense... but I'm fine with hairdye, we still browse goodgoth.com and check out the new Special Effects colors.
I was fine with ear piercing, too, which Rain had done at 4, 7, and 9, because she let them close up the first two times (although the second one wasn't her fault, her dad took her in the middle of soccer season without mentioning it to me, and you have to take them out to play). I might really try to talk her out of a tongue or nipple piercing until she was 18, but otherwise I figure it's not really a big deal. I'd feel more strongly about tattoos - if you take out the rings you can hardly see the holes, but tattoos are always out there - maybe a small one somewhere covered by a bathing suit..
I did it!! But my mom refused to let me until I was 16 (wouldn't let me wear make-up either - Thanks God!!) I am now a very individual person on the inside but look pretty "normal". It is a phase most likely but I do know a couple people in their 50s with tongue peircings and dyed hair and their pretty cool people!
Geez, sorry about the bad spelling! How embarassing!!
What did you do? bright colored hair? Facial piercings or bellybutton, tongue? Tattoos? When did you do "it?" When you turned 16 you did it all? Or just hair and makeup? and why, "thanks god?" What does that mean? If you are now weird on the inside and normal looking on the inside, what happened to your body mods?
Appreciate the response, but I don't understand. Tell me more.
My 13yr old daughter is beginning to delve into this arena and I struggle sometimes, like she shaves her legs and I never have. It made me sad and we had to talk about it alot. she ended up calling me on my "stuff" about it and I had to admit she was right.
I figure we let the explore themselves now, while they are young and home. Then we are here for backup and discussion and help if need be. This way, when they are 25 or 30 or 40 they don't have to go through this when mistakes are lifechanging. I think they will have a better sense of who they truly are from all this "trying on" styles.
In the immortal words of Barbara Colorosa (author of Kids Are Worth It), three rules to keep in mind when deciding about these issues: is it life threatening, morally threatening, or will it grow back?
Someone said they are doing stuff that is the opposite of who their parents are, so if we all went out and got tatooed etc they would turn out to be little preppy's.
(no offense to preppies everywhere, just the opposite of what we have been describing here) Developmentally, this is right on target. It is a way for them to be different from us in their efforts to separate. My earthmama friends and I used to talk about this when our kids were little and swear we were going to start wearing LOTs of makeup and bouffant hair and polyester, so our kids would rebel in the direction we wanted!!!!
Blessings whatever you decide, love is still always the answer and the most important thing to keep intending as we negotiate these steps towards independance.
Thank you for your post.....oh Goddess, everyone should have been at my house this morn! Sheesh!
I am a AP/Unschooling, Goddess loving Mama that is struggling not with the piercing issue but the clothing issue. Which I think may be the same thing.
My Sydney, 14, is into wearing clothes that are 2 sizes too small. You know, sometimes, I thank the Goddess that she doesn't go to public school!!! So, here is my two bits...as young adults, as much as individuality I want my children to show....I still don't want them to "close doors, close opportunities." (don't stand up just yet!)
Example: One of her friends, raised VERY religiously and strict, is now pregnant....she has possibily closed an option in her life by having a baby so very young. So, me and my sweetie just express that what ever she chooses, whatever she wears or doesn't wear, if she shaves or wears too much makeup reflects who she is......her ethics and morals and values. It's "outward apprearance" I know, but it's truth.
So, the earring thing, the clothing thing....I hope that all our children ...whatever door they choose will be what they truely want in this life.
(Throwing her hands up in the air!!
I love this forum! It makes me laugh. My mother was a vegan- hairy armpit- hippie-woman and I was her punk daughter. One summer when I was 15, I went to visit her in Hawaii and all the kids came over to stare at me. She was so embarrased.
A while back my kids saw an old video tape and were astonished to find out that I didn't always look so "normal". Now, I look more conservative than my mother and my kids!
Nothing stays the same...
ohhhhh I remember when shaving legs was a dilemma <sigh> now Im like...whatEVER... My oldest daughter at home, 14, wears very tight and provacative clothing, sometimes...when she wants to, and other times she dresses very unsexually, it seems to reflect her mood, she doesnt seem to dress for any particular guy, and Im proud of her, I think she is learning to express her sexuality and does so when she wants to, and I think its very kewl, that said I also have alot of faith in her commitments to herself and her ability to make healthy choices.
