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Question
Posted by: just saying! | 2012/01/19

belly rings?

Hi Cyber shrink and fellow people
What is your take on the following situation, step daughters of 12 and 14 got belly rings for xmas , bio mom did it and when my husband cornered her ( he is livid because he feels they are far to young) she claims their step dad did,
I just feel that the one is only 12 and the hair gets died as well, We have certain rules and values , sorry it is difficult to change our values to fit in , and bio mom wants to be their friend, my husband even asked her what''''''''s next . tattoos?,
Their attitutes is also difficult to handle, and they think they are 18 and 21 and want''''''''s to do just what they want, the 14 year old is now in grd 9 and her grades was very poor last year very close to fail,
any advise?
We are really disgusted with the fact that they have belly rings, are we wrong or are we to conservative?
My daughter of 14 asked for one now and I said no and left it at that,
It is difficult to teach them values every second weekend and holidays and the rest of the time they have free reign at moms'', the 12 year old was allowed to go out with a boy for ice skating, she was only in grd 6 , now really , this is not one, the 14 year old, is in to boys and every week has a new boyfriend,
this is affecting their relationship with their dad, and they expect me to pack up and leave because dad must go back to mom, I only met hubby 4 years AFTER the divorce, we are at wits end with and at the moment our relationship is taking strain,

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

They are indeed far too young to legally guve consent for such disfigurement, and I suspwect that as the parents are separated or divorced, the consent of BOTH parents would be needed. And what a seedy gift for any parent to give a child ! Sounds like she's desperate to curry favour with them, and be a friend. The best mom I know nowadays tells her kids : "I am not your friend. I am much better than that, I am your mother".
Its sad, too, when kids are encouraged to devalue childhood, and encouraged to race ahead into adult bad habits - they'll be adults, in good time, for a great many years. And skipping some of childhood, we end up with many very childish "adults". Pity the biomom isn't apparently more interested in their schoolwork - they're not likely to get a job is they have a belly ring rather than matric.
Romany is jumping to conclusions in assuming that the biomom must be the legal guardian. What degree of say you have here, apart from trying to have a good influence, depends on such issues as who is the legal guardian, whether the father or mother have or share custody, etc.
Similarly, I don't afree with Romany's apparent assumption that its fine because "all her friends have them" - she seems, wisely, to have reservations about tattos. If all her friends use heroin, should one agree that your child can do so, too ? If not, why not ? And how do you decide which indulgence falls into acceptable and non-acceptable categories ?
But rather than forbidding or applauding such requests to copy other kids, any good parent should use this as an opportunity to teach good decision-making, talking through with the child the advantages and disadvantages of whatever they're so keen on. A reasoned objection has a better chance of registering with a child than simply forbidding it.
Maybe some couples counselling sessions for you and biodad would help sort out your relationship and to work out the best way to jointly handle such challenges.
I have visions, in decades to come, of Old Age Homes full of demented old folks, dreeping round on walking frames, covered with tattooes ( have youngsters thought of what tattoos will look like when their skin begins to wrinkle and sag ? ) and jangling with metal rings and studs in every avaialable piece of flesh.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ina | 2012/01/23

I''m 63 yrs old and I think most of you are just too serious about belly buttons. Its a fun thing for teenagers, let them wear it and be thankful that they don''t indulge in stuff like drugs or sex, And believe me, making a big issue of belly buttons might lead to the latter!

Come on moms, you were young once, too, weren''t you? In stead of spending time on trivial things like belly buttons rather try to better your relationship with your children, whether step of bio. That is much more important. Try to understand them, communicate with them without preaching or being condescending. Let them know you love and trust them and you WILL see a change in their behavior.

Good luck and may you find the golden midway to solve your problems.

Reply to Ina
Posted by: Gail | 2012/01/23

Stepmom, I believe you are entitled to an opinion about this and to express it to your stepdaughter, however at the end of the day provided that her biomom and Dad have discussed it even if your husband disapproves I believe that the issue should be up to the biomom ultimately if she has custody during the week. Any children that you have with your husband who is also your stepdaughter''s father abide by your rules agreed beforehand on issues such as piercings, sleepovers, tattoos etc. I am not in favour of forbidding things because they are common and may lead to drugs.That''s bullsh-t. Piercings grow closed, tatt''s can be removed at a later stage but it is very expensive and not considered a medical aid procedure so both the tatt and the removal thereof involve money. Tatts are often done on the sly where they are covered by clothing and only picked up if the person has to go through a scanner. My kids were taught to serve drinks and even allowed to have a drink when with us despite school rules against it. None of them will now drink &  drive. We never banned smoking and none of them smoke of their own free will. we taught them as boys that pre-marital sex came with dire consequences like children and that regardless of whether they married a girl they got pregnant they Would provide both emotional and financial support even if in the form of insurance or Trust fund. They knew there were always goiung to be fresh condoms in the bathroom cupboard and no questions would be asked. None of them are promiscuous or have illigitimate kids and two are currently in their mid 30''''s. We taught them about choices and responsibilities and we did it before they reached the point where peer pressure made them want to be sheep. i.e. before they turned 10. Our job is to realise as parents that we havee these humans on loan for a short time and to teach them values while they are still sponges. Kids with separated divorced parents have enough issues to deal with. Choose your battles wisely and well because ine day they will be making the rules for you.

