In our own words
Musing about fashion and fitting in
By Monica, a woman with SED who is 2’8″.
True, fashion is one way teens try to fit in a group and yet express themselves as an individual. Thinking back 7th and 8th grade were not so easy. What helped?
Well, what I couldn’t get to fit in name brands, my mom bought me in accessories instead. I had a Gucci handbag, Nike shoes, Izzod visor, etc. There’s more to fashion than pants. ‘Course explaining that to me as a teen… well, not so easy.
Other things that helped: Getting involved in clubs and organizations at school. When people have a similar interest, it makes for an “understanding” of sorts with one another. Also, when there are activities or parties, then you’re already included. Also helps to discover the things you like for future occupational purposes, and to learn how to interact with others in a consistent way.
Making friends outside of school. It could be in the form of a club, or volunteer “work”, or cultivating family relationships. …My parents both told me over and over, that it didn’t matter really what the junior & high school kids thought, ’cause in all likelihood, they’re going to be long gone and have a life when we graduate, and so would I. I have to confess that once again, my parents were right! Why is it that parents seem to get smarter and smarter as we get older? *grin*
Having responsibilities: A pet, allowance, chores, or even becoming a mentor, all help prepare young people for adulthood. Too often young people don’t have constructive things to do. I’m not saying that a teen has to be busy all the time, but their mind has to be occupied with something outside of them self. We forget or don’t consider that teens are capable of handling quite a few things, and can be quite helpful and insightful when encouraged and lead.
Having my parents not only tell me what makes a person valuable, but also show me by their actions was helpful. (i.e.,: They said they were not racist. But I knew that for sure, ’cause they had friends themselves of other races.)
I have to say that my parents both dressed well, and dressed me well also, but they always said “pretty is as pretty does”. Perhaps I didn’t have the latest name brand pants, but I never lacked friends. I developed my own sense of style that worked best for me, and more importantly I learned what was really valuable traits to have and to seek in others. …..Being a parent is a tough job I’m sure, and it’s not easy being a teen I know. All in all though, keep those lines of communication open. Very important to both of you.
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