teenager psychology

Self-Expression and Teenagers: Common Problems and Creative Solutions

Almost every teenager goes through wild periods of self-expression that will typically include clothing and musical choices that are borderline offensive to their parents. However, it’s important not to stifle your teen while they experiment with different versions of self-expression. After all, as long as they are not hurting themselves or anyone around them, there is really nothing wrong with their actions. In fact, self-expression allows teenagers to discover who they are and helps form their adult personalities.

Fortunately, there are several ways to enable them to express themselves while also steering them in an alternate direction. In fact, if you handle each situation tactfully, you can help them discover themselves through appropriate self-expression.

Common Problems with Teenage Self-Expression

1) Hair Dye – It is extremely common for teenagers to dye their hair unusual colors and pick hairstyles that stick out such as a mohawk. Fortunately, their hair will grow back, and it is easy to dye it again with a more traditional color. Therefore, your best bet is to let them get this out of their system. However, you could suggest using temporary hair dye instead, and if you offer to buy it for them, the odds are high that they will decide to use this approach.

2) Strange Wardrobe Choices – You are not alone if your teenager has started dressing in a way that makes the word odd seem like an understatement. However, attempting to change their wardrobe by giving them more conservative options or threatening to ground them for their choices is not going to have a positive outcome. Instead, you should consider compromising with your teenager.

For example, you could allow them to dress how they want to when they are hanging out with their friends. In exchange, they will wear a more conventional outfit when you have family outings. Alternately, you can enable them to make their own wardrobe choices as long as they pay for their clothing.

3) Tattoos and Piercings – The lure of tattoos and unusual piercings can be very strong for teenagers, especially if they have embraced the punk rock or goth culture. Keep in mind that most people will grow out of these stages, so it is a good idea to keep your feelings of dismay to yourself. Instead, you should consider compromising by offering to buy them custom-made temporary tattoos from companies like tattoo you and fake body jewelry. After all, if they want to get their nose pierced, it is very easy to use a clip on nose ring instead.

As an added bonus, this might help them determine that they do not actually like the way they look when they are wearing the fake piercing.

Ultimately, the best way to help your teenager navigate through their moments of self-expression is to be accepting. Keep in mind that the shock factor is part of the fun of dressing oddly and getting a weird haircut. In other words, if you remain calm and offer reasonable alternatives, your teenager will feel more comfortable about their choices and happier discussing them with you.

As the proud owner of several tattoos and piercings, freelance writer Kari Lloyd remembers what it was like to irritate her  parents with strange fashion choices. Encouraging your teenager to express themselves appropriately is easy, and tattoo you can be a particular help with custom-designed temporary tattoo choices.