Horror of all horrors, you’ve noticed perhaps a son, daughter, niece, nephew, or even younger sibling begin to turn from a cheerful and chipper child into a dark, grim, and grimacing Goth. All the warning signs are there: a surly attitude, black clothing, disinterest in activities that society enjoys, strange, raucous music, and perhaps even the word GOTH bedazzled onto all their clothing. They dance to strange and scary soundings music at night. They’ve painted their room black (How will you ever paint over that black, you wonder?). Perhaps they have even taken on a pseudonym such as Rayne Wynter or Bishop Vermin or Vlad Constantine or Kylo Ren (ha! Topical star wars humor). They may also enjoy Vincent Price a bit too much…but who doesn’t?
You are desperate to remove this scourge from your once-chipper loved one. Fear not. From roughly ten years of living on the Gothic side of life, I can tell you from personal experience what encouraged my Gothic tendencies and what discouraged them. No seance or exorcism needed. Simply remember: Gothic is as Gothic does. Now, I’m not sure what that means, but it may be helpful to you.
What is Goth?
This is hard to say. In fact, quite a few books have been written on the subject. It’s about as easy to define Goth as it is to define what makes an American. *Shrug* You could try to ask a Goth. They’ll usually all say something different, though typically Goths listen to Goth music. You can get a wide sampling of it at Amazon.
What does Goth look like?
Goths wear all black. Well, not always. But mostly black. Sometimes Goths use other colors, like red or purple or white, to make black seem more black. Other than that, it’s all hard to say. Being Goth is a bit like being a zombie. Everyone brings their own thing to it. Usually, you know it when you see it.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Goth Kids
Know the Goth. No enemy can be defeated without a basic knowledge of that enemy. Sit down with your ghoulish one. Ask questions such as, “What is this Goth thing?” “What are Gothic things to do?” “Are there any pamphlets on the subject?” and “Is that lovely centerpiece of rubber bats, plastic skulls and candle wax for me? Thank you!” From simple questions such as these, you may discover the source of your little Goth’s interest in the dark side of life. And from that, you may draw conclusions as to how to prevent Goth from settling too deep into your loved one’s soul.
Ignore the Goth. Unlike an itchy nose when you’re unable to scratch it, Goths tend to go away when ignored. After assessing the situation and finding no alarming causes behind your loved one’s change toward Goth, simply let it be. A good portion, though certainly not all, of Goth kids want attention, one way or another. Think of Goth as a symptom and not the cause. The cause, perhaps, is a young person trying to differentiate him or herself from a sibling, wanting to be appreciated by his or her own merits. Remedy the underlying cause and the macabre aesthetic may just fade away.
Indulge the Goth. Gothic tendencies typically increase when others try to oppress them. Employing classic reverse-psychology will benefit you greatly. React cheerfully in the face of the gruesome. Drive your Goth to the mall to go shopping. Allow your Goth to paint his or her room black. Say yes to Halloween home decor all year around. Buy your Goth a keyboard to play in his or her own Goth band. Host Goth band practice at your place. With all the support, your Goth will most likely grow tired of your patient indulgence and lack of shock and will move on to less Goth stores at the mall. If your goth likes dark but peppy music, we recommend any song from To the Bottom of the Sea by Voltaire.
Cram your Goth with creativity. Yes, you heard me. But shouldn’t you push your Goth into the sunlight and force team-played physical activity upon them? If you do, you’ll only get more angsty poetry out of them about violent society and team sports. No, instead crank the creativity knob up to eleven. Craft with your Goth. Knit scarves with bats on them. Paper mache skulls. Scrapbook photos of their Goth band. Paint blood drips on their bedroom