Reply to Gail
Posted by: Concerned | 2012/01/23

I agree with you Just saying, any good parent would have done the same thing you doing to those girls. They need guidance because they are still young, but now its difficult for you and your spouse to teach values but bio mom is teaching total opposite of what you doing. Dont compromise your values and beliefs because you want their acceptance, if they dont want to accept you as their step mom dont even feel guilty or ashamed my dear, its their own baby you are doing what any parent would have done. As long they are under your roof, they have to leave by your rules. What is worse is the fact that even your little girl will copy all these things, its not healthy and I really understand your concern.

Reply to Concerned
Posted by: Kelly | 2012/01/20

It''s tough. I do agree with Romany- at 14 I had such a bad relationship with my mother I didn''t want to tell her anything. At 16, my sister got a tattoo with my dad and step mom. I infact did try and do my own piercings because I didn''t want to ask or even speak to my mom. At least they are open with you and so long as ALL parents agree not to tattoo, then I think be grateful it''s only belly rings. As for the 12 year old, definitely too you. I had four ear piercings at age 12. Pierced my upper ear at 13 after I finished grade 7. Piercings are not a major issues but once they want tattoos, forget about it. If they do well at school, maybe get them temp tattoos. My sister got one at 15, it only lasts a while.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Just Saying! | 2012/01/20

Thank you Cybershrink for the input as well as obvious and romany,
I am not interfering at all in fact, I know where to draw the line as a step mom, I am trying to help my very strict partner to come to terms with the situation and No I will not allow my daugther a belly ring as yet, she is to young there is plenty of time for that , her school work is more important and she was accepted in a very good school and the rules are clear, no rings other than ear rings, that is why I said no to her, and to rebel at that age is not on, I will not change my values to fit in and the bio mom , needs to see that she can not be her friend, Yes it is her and bio dad''s kids and she should have discused it with him first , but she did not did it behind his back, we were at a holiday resort when he noticed it and as you can understand he was not happy at all, the one is only 12 years old, now really,
My partner confronted her and now she blames their step dad,
get the facts before attacking me, this mom, dont check their home work etc, no she is not the legal gaurdian , they have joiint custody and my husband pays for everything, they are well looked after and I love them dearly...
I am not a wicked interfering step mom as you put it obvious, I am just very worried about them, the 12 year old acts like a 18 year old and she is only in primary school, and yes we did meet the boyfriends, the 14 year old lived with us until december and she went back to mom because we are to strict with rules,

Reply to Just Saying!
Posted by: Obvious | 2012/01/19

I am with Romany as they see the children at week ends and holidays it is obvious the mother probably is the legal guardian.
As for belly piercing it is better than tattoos and nose piercing! And if you allow some rebellion as youngsters they dont usually request heroin.
As for the boys l find that kids these days are not just colour blind but also gender blind - they just choose to spend time with friends without thinking of their sex.

Any way all of this has nothing to do with step mums - only the bio parents. How would she like it if the partner of her childs father started interfeering in her daughters upbringing on week ends and holidays?

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: Romany | 2012/01/19

This is not easy.
It is firstly the mother''s choice as it seems she is the legal guardian and the girls live under her roof.
The father obviously has a say and this is between him and the girls ''mother. And between him and the girls.
Personally, I would rather my daughters are transparrent about such things and allow them to have the belly rings which causes little or no harm as far as I am concerned.
It is the better option opposed to them taking a non sterile needle and doing their own piercing, hiding it away from me.
Just saying................ I will however feel a lot different about a tattoo at that age I must admit.
Have you met any of the " boyfriends" ? At that age girls can be very melodramatic.... it probably is only boy friends rather than " boyfriends" , which is not a bad thing at all for girls to have at that age, or any age for that matter.....
Remember, blood is thicker than water. Your husband, although he may not say anything, will build resentment towards you if you unduly critisize his girls.
Why not let your daughter have a belly ring? All her friend probably have them? Go with her to a reputable person and let her have it.
Really... why not?
Ok so now I am going to wait to be killed by other''s on this forum :)

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/19

They are indeed far too young to legally guve consent for such disfigurement, and I suspwect that as the parents are separated or divorced, the consent of BOTH parents would be needed. And what a seedy gift for any parent to give a child ! Sounds like she's desperate to curry favour with them, and be a friend. The best mom I know nowadays tells her kids : "I am not your friend. I am much better than that, I am your mother".
Its sad, too, when kids are encouraged to devalue childhood, and encouraged to race ahead into adult bad habits - they'll be adults, in good time, for a great many years. And skipping some of childhood, we end up with many very childish "adults". Pity the biomom isn't apparently more interested in their schoolwork - they're not likely to get a job is they have a belly ring rather than matric.
Romany is jumping to conclusions in assuming that the biomom must be the legal guardian. What degree of say you have here, apart from trying to have a good influence, depends on such issues as who is the legal guardian, whether the father or mother have or share custody, etc.
Similarly, I don't afree with Romany's apparent assumption that its fine because "all her friends have them" - she seems, wisely, to have reservations about tattos. If all her friends use heroin, should one agree that your child can do so, too ? If not, why not ? And how do you decide which indulgence falls into acceptable and non-acceptable categories ?
But rather than forbidding or applauding such requests to copy other kids, any good parent should use this as an opportunity to teach good decision-making, talking through with the child the advantages and disadvantages of whatever they're so keen on. A reasoned objection has a better chance of registering with a child than simply forbidding it.
Maybe some couples counselling sessions for you and biodad would help sort out your relationship and to work out the best way to jointly handle such challenges.
I have visions, in decades to come, of Old Age Homes full of demented old folks, dreeping round on walking frames, covered with tattooes ( have youngsters thought of what tattoos will look like when their skin begins to wrinkle and sag ? ) and jangling with metal rings and studs in every avaialable piece of flesh.

Reply to cybershrink

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