What appears to reflect certain values to me, may not be reflecting the same values to her, ie, wearing a tight a%$ t shirt and low jeans with her gorgeous sexuality brimming over does not say, "hey Mr dude, come puck me" it says, "THIS IS WHO I AM" "I am sweet and gorgeous and viable" it might say "I AM HOT" but it does not reflect unhealthy values and morals in my opinion,
that said, if I thought my daughter did not have as much healthy self esteem and good judgement I might not be as comfortable with her dressing as she does.
The idea about not piercing and tatooing untill legal adult age makes good sense to me and I do respect the thought however I chose to go with the piercings in my kids' case, so far this means, ears, where ever, whenever -older son did his at 12-is now16 -is now very atheletic type dresser and never wears his, next oldest son 10, not yet, daughters, all of them just standard,
no tits or noses yet, (my nose is pierced tho) daughter had her belly button at 13 done but it didnt hold, I believe it will scar her, another good argument for the "dont do it untill youre an adult"ers - and all that said, two weeks ago my daughter and I (the 14 year old) went and had our toungues done together,
sho fa vey awe heawing up vewy well hahahaha (thats how we sounded the first week) and we are both very pleased. Am I raising a daughter who is beyond her years? probably... Im following her lead and she sometimes has be running at quite the pace, but always in awe-
Just wanted the thank the next few people who have written. for some reason, I quit getting notifications on my emails that this thread was still going, so figured it had petered out!
marymom-- thanks for sharing how you and your dd went and got your tongues done. My oldest dd, will be 17 in Dec, but has always had maturity so far beyond her years. We unschool and nowadays she is teaching me more than vice versa. she is the one that wants to get her tongue done. She has done a lot of research and says what she has read says, the tongue heals more quickly than most pierces b/c of the antibodies in the mouth. I do trust her judgement, but didn't want her to get infected, ya know? So, how is yours feeling now? Do you know personally others that have had it done, and did it go well? I don't know any others myself.
it is in my honest opinion a minimum of 3 weeks for a good healing on it- 6 before you can change jewlry -this is the 2nd time mine had been pierced because the first time after about 5 years I took it out because I have colitus and I thought maybe a big piece of metal n my mouth could be contributing to my colitus issues...anyways, I missed it ever since, this piercing is not a good one, it is diagnol instead of straight up and down and I may have to repierce it or something...it isnt infected but its not healing properly...Haileys is doing really well, and its a nice piercing
We are 3 weeks and 2 days today
this is a great thread!
I wonder what my kids will want to do when they are teens (they are little yet)? And to think, my mother was shocked when I came home with bright fuschia hair, and it was so cutting edge to have 4 earrings and a nose ring........*sigh* lol
and about the tounge percing thing....altho it may heal fast the issue I have with it is it can really really damage your teeth. So be careful ladies!
i know quite a few people who have had to have extensive/expensive work done from chips/breaks/recessed gums (behind the front lower teeth).... not to mention my mom is a dental hygenist and sees these types of emergencies all the time. Oh, and she says you should use a water pic to wash it out at least twice a week to keep it from 1) smelling and 2) getting infected from stuff stuck in there. That said, if it makes you happy, go for it! It does look pretty cool.
a water pik, good idea, thankyou
I took mine out
the bottom kept growing out but my daughters is still in and from what I see is healed, she is enjoying it immensly altho all the things I said above about being so confident in her...? well Im changing my mind...I think its ok to do that right? lol, I mean I still think shes an awesome chic but Im wondering if she has the confidence in herself that I thought she had, I guess thats something that comes and goes, she is having a rough time right now<see above post about daughters boyfriiend cant see her because Im a witch/translation because they are crazy> I think I thought she was just more...internally motivated I guess. Does that make sense?
