Just a note that since originally posting this article, I’ve had numerous comments from people who participate in emo. While a handful have been respectful, the majority have been vicious toward me. That said, not every child who chooses emo dress, music, etc. is necessarily in serious trouble. The handful who were respectful have given me a different perspective to a point. To those who are upset about this article, it was never my intention to insult you. This was something that my own child dealt with that did lead her on a destructive path for a bit. My goal with this article is to make parents aware and offer them some tools to help their child. With that in mind, I still find that this article is useful in that regard.
What does “Emo” stand for? It depends on who you ask. Preteens will tell you it stands for “emotional or dramatic”. Older “emo” people will say it means “emotional hardcore” and is simply a form of music. Many parents and counselors feel it stands for “emotionally disturbed”. Emo kids may:
- Wear black and very dark colors
- Dye their hair black or deep, dark colors
- Often wear one straight long swag of hair over one eye
- Wear black eye makeup, nail polish and lipstick
- Are into piercings
- Are sad and moody and broody all the time
- Listen to music about death and suicide
- Cut and hurt themselves
There is a trend going through many schools, even as early as fourth of fifth grade, where kids want to be emo. Not all of them understand what it entails and simply think they are being cool. Like many things, this starts off small and can become a serious problem quickly. A quick Google hunt on emo will turn up articles on multiple suicides, drug addictions and other serious emotional and mental health issues. Deeper research into news reports, books on the culture such as Everybody Hurts reveal a focus on depression and attitude. The book says, “More dramatic than simply being sad, depression is the foundation for the entire emo ethos.” Something that starts small and innocent can quickly turn life threatening for your child.
How to protect your child from the emo culture:
- Be aware of who your pre-teen or teen’s friends are. If you notice friends who are sad, wear a lot of black, have piercings or small cuts on their forearms or elsewhere, you may want to insist your child seek out other friends.
- Pay attention to MySpace, FaceBook and other social networking sites as these have a strong emo presence, which your child can quickly get wrapped up in.
- Be aware of who your child eats lunch with and spends time with at school. Talk to the teachers and the guidance counselor.
- Talk to your child about your concerns with emo/goth (being depressed), drugs, cutting or hurting themselves and why appearance does make an impression.
- Be aware of what music your child is listening too. Don’t be afraid to set limits and not allow your child to listen to any music that might be detrimental to his or her thinking.
- Be aware of any major changes in attitude, dress or school work
Emo Danger – What you need to know to protect your child from emo.
What is Emo – Why emo is so dangerous as a movement.
Girl Commits Suicide – After becoming interested in an Emo band, a young girl of 13 kills herself.
Emo Study – Look at Australian “emo”.
If you find that your child has become interested in emo, don’t delay, talk to him or her immediately and get details. If you feel your child is listening to dangerous music or cutting or hurting him self in any way, seek professional counseling from your pastor or a licensed professional.