Your Dilemmas: Mum is borrowing my clothes, says 16 year old

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: Mum is borrowing my clothes, says 16 year old

"My mother looks just awful in my clothes. She is like a slapper in them. She is too old for this." Picture: Stock shot posed by models.

Dear Joan

My letter is unusual because it is about my mother. She is now 50 and married to my father and we all live together.

The problem is that my mother is now asking to borrow my clothes. I am 16 years old and we are both about the same size — that is size 10 or 12.

I buy my clothes in Penneys and New Look and places like that. They are clothes for young people only that I wear, of course.

My mother looks just awful in my clothes. She is like a slapper in them. She is too old for this.

I have told her this and she is angry with me for saying it. We have had rows and awful fights about this and now we are not even talking.

I am mortified when my friends see her, I will not even go into town now with her because she looks cheap and like a slapper a lot of the time. Please advise me.

Dear Reader

It is a very unfortunate situation you have found yourself in.

I would really suggest that you talk to your mum and stop the arguing. It is not helping your situation with her and it is not good for your relationship.

Why not tell her how you are feeling and what it is like for you? 

Use the “I feel” language instead of ‘giving out’ to her. Do you know what I mean here?

Maybe start by saying: “Mom, can I just tell you how I feel when you dress in these clothes? I feel really embarrassed because you would look so much better in this type of outfit”.

Get some pictures from a magazine showing fashionable clothes for ladies her age. Show her how good she would look in a particular outfit.

Maybe jeans, if she likes jeans, or trousers or whatever her favourite type of clothes are.

Try to come at the problem from a positive point of view rather than a negative position. Admire the fact she has a great figure for her age, which she must have if she is your size in clothing!

If she is too angry to talk with in this way then maybe if you have an aunt around her age or another lady around her age that she has a good relationship with, then ask that older (than you) lady to help you with this.

Your mum may be more open to ‘hearing’ this information and feedback from an older female! Even better if she is a fashion conscious female and better still if you mum likes how she dresses and she is trendy!

Would your dad be any good to talk to your mum about this? Do get some help from an older person as this is obviously a sensitive issue for your mother!

How women age and how sensitive we can become about our image and how we look, etc, is very personal and can be very difficult for some females at middle age. Therefore I urge you to be sensitive and respectful to your mother’s feelings.

Don’t let this fester any longer as you don’t want this issue to grow any worse.

Best of luck, reader.

  • If you have a dilemma that you would like Joan to answer in her weekly column, email features@eecho.ie

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