I know I'm WAY more conservative than most on this board and I haven't had to deal with it irl yet because dd is only 16 months old. But when dh and I talk about it, our current standard is that she can do whatever she wants, whenever, as long as it is not a permanent alteration. (like holes or permanent tatoos) She can color hair, temp tatoo, etc...to her hearts content. Probably if she wants pierced ears it would be ok when she's a preteen....
As far as sexy clothes, we just wouldn't go for that at any age. But hopefully she'll share our value system and be on board with that.....
Cheri, your post was a tad off topic, so I am going to start another thread for you, titled, how to talk so teens will listen...
hah! my 12yo dd is sportin' a pink bob, has double piercings on both ears, and a recent new cartlidge addition!
i told her she has to wait 'til high school to get her nose pierced. she and i have had many convos about appearances, the media and it's influence on girls etc.
she pulls straight A's, has a brown belt in karate- something we started doing together since she was 7 (hence my MDC user name), and she talks to me. so none of this experimentation has worried me. she likes variation and feels it is just another expression of herself.
i think if she wanted to do something that would draw an unsual amount of negative or adult attention, i would be concerned. like belly button piercing... i explained to her how the belly and that kind of piercing to some people might infers a little bit of sexuality.
she hadn't thought of it that way, and doesn't want to express her sexuality just yet. intended or not! she doesn't mind waiting until she is older for something like that.
we have a good dialogue. i think that is key. it's not pefect, but it helps.
Well, 14 yo dd finally won over dh. it took months of researching piercing and "being responsible" around the house (to prove her maturity) and he has agreed to the industrial pierce.
So we made the appt and are all gong en masse on Sat aft. No one wants to be left out of the fun, me, 16 yo dd, 11 yo ds. Dh wants to go and has final veto power if he thinks the place seems disreputable.
many bright blessings on her adventure!
Oh, thanks, marymom!
So we went and did it. the place she had picked out from a website was in Worcesster, (Ma) about 45 minns from here. So it was a road trip.
The piercer was a middleaged mom with bleached blonde hair and lots of tattoos. Dd said her son works there too, as a tattooist. It was very busy there being Saturday. Quite a few couples, or family groups, or best friends were there to do things together. There was a group of 3, a mom, her mom and her 14 yo daughter. the grandma and granddaughter were both getting their bellybuttons done!
so dh approved of the place, and he and the victim and my other dd went in to get it done. Ds and I waited in the waiting room.
the industrial is two holes thru the cartiledge, with a barbell between the two. Dd chose the larger gauge too! Apparently it is the most painful piercing you can get. From what I was told, the piercer, Rose, did one hole, then let dd take a break, have a drink of water, then did the other hole and put in the barbell. Well, it looks so fantastic, the placement is very good. Obviously rose knew her stuff. Dd is in heaven. I loaded her up with arnica, goldenseal and echinacea and milti vitamins when we got home and again this morning.
After the pierce, we all went out to dinner to "celebrate," per her request. So all in all, a nice family bonding experience.
Well, it's been a couple wks and it's healing nicely. We went to the in-laws for t-giving right after, and I forgot the echinacea and the multi vits! I did bring arnica tho, it helped some. She got it bumped a bit in play and didn't sleep much, so it did get swollen.
but when we got home, i dosed her up good, and by the next morning, it looked much better and continues to heal.
Ironoically, she has broken out in little rashes from a cheap ring and a belt buckle from Hot Topic in the same time period.
|my great friend who's two children are now just out of their teens had a rule of 'no permanent body modifications' until they were adults (18, or so I think).
This is what we plan on doing. Kailey or any other children we might have can dressed, be colored, apply fake tats, get pierced, whatever during their um...expressive years..but nothing permanent until they are adults, ,and can pay for it themselves
Well, dont' you call piercing permanent? Esp on the face, or belly button? What about ear stretching?
BTW, dd paid for her pierce with her own money, and she is only 14.
No, I said when she is an adult AND can pay for it herself.
Piercings aren't permanent they can be taken out and they heal fairly well.
So, no tattoos, no stretchings.
Oh and in NC you can't get piercings other than ears until you are 18. We also are teaching her about being a law abiding citizen