Dear T2T: My mom is driving me crazy. I just want to be able to express myself and she won’t let me do anything. I want to dye my hair. She says no. I want to pierce my cartilage. She says no. I want a belly button piercing. She says no. It’s ridiculous. It’s not like I am out doing drugs, having sex or drinking so why can’t I just be me? She’s gives me this garbage about being modest and keeping doors open, but I think that I should be able to be my own individual. That’s lame if people judge me based on how I look. What do you think? — Let me be me
Response No. 1
Thank you for addressing us with this issue. Hopefully our advice will help you because we can relate to your situation. When I was a freshman in high school, all I wanted was to get my belly button pierced, but of course my mother's answer was no. To help me get what I wanted, my mom included some conditions such as keeping my grades up, helping around the house and just pretty much anything that would show my mom that I am a responsible young adult. Try compromising with your mom, and state the reasons why you deserve to get these piercings and to get your hair dyed. On the other hand, if your grades aren't an issue and she just simply doesn't like the idea of you changing your body or appearance then you can open her eyes to a new realization that you aren't like one of those other girls who completely act wrong, or do drugs. Your mother probably just doesn't want you to follow that path. But you can always explain to her how dying your hair and getting piercings don't change how you are as a person. People dye and get piercings every day in this country and they still go on to live very fulfilling lives. Try explaining to your mom that you're not always going to be her little girl and that if she lets you do what you want within reason then you won't change for the worse, but remember to keep in mind she is your mom and the one to give birth to you. She just cares about you. Thank you for coming to us with your problem and we hope that everything ends up working out for you.
Response No. 2
During the teenage years many people go through phases and try new styles that “clash” with the ideals of past generations. For this issue one should first try to talk his or her parent. A teen should try to show them that he or she is mature and discuss the matter with them. If a teen can’t discuss the matter, he or she could try writing a letter. Remember that one’s parents has their child’s best interests in mind and only wants what is best for them. A teen could ask his or her parents kindly why they are so adverse to hair dyeing or piercing. All parties involved should try to come to a compromise. The teen needs to remember that this is something he or she wants (not something his or her parents want) so if the teen gets their parents approval he or she should pay for the dyeing of piercing. Keep in mind that there are other ways to express one-self beside how a person presents themselves. One can express feels through art, music, or theatre at school. Teens should Get involved! Join a club or a sports team. A teen could try “making” shirt by buying and inexpensive shirts and some fabric paints and “designing” their own clothing. Remember that issues like this aren’t worth hurting a relationship with ones parents and that a teen’s parents have his or her best interest at heart. After all, only “lame” people judge another based upon how they look.