Whoa - my daughter is going GOTH!

Okay - that was me just a few months ago.

I'm not sure the difference between Goth & Emo but we were treading some lines here with our oldest daughter.

First day of 6th grade
She was very into beauty, princesses, fairies and dress-up during her elementary years.  We know she is creative and we have always encouraged her to express it.

Enter Middle School.  The first few weeks were filled with trendy clothes, trying to fit in, requests for athletic shorts (all the kids wear them Mom!) and pleas to wear makeup.

Then a few weeks after that all color disappeared.  We were informed that she was in her "black stage" and all colored clothes were moved out of her drawers and into a storage tub she found in her closet. (Other items in that tub were relocated in a heap to the corner of her closet - Mom cringed.)
Double pierced ears
were a Christmas present.

Feeling this was a phase, we tried to ignore it.  I did more laundry since she only had a handful of all black clothing.  She started spending all her spare money on black clothing.  She went to stay with Grandma and came back with a bright red streak in her hair.  She invested in black lace gloves, black shoes, black jewelry and even adamantly demanded black underwear!

This continued for months and months and all the way to the end of the year. People started to notice. Of course she always looked polished and put together.  Most of her black clothing was x-small women's clothes.  Clothes you might wear to work.  It was like pulling teeth to get her to wear jeans and a t-shirt.

She also began to withdraw more and more - I don't have many pictures of her since she didn't join a lot of our family activities.  She wanted to be included but at the same time just wanted to be left alone. (Can't say we are out of the woods on that one yet.)

Then came summer.  School let out and she decided to take a break from it all.

Analysis:  At this point I really think the black was just an escape from the overwhelming task of deciding what to wear and how to fit in.  It was infinitely easier to choose from a single color palette. And I think it was very important for us to not make a big deal out of it.  It never became an issue for us.  I didn't understand why she was doing it but it seemed to be essential for her to cope with middle school. And now, I am beyond thrilled to see her colorful self again!

So - let your pre-teen express themselves, let them push those boundaries a bit even if it doesn't make sense to you.  Even if you've always picked out their clothes.  Even if they used to explain everything to you.  They  may not even know why they are making these choices.  They are just trying to cope with not knowing who they are yet AND the choices they are making at this age are not necessarily indicative of who they are going to be in the future.

So pretty, creative and ready for 7th grade

1 comment:

Chandra Regan said...

I remember quietly cringing when our daughter had a jacket, given to her by someone in the orphanage in Thailand, with skulls all over it and then her first pairs of earrings that she picked out after getting her ears pierced in America as skulls. But, I just quietly ignored it and it wasn't too long and she lost interst in the whole skull thing. Way to be patient and love your preteen through that difficult stage in life.