Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My two young adult daughters are the exact opposite in nature. One likes my advice on style and the other hates it! She has no civility.
My style-hater says mean things like:
1) I don’t care about style, I care about comfortable. (She’s lazy and sloppy.)
2) Who cares about style? (It’s for old people.)
3) You should care more about the world and not fashion.
4) I care about animal and women’s rights and you care about fashion.
I’m a widow; I have always been dressed professionally. My other daughter and I like clean and simple lines.
I told my rebellious one the way you dress matters, especially for careers. I understand she likes trendy looks but they aren’t flattering.
She glares at me and at her sister, even at the dinner table. Is she troubled in another way?
Your “troubled” daughter may not be troubled by anything, except she thinks you want to control her.
Let go of your control and opinions of her. You can benefit by trying only to be a good example. Just like a picture, a good example says a thousand words.
Being socially conscious is a good characteristic if she offers positive messages to replace every negative one she makes. Help her realize negative comments produce zero changes in the world.
She may not realize that dressing messy or wildly is a distraction from presenting the social changes she’s trying to make.
Her sloppy style, just like an unorganized resume, speaks loud and clear.
She has a good heart. Let’s look at how you are, maybe unwittingly, producing your own negative narrative:
1) Declaring her lazy and sloppy will reinforce her idea of fiercely retaining control because she thinks you can’t see her virtues. She may be creative and hasn’t yet figured out how to implement her creativity.
2) She hasn’t made the connection yet that people won’t take her or her causes seriously if she looks like she doesn’t take herself seriously.
Being a well-defined person inside and out shows that you don’t have to focus on yourself. You already did that and you may now turn your focus outward.
3) She is deflecting the focus you put on her, back onto you. Ignore that.
4) She is obviously trying to guilt-trip and one-up you, however, it’s a technique for her to procrastinate her own growth.
Also ignore her glaring and other bad behaviors at the dinner table. By example, once again, show good civility and manners by talking about ideas and not each other. Discuss ideas only and don’t allow phones at the dinner table.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri