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We Let Our 11-Yr-old Watch TikTok. Now Her Christmas Listing Has Taken a Wild Flip.

Care and Feeding is Slate’s parenting recommendation column. Have a query for Care and Feeding? Submit it right here.

Pricey Care and Feeding,

How do I discover a comfortable stability between not desirous to deprive my 11-year-old daughter “Katie” of experiences her different mates stay with, but in addition not desirous to indulge? For example, just a few months in the past, my husband and I caved and let Katie watch TikTok, as a result of she was always complaining her mates watch it and discuss movies and she or he feels disregarded (she has to look at whereas she’s in the identical room as us although, and we set a time restrict). Now, for Christmas, she’s asking for skincare merchandise from a fairly costly magnificence model, as a result of she sees it on TikTok and a few her mates have it. Say what?!?! She’s 11! My husband proposed we get the merchandise for her for Christmas, however make it clear that all year long we gained’t be indulging in this stuff. However, whereas we will afford it, it kills me to spend that cash on a very pointless, overpriced product! She does get an allowance for chores, however we additionally train her to avoid wasting and spend properly—I, significantly, was actually dangerous at saving once I was youthful, and up till my early 30s spent approach an excessive amount of cash on fashionable merchandise/spontaneous purchases, and I don’t need her to fall into that lure. I would like her to have the ability to suppose responsibly: Do you really want the $85 face cream when there are inexpensive choices which are simply nearly as good (to not point out, do you really want face cream, past sunscreen/fundamental moisturizer in any respect whenever you’re 11?!)?

Katie will not be a whole follower, she will suppose independently of her mates, however I additionally perceive what it’s wish to be a preteen woman attempting to determine your house in life, which is exacerbated tenfold from once I was that age as a consequence of social media/the web. So I’m very torn about methods to deal with this—any options?

—As a result of TikTok Says So

Pricey TikTok,

It is a frequent challenge for lots of oldsters these days, and as a dad with 12 and 10-year-old women, I really feel your ache. I do know that it appears wasteful to spend that type of cash on skincare merchandise for a preteen, however I don’t suppose it’s an enormous deal since you’ll be able to afford it and it’s just for an important day (Christmas). If she involves you each Friday evening to go to Sephora, you then’ll have an issue in your palms—however I’m positive you gained’t let that fly.

I do know you’re writing in since you need recommendation, however I believe you’re dealing with this completely proper now. You’re monitoring her social media utilization, you’ve informed her that purchasing these merchandise gained’t be a daily factor, you’re educating her the significance of saving and spending properly, and many others. What else are you able to ask for? Elevating children on this social media age isn’t simple, however you’re crushing it, mama. So long as she doesn’t cross the boundaries you set for her, all the things might be simply superb.

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Pricey Care and Feeding,

I’ve a 16-year-old niece, “Sara.” She’s had a tough childhood with dad and mom which have by no means gotten alongside. Her mother doubtless has a real psychological well being situation (manipulative, lies virtually on a regular basis, and many others.). My brother is a zealous evangelical Christian and fogeys in a approach that I really feel isn’t wholesome, though I do know his intentions are good. He’s very controlling and doles out harsh punishment and disgrace for what I believe are typical/developmentally applicable happenings of an adolescent.

Sara has been residing with my brother for the previous few years; her mother was not in her life a lot throughout this time, and it has been a curler coaster to say the least. She and her mother have been reconciling and now Sara needs to go stay along with her. This has prompted the connection between Sara, my brother, and his spouse (Sara’s stepmom) to tremendously deteriorate. I believe Sara is a 16-year-old attempting to determine herself out/the place she suits in. Apparently, she has been fairly nasty to my brother and his spouse, however I really feel like they’re too exhausting on her. I attempt to love her and elevate her up as a lot as I can, however there’s a dynamic the place they really feel she is manipulating me and never telling the reality more often than not. To me it doesn’t actually matter, the actual fact is that she/they’re struggling and the one approach ahead is sweet household counseling for all. For background, my niece has been in particular person counseling for the previous few years, which has helped her so much.

My brother and his spouse wish to exclude Sara from household Christmas for the best way she has acted not too long ago. In my view, she shouldn’t be alienated on this approach as a result of it’ll solely add gasoline to this already raging fireplace and make her really feel worse. Your perspective could be tremendously appreciated.

—Involved Aunt within the Midwest

Pricey Involved Aunt,

I like the truth that you care as a lot as you do about your niece, as a result of it looks like she wants all of the love she will get proper now. The dangerous information is that your palms are tied in relation to her dad and mom, as a result of you’ll be able to’t drive them to boost Sara in a method you’d desire. Nevertheless, you hit the nail on the pinnacle by way of an applicable resolution, as a result of this household is in determined want of counseling.

Once more, you’ll be able to’t drive them to go to remedy collectively, however you’ll be able to definitely use each trick within the e book to persuade them of the significance of this: repairing the fractured relationship your brother has with Sara. I’d begin by telling your brother that it will be a mistake to take out his anger on Sara by excluding her from Christmas. I don’t doubt for a minute that she has been nasty to your brother, however on the finish of the day, we’re nonetheless speaking a few youngster right here. Dad and mom needs to be those to let cooler heads prevail, swallow their delight, and do no matter it takes to repair points with their youngsters.

Within the occasion your intervention efforts are unsuccessful, you must do your half to proceed providing emotional help to Sara, even when meaning inviting her over for Christmas. You’ll should belief your intestine by way of whether or not she’s manipulating you or not, however even when she is, it’s clear that this younger girl is in determined want of nurturing. I do know it shouldn’t fall on you to avoid wasting this youngster, however it might require you to tackle some further emotional labor if her dad and mom are unwilling.

Guarantee Sara continues with remedy, commonly share your opinions in regards to the state of affairs together with your brother, and be a rock to your niece throughout this tough patch in her life.

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Pricey Care and Feeding,

The opposite day, my dad got here into my room (I’m a teen) and stated that he didn’t like that I saved just a few small packing containers of issues within the nook of my room. He then tried to rearrange my closet to suit the packing containers inside. I informed him I didn’t wish to try this as a result of it will be inconvenient, and he received very indignant as a result of “you’re not supposed to place issues there,” which I didn’t perceive as a result of they didn’t take up a lot area and it was my room anyway. He began screaming at me and kicking my stuff and stated that I used to be ungrateful and would admire him once I was older and had no cash, and many others. I used to be understandably upset and yelled that he was being poisonous and left. I’ve been ignoring him the previous few days, and he retains attempting to speak to me and faux nothing occurred. He even requested me why I used to be indignant. This is quite common: He blows up over one thing minor, we don’t discuss it, and I’m supposed to maneuver on. I’m sick of it and really feel like I’ve a lot pent up anger, and I don’t know methods to discuss it with out crying or my dad dismissing me and yelling. What ought to I do?

—Offended and Drained

Pricey Offended and Drained,

Usually I solely reply questions from dad and mom, however I’m comfortable to make an exception right here. As I say typically on this column, I’m not a licensed therapist, so I can’t diagnose your dad, however I’m definitely certified to say that his habits is regarding.

I’m going to imagine primarily based in your letter that you just don’t really feel in speedy hazard throughout these outbursts—if that’s ever the case, you must get to security and name the authorities. With that stated, my first thought is you must alert your different dad or mum in the event that they’re within the image or discover one other trusted grownup in your life—particularly one who is aware of your dad—and inform them about what you’re experiencing recently. The aim is that this individual would no less than know what’s happening, and, assuming your dad wouldn’t react violently, discuss some sense into him and assist him to see the harm he’s inflicting to you and your relationship with him.

In the event you do suppose your dad is open to dialogue in calmer moments, the subsequent step is to be trustworthy with him and share how his habits makes you are feeling. In doing so, you’ll want to make it about you. For instance, “Dad, I really feel on edge and scared whenever you get indignant with me. I additionally really feel that leaving just a few small packing containers within the nook of my room shouldn’t elicit such a powerful response. I like you and I would like us to have a wholesome relationship, however these outbursts are extremely upsetting and complicated.” If this man is considerably affordable and self-aware, he ought to come to his senses and do his half to vary his methods.

Final, however not least, I believe it will be useful for each of you to attend household remedy collectively—I hope for each your sakes that he’ll be keen to strive.

Pricey Care and Feeding,

I’m a white mother to twin toddlers residing in a various metropolis within the South, a metropolis I used to be born and raised in. I do my greatest to stay my antiracist values and train them to my children as nicely, by way of books, TV, and simply our common day-to-day life with household and mates. I actually need my children to know totally different Santas of various colours—I’d like to take them to fulfill an area Black Santa. There is just one I do know of that advertises regionally. I’d really feel completely okay bringing them to an open occasion to fulfill him, however he’s so widespread you’ll be able to solely make appointments to fulfill him. I’m very hesitant to make an appointment as a result of I don’t wish to take time from Black youngsters who must see a Santa who appears like them greater than my white children. However I’m unsure if I’m overthinking this!

—We Love All of the Santas

Pricey All of the Santas,

As a Black man who teaches individuals about anti-racism, let me say that you just’re undoubtedly overthinking this. To be clear, I’m not the spokesperson for all Black individuals, however I’ve zero points together with your children wanting to fulfill a Black Santa. In reality, I believe it’s a wonderful factor that you just’re introducing them to variety early, as a result of in the long term it’ll train them that individuals who don’t seem like them shouldn’t be feared, hated, or ridiculed. Will there be Black individuals who gained’t like your children being there to fulfill a Black Santa? Possibly, however you’ll be able to’t please everybody and you’ll’t let that deter you.

Sadly, I’ve encountered my share of white individuals who would take their children to sit down on a Black Santa’s lap, submit a photograph of it on social media, and act like they’ve dealt with their anti-racism quota for the last decade. These persons are “performers” and completely shouldn’t take time away from Black youngsters who’re attempting to see a Santa Claus who appears like them. Fortunately you’re not a type of individuals, however in the event you occur to know anybody who falls into that class, please inform them to remain at dwelling. The actual anti-racists do the troublesome and infrequently uncomfortable work behind the scenes to create a extra equitable world for everybody.

Make an appointment to fulfill Black Santa, take your kiddos, and proceed to battle the great battle in opposition to racism. We want you!


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