I read a sad little story in the Daily Mail the other day. It’s not a paper I really like and I get heart sick of Katie Price and TOWIE, but it’s well laid out and easy to read and you don’t get all the pop-ups you get with the Daily Express. Editors please note.
Anyway, I digress. It was a mother moaning that her daughter had turned into a Goth and that she was “mutilating” herself. I opened the article to read it, as my 15 year old son went through a Goth period himself, and fully expected long black hair, chains, tattoos and thick eye make up. Scrolling down the page revealed a picture of a perfectly normal looking 18 year old with red hair and a few earrings in her ear.
Although they obviously had a decent relationship, it was sad that this girl’s mother was so far removed from her daughter that she was horrified because she was no longer a blonde nine year old. The daughter’s response was much more adult and positive than the mother, explaining that it was just her way of expressing herself and she wasn’t doing it to “get back” at her mother in any way. The poor girl must have been heartbroken and thought her mother no longer loved her with all the breast-beating that was going on! She must also have been horrified to have pictures of herself spread all over a tabloid, presumably for a financial return for her mother.
Our children are only on loan. We have then for a relatively short time and our job – in my opinion – as well as clothing, feeding and putting a roof over their heads, is to give them guidance, support and firm boundaries in order for them to develop into well rounded adults. If we get that right, dying their hair and having a few piercings is not going to alter anything.