Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Month: August 2010

Are you an embarrasing Facebook parent?

After posting a hello, welcome back from summer camp message on the Facebook wall of my daughter’s friend, I was informed that I’m an embarrassing mother.

Who knew? I’ve since learned that it’s acceptable to be friends with a teen on Facebook, but don’t dare write on their wall.

Still, I don’t think I’m quite as embarrassing as a friend of mine. As a punishment, she took away her daughter’s use of electronics –no cell, no laptop. To drive the point home, she wrote on her daughter’s Facebook wall. “Do not try to contact Susie by text or on Facebook. She is punished at this time.”

Of course, her daughter called her the most embarrassing mom in the world. I’m not sure if it’s true considering there are so many parents jockeying for the title.

Should teen girls wear makeup?

Recently, I heard my daughter and her friend dissing some girl at school, “She wears so much makeup. She looks so slutty.”

I would love to get a look at the girl. With Sephora exploding in popularity, I’m wondering what teen girls today consider “too much makeup.”

By the time I started high school, my older sister had talked me into buying loads of makeup. To this day, my makeup drawer is stuffed with shadows, glosses and liners and I’m immediately drawn to any cosmetic counter offering a gift with purchase.

I’m not into the runway model look but lately, I find myself encouraging my daughter to dab on a little mascara and lip gloss on her way out the door for high school. Is there a right age to encourage your daughter to wear make up, or forbid her from wearing it?

Tween girls are experimenting with makeup earlier but apparently the interest is fading quickly.  The percentage of high schoolers using makeup is lower than it was a few years ago, according to market research firm, The NPD group. Both lip gloss and mascara saw a drop in usage among 13-17 year olds. 

Coaxed by tween pop stars, girls 10 to 12-years olds think makeup is exciting and start wearing lip gloss (the most used cosmetic)  and move on to mascara. (the second most used cosmetic). Tinkerbell and Hanana Montana-branded lines are huge money makers and are contributing to the tween surge in interest. Did you know that Disney and Mac have a partnership to sell eyeshadow for tweens?

Even more interesting to me is that by age 18, young women are looking to keep their skin healthy and want tried and true products. Their experimental phase with makeup is over, the research found.

Beauty industry experts say learning to use cosmetics is a mother-daughter bonding experience.  In a recent article by the Associated Press, Teen Vogue editor Eva Chen says, “Someone definitely needs to tell girls not to try to look too old too fast.”  I agree, that definitely is mom’s job.

I asked my friend, Cheryl, mother of a 13-year-old, whether she allows her daughter to wear makeup. “I’m okay with it as long as it looks natural. I don’t think a little lip gloss and mascara will make a difference in how she behaves.”

I have to agree with her. I’m really not into forbidding makeup. I’m glad to hear teen girls are figuring it out on their own.

At what age do you feel it’s appropriate for girls to wear makeup? Have you found that teaching your daugther how to shop for and use cosmetics is a bonding experience?

Do I have what it takes to parent a teen?

Today my oldest child started high school. Wow, it feels strange to put that in writing. I barely slept last night, nervous and excited about what lies ahead for both of us.

I would imagine most parents feel like their high school days were just a few years ago. But as I pulled into the parking lot to drop my daughter off, she asked me not let her out too close to where all her friends were gathering. God, I remember doing that to my mom. Suddenly, I felt old.

As I pulled away, I watched kids driving their cars into the school lot. What a milestone that must be for mother! I think that’s when it really hit me that I’ve transitioned into an entirely different stage of parenting. I realize that over the next few years I will walk that fine line between giving my daughter independence and keeping involved enough to know when trouble is brewing.

With Facebook and smart phones, heated competition for college acceptances, and sexting, it’s a complicated time to be a teenager and a challenging time to be a parent.

Do I have what it takes to parent a teen? I think I do. Time will tell. 

Over the next few years, my daughter will reach a whole new level of maturity. I have a feeling I will, too.

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog! After 14 years of parenting, I look forward to sharing news and views on raising teens.

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