Social media, Hollywood, society and often their own peers make the adolescent years challenging and sometimes wearisome. As a parent, you want to teach your children certain values with guidance so they may evolve into happy, productive adults. During the teen years, their bodies develop along with mood swings and likes and dislikes in most everything, including how they dress. Shopping with them can become less enjoyable and more of a cause of friction, leading to tears and sharp words. To avoid what may become an unproductive shopping trip, here are a few tips to help guide you when shopping with your teen.
- Begin with Pinterest, Girls Life, Seventeen, Twist, Justine or Teen Vogue. Have your teen go through the magazines or Pinterest to highlight the styles they like.
- Along with your teen, go through the closet to determine what still fits and what may be needed. Discard items that are too small, damaged, worn out or peeling. Set a budget and prioritize purchases.
- Set up a plan, whether it’s to order online or shop in stores. Talk with your teen to determine if they would rather shop with or without you. Often, teens prefer to go with their friends and purchase items for approval. I recommend taking the time to shop with your teen, as it can often become a wonderful opportunity to talk about things in the fitting room that may not have been discussed elsewhere.
- Plan to shop for no longer than three hours together, and finish the shopping trip with a snack or meal. This allows you both the down time together to give thought to what was purchased and to decide whether a further shopping trip is needed. When I work with teens and adults, I like to ask, “What was your favorite item we bought today?” Often, after a few hours of trying on clothes and buying them, our memory becomes clouded from the fatigue of shopping.
- Remember that if you like an item more than your teen does, chances are it will probably end up sitting in the closet and not worn. Clothes are too expensive for closet wear only. Make sure they love them since they will be the ones wearing them.
- If your teen begins to self hate and speak negatively about their shape, stop the trying-on process immediately! Speak in a reassuring tone and provide the love and support they need at that moment. Don’t discount what they are saying because I find it then begins to fester.
A final thought: If you are not finding what you need, then stop and re-evaluate your plan. It’s okay to stop looking and not to settle for the sake of convenience. Stores are restocked several times a week, and I guarantee you will find what you’re looking for the next time.
From my closet to yours,