Should we have to be friends with our kids friend's parents? And how much makeup is too much when your kid is 15?
I’m truly enjoying contributing to the online magazine MilkNHeels. I hope that you’re hanging out on their site, reading, sharing and engaging in not only my posts, but their fashion posts as well. I’d love your feedback on this week’s Dear Elle articles. Have you ever been either of these mom situations? Or do you know somebody who has? If so how did you handle them? How did they handle them???
Us parents have to stick together, sharing our victories and defeats so that we can be reminded that although being a parent isn’t easy, we’re not in it alone.
My daughter and her friend have been best friends since kindergarten and are now in grade five. I have met my daughter’s friend’s mother many time throughout the years. As of last year, her mother and I have grown closer, and I’ve really gotten to know her. Unfortunately, the more that I get to know her, the more I don’t like her! She’s a nice lady, but not my “cup of tea”. I felt that I had to distance myself from her. I then had to explain to my daughter that my relationship with her BFF’s mom shouldn’t make her friendship with her BFF any different. My daughter thinks otherwise…Any thoughts?
Not My Cup of Tea.
Dear Not My Cup of Tea,
I strongly dislike responding to these types of questions, because where I come from, having had my first daughter at nineteen, she’s now twenty-nine, I don’t subscribe to the having to explain myself to my children mentality that a lot of parents seem to have these days. I certainly didn’t think I owed my girls any explanation for whom I chose to spend my time with, or not, when they were ten years old. Hell, I barely think I own them my reasoning for what I do now. This doesn’t mean I don’t respect them as women, because I definitely do, and I will seek their advice on certain issues or matters that come up in my life, but that being said, they still aren’t the boss of me.
I mean no disrespect here, but who’s in charge at your house? She’s ten, eleven at the oldest. Why are you even discussing this stuff with her in the first place? You’re a grown woman, you like who you like, and you don’t like who you don’t like. I’m sure you don’t need your daughter’s permission for what clothes you buy, or what kind of car you drive. So why should you have to do it with who you decide to be friends with, or not?
It makes no sense to me. And as a mother of women all in their twenties, I suggest you nip this attitude that she is sporting toward you NOW. You’re the parent. You’re in charge. If you’re not hurting anybody or breaking any laws then it really is none of their business who you have coffee or cocktails with. I mean, I’m pretty confident you aren’t out there at recess time telling her who she should and shouldn’t play with. Life is too short to spend it with people you don’t like, or for allowing your kids to boss you around.
My fifteen year old daughter has grown up. It happened right before my eyes and she has become such a beautiful young lady. My daughter is big time into makeup and spends all her money on it. With her makeup skills she can slay her face (and mine lol) but sometimes I feel that all the makeup is a bit much. At fifteen it does make her appearance older. This is where we butt heads. I feel she should wear makeup occasionally, not on an everyday basis, especially not at school. How do you think I should handle this situation?
From Makeup Madness
Dear Makeup Madness,
This strikes super close to home, because my eldest daughter has always had an affinity toward makeup. This started at a very young age, and to nobody’s surprise she is a professional makeup artist today. We didn’t really have an issue with her wearing too much makeup when she was younger, what we did have a problem with was how often she wanted to colour her hair, and what colours she wanted it to be.
It is a delicate dance between allowing them to be their own people, but reminding them, as their parent, that there is a time and place for everything. That growing up too fast isn’t an ideal goal either. The challenge as parents is that we know that life moves swiftly, often times quicker than we would like it to, so it’s easy for us, with knowledge and hindsight, to tell them to stay young while they’re young. They, on the other hand, think we have no idea what we’re talking about, and just want to grow up, and be independent.
The trick here is to assert your parental wisdom justly, and with no wiggle room. If you don’t want her to wear a full face of makeup to school then tell her that she cannot wear it there, but that she may wear it other places. Compromise is the greatest tool in your arsenal as a parent. You decide what those places are, and then that’s the deal.
Also, you may want to assist her, if she’s truly as talented as you say she is, with a way to express her talent and her creativity in a safe, constructive way. Perhaps you and she start a mom/daughter make over tutorial, or an Instagram account? Something that you help to govern, to ensure she’s being both safe and smart on social media, and a way that she feels like you respect and admire her gift for being so good at makeup. Whatever you decide is appropriate you need to express to her why you’re putting your foot down in this area, but then I would strongly recommend you lighten up somewhere else. Like we did with our oldest daughter, we let her colour her hair but only with temporary blue, pink, or whatever colour was tickling her fancy at the time. By allowing her to express herself in some fashion will help her to realize that you “get her” and you support her, but you want her to live in a way that is age appropriate. Who knows, maybe you have the next makeup mogul AKA Kylie Jenner living under your roof?? That wouldn’t be all bad.