Teen Styles and Morality

When generational styles collide, we tend to turn personal taste and style issues into moral issues in an effort to keep our kids from altering their appearance in a way that we either find embarrassing or wrong. Like it or not, teenagers have always had their own unique styles that allow them to individuate as a distinct group away from previous generations. If you don’t believe it, just go back and leaf through your high school yearbook. Add to the issue of style the fact that they tend to try on some different selves in the quest to discover their identity, and there’s fertile ground for parent/teen conflict. Our first task in this process is to discern the roots of the behaviors. If their fascination with these things isn’t symptomatic of a deeper heart issue, then we shouldn’t prohibit things that the Scriptures don’t prohibit or label as wrong. But if we discover there are heart issues that need to be addressed, then it’s worth our while and time to intervene, set limits, and maybe even save them from their youthful selves.