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How to Raise an Emo Teen

by Stephen Maughan

Emo, short for emotional, is a form of popular culture with which many teenagers identify. "Emo" teenagers listen to sensitive and expressive rock music and dress in a certain style. When a teenager decides to follow emo trends, it's normal for them to adopt the emo style and listen to gloomy or sensitive music. For parents, it may be difficult to know how to respond. If you concentrate on building a good relationship and taking your teen seriously, then emo is likely to be nothing more than a harmless, passing fad.

Respect your teen's choice to express her own identity and dress her own way. Teenagers are seeking their own identity away from the family, and it is part of their normal development to try out different styles. According to American Family Physician, it is important to give teenagers freedom and their own space, and to keep a positive attitude to help them feel comfortable and accepted. You can set certain rules too, such as not allowing tattoos or piercings, so your teen knows what is acceptable.

Show an interest in emo music. You don't have to like the same music as your teen, but it is good to at least know the names of some of the popular emo bands to show your teen you are interested in her life and hobbies. While some emo music is harmless, the U.S. Department of Education suggests that parents let their child know if they feel the music and lyrics are inappropriate or offensive.

Develop a strong relationship with your teenager. Emo is often associated with depression, and as a parent, you can look after your teen's emotional health by having a good relationship. MayoClinic.com says that a having a good relationship with your child can help prevent depression. Taking time to talk with your teen about her life and feelings, as well as eating meals together are some ways to develop a good relationship.

Watch out for any marked changes in behavior. Dressing in black or listening to depressing music is fine, so long as it's only a fashion or interest for a teenager. KidsHealth warns, however, that any change in behavior that lasts longer than six weeks, such as a drastic change in personality, sleeping problems or talking or joking about suicide, might be a sign she needs professional help from a doctor or counselor.

Tips

  • Remember that for many teenagers, being emo is just a phase and they will outgrow it.
  • Don't try to dress or act emo because your teenager will feel embarrassed if you try to copy his style.

Warning

  • Be aware that for most teenagers, emo is just a fashion. Vulnerable emo teenagers suffering from low self-esteem might be at higher risk of depression.

Photo Credits

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