Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, My mom won't let me dress the way that I want"

Dear Carol,

I’ve been trying to talk to my mom about how I want to dress, but every attempt I make to persuade her goes wrong. We always fight over how I want to express myself versus how *she* wants to see me look. It’s just exhausting. I’m getting older and I want to make my own style choices, but every time I pick out something, she says it’s ugly or not very “ladylike.” How do I get her to see I want to make changes?

- My Mom! Arrggghhh!

Dear My Mom! Arrggghhh!,

It’s definitely frustrating not to be able to control what you wear. At the same time, it sounds like the persuasion tactics you’ve been using aren’t working, so why keep trying them? Press pause on the outfit arguing and do other things that will get you and your mom in sync, like cooking dinner together or watching a funny movie. Restoring your bond can open the door to deeper conversations, and then maybe you can tell her a little bit about your current style with no pressure to change her mind. Ask for one tweak at a time (maybe pair a dress you love with a sweater she got you) or make some tiny adjustments without her go-ahead. Soon, you’ll be free to wear what you want without your mom’s permission. And hey, who knows, maybe by then your mom’s fave looks could be the next big trend.

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books. The first is Girltalk. The latest is Speed of Life, her novel and audiobook about a 14-year-old girl who writes to an advice columnist. Check out and follow her on Instagram @carolwestonnyc.

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by GL | 7/5/2024