Guilty of Wanting to Wear Makeup – A Mom’s Perspective
When I first heard the words from my daughter “I want to wear makeup” my gut reaction was “you don’t need it” and “you are too young”.
I did not want to talk about it with my daughter because that meant she was getting older. Now you may ask, “what does that have to do with makeup?” If I describe the thought process I went through, perhaps it will be helpful to other teens and parents.
As a parent I think it is our job, our obligation and our purpose in life to love, protect, help, guide, instruct, educate, support, and encourage our children. And sometimes it can be difficult for a parent to be clear (and express ourselves clearly) when we are having a discussion with our child. Sometimes when we are expressing our opinions, we really do not understand at the time where our reactions are truly coming from. For my part, I tend to come from a place of protector first, and that is what happened when she first approached me about wearing makeup. I realize now that part of my fear of her wearing makeup related to protecting her (or maybe me) from what other adults may say…my family, my friends, other parents. Also, I did not want her peers to be dictating to her what she “has” to do in her life.
After I had a chance to think about my initial reaction, and look at it with a broader perspective, it became clear that I needed to allow my daughter to make this decision for herself, and to learn from the choices she makes. Just because I love her the way she is, which means I don’t believe she needs to wear makeup, that is something she needs to figure this out for herself. The only way she is going to be able to do that is if I give her permission to have this experience.
I spoke to a few other parents about this experience, and they helped me to realize that I had not allowed myself to really listen to her and why she wanted to wear makeup. My daughter and I ultimately sat down together, and when we talked more about it, she revealed to me her request was mostly to find out how she felt about herself when she was wearing makeup. She wanted to experiment, and the reality was that she was asking for something that was not harmful to herself or to others. I talked with her about what I would allow and what I felt was too much makeup. I found out that having an open-minded discussion with her did a lot of good. What I should say is that I listened to her. I tend to miss that part sometimes, especially when it comes to something that at first I don’t agree with.
Here is what I learned from this experience:
- Take the time to listen before I react
- Think before I speak
- Remind my daughter that I am here to protect her, love her and support her
- Find out the real reason why she wants to do something, instead of assuming I know the reason
Thanks for letting me share.