Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Conversation With A 13 Year Old

Me: "So, did you have a good time at the party?"

13-YO: "I dunno"

Me: "Did you like laser tag?"

13-YO: "I dunno"

Me: "Was it fun?"

13-YO: "Huh?"

Me: "Was it fun?

13-YO: "I dunno"

Me: "What did you eat at the party?"

13-YO: "I dunno"

Me: "You don't know what you ate?"

13-YO: "Yeah"

Me: "Huh?"

13-YO: "Uh, pizza"

Me: "I'm taking your cell phone away"

13-YO: "WHAT - WHY! I didn't do anything! It's not fair, what in the world did I do?"

Me: "I knew you had more words in your vocabulary"

13-YO: "Huh?"

This seems to be the typical conversation these days with my daughter. I'm not certain if she cannot find the words to articulate what she wants to say, or if she just does not want to share anything with her mom. I'm afraid it's the latter. She is a good girl (most of the time), and she is excelling in school with straight A's. So, I shouldn't be worried, right? Well, she just had her first formal school dance on Friday night and for the first time, she wore black eyeliner. It is amazing how makeup can change your whole look. In fact, it makes a young girl look much older and more like a mature woman.

Now, she wants to wear it every day to school. FW and I are struggling with whether or not wearing black eye liner is appropriate at her age. Do we tell her she is forbidden to wear it to school and can only wear it on special ocassions?  I only wish she could see that she has natural beauty and does not need any makeup right now.  But, she is a teenager and all of her peers are wearing makeup. So, naturally she wants to wear it. And if we forbid her to wear it, she just may sneak behind our backs and wear it anyway.

If this is all we have to worry about right now, then I'd say we're doing alright. I am fully aware that this is only one of many teenage dilemmas I will find myself in as a parent and I know that I need to choose my battles wisely.

What to do. What to do.

Here is Funny Face without makeup:

Here she is with her friends after the dance and with makeup:


Thena said...

My step-daughter is 12. So I am so glad to know it's not just her that has lost her vocabulary of words. But hers mostly consists of I'm bored, and the spelling in texts and on facebook. Sometimes I can't even decipher it. LOL

Colleen C said...

It's not just a girl thing. My 15 yo step son has a limited vocabulary also .. unless it's in a text message. lol

Tracy said...

That sounds like the conversation I had with Carley recently. I love her without the makeup but, a little bit of makeup is harmless. She's gorgeous either way!!!

Wendishness said...

From what I've heard from other parents with teenage children, this style of communication is normal and luckily they grow out of it. I think you're doing a fantastic job with your children.

She's such a pretty girl, it's a shame she thinks she needs the make-up but you're probably right, she'd end up doing it behind your back. I guess you could be grateful that the make-up she wore was a light application and almost natural looking (even with the black).

Anonymous said...

She's such a pretty girl! I think the only way to get into the head and conversation with a 13 yo is to text her about Twilight. LOL

Anonymous said...

Good Luck!! Girls just wanna be girls - whatever that is. She is very pretty with or without makeup, she doesn't need it for sure. Wait til her Sister gets this stuff in her head......Oh my..
Girls are hard to raise & keep up with.....

Hula Girl at Heart said...

We went through the whole phase of not getting any info out of our middle schooler. So frustrating. That phase lasted about two years.

Fortunately, my 17 year old isn't interested in makeup much, so that hasn't been a fight. I don't know what to tell you other than go with your gut. The gut is usually right.

Deborah Ann said...

She's gorgeous without the makeup, but I hear ya. At that age they're gonna do what they wanna do. Funny how she came up with more words at the threat of taking away the cell phone. I'll have to remember that one!

Heather said...

Your conversation cracked me up, until I realized I will be there in a few years! I wasn't allowed to wear make-up until I was a freshman or a sophomore. I'm glad, it taught me a lot of what not to do (some girls looked pretty garish!).

quilly said...

The dialogue is normal.. Just keep the lines of communication open and be patient. I am looking at a very pretty girl in these photos, but when her friends show up she quit smiling. Why?

Sassy said...

My gosh. She looks so grown-up in these pictures, but then she is growing up. You have good, beautiful daughters and you are a wonderful mother. I don't remember eyeliner being an issue with Hattie, although we had plenty of others, but if I had said, Don't wear eyeliner to school, I know she would have put it on during the bus ride to school. It's a tough age, but she'll be okay. I think it's all part of growing up and discovering who they are. I'm here for you.

Tracey9AD said...

The conversation is perfect for what is happening here with my boy only he does not even have a cell phone.

Yeah, pick your battles. Go with your heart on what you feel is right.

Faye said...

Talk about hitting the hot button--"I'm taking your cell phone away. . ." In my neighborhood kids walk home from school and they're all lost in their little world of cell phones--even if they're with a pal. Kind of like we grown-ups with blogging? :-)

My friend Beth has gorgeous twin daughters. Instead of fighting the makeup (or even worse thong)wars she took them to good cosmetics counters where the girls got instructions in skin care and using makeup. Now they're in college, working two jobs and regularly tell Beth how much they love her on facebook, text, phone calls. She'd probably still prefer that they not wear so much black eyeliner but she picked her battles.

Sayre said...

As I was reading this, I was thinking "I'll bet she's a blonde." See, I was very blonde as a teen, including eyebrows and eyelashes - which didn't look like they were there at all! I used makeup, but very sparingly because I didn't want to look like a tramp, I just wanted to look like me but with facial hair!

I think if she's judicious in its use, it's okay. Perhaps you could convince her that dark gray should be her everyday shade and save black for special occasions?

Janis said...

Typical teenage conversation....just a phase...still keep the lines of communication open. A little bit of makeup is no big deal as long as its done right. Been there...now its your turn LOL :)


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