Regardless of your age, there are some conversations with your parents that are simply never comfortable, whether you’re still living under their roof and they remind you of this at every available opportunity, or if you’ve been living independently for years and can even do your own washing and everything.
If you happen to have very open minded, cool parents or even parents that are into the Goth scene themselves, talking to your parents about being Goth and what it means to you is probably no biggie, or maybe wasn’t even a conversation you needed to have with them at all.
Well, lucky you!
However, if you are just finding your way in your Goth skin, are a budding baby bat, or even if you have been a long-time Goth and your parents just don’t seem to get it or even acknowledge it, it’s time to sit your parents down for a serious heart-to-heart conversation:
“Mum. Dad. There’s something I need to tell you. I’m Goth.”
Gothic Charm School actually produced a short YouTube video about dealing with your parents as a Goth, which you can watch to get you started:
And it all sounds so simple…
Opening a dialogue
If you have naturally and gradually segued into becoming a Goth right in front of your parent’s eyes and they haven’t batted an eyelid (pun intended), there might not be much to talk about. But if you feel like you are proving to be a constant source of confusion to the ‘rents or they are always asking you when you’re going to stop wearing black and tone things down, take this as your opener.
Don’t snap or get frustrated about it, but do get your parent’s attention, so that they understand that you want to talk to them about something important and that they need to listen, and talk about what Goth means to you, how you express this, and also, what it doesn’t mean to be Goth.
Gothic Beauty magazine has some excellent tips to offer for your uncomfortable conversation too.
If your parents get in first
There are few things more disconcerting than being cornered by your parents in some sort of wacky intervention-style move, and being plonked in front of the sofa firing squad to be interrogated and answer for your crimes.
Gothic Enigma neatly covers some of the concerns and preconceptions that parents often have about their Goth spawn here, and it’s certainly worth a read if you are expecting a parental ambush at any moment.
If you’re sure that you didn’t eat the last muffin or put the empty milk bottle back in the fridge, the chances are that you’re about to get The Big Goth Talk.
Allow your parents to say their piece, and answer their questions as well as you can; but make sure that you also get the chance to say your piece, and that your parents are prepared to listen to you as well as talk. Don’t get het up or go on the defensive; you won’t be able to express yourself clearly, and your parents are less likely to really hear and take in what you are saying.
Don’t be afraid to say if you’re not sure about something
Be honest with your parents, and also, don’t be afraid to draw some boundaries. If you simply don’t know the answer to one of their questions (for instance, “is this just a phase?”) let them know this; if their questioning covers areas that you are not comfortable discussing, be confident in telling your parents this, and hopefully, they will respect that.
Hug it out!
However frustrating your conversation turns out to be (and hopefully it will leave you all feeling better rather than frustrated) try to leave things on a positive note, and be prepared to work with your parents over what may well be to them, a very alien culture.
Don’t finish the convo on bad terms, even if that means calling an early bath with the agreement to go back to the discussion at a later date when you’re all a bit clearer about what you want to say.
Weston Cage rockin’ the devil horns with Dad…
Unless your ‘rents subscribe to the Fred and Rose West school of parenting, or are members of the
Westboro Baptist “Church,”
No seriously, this is a real website…
the chances are that they have your best interests at heart, and love you and want only the best for you. Try to remember this during your conversation, and hug it out at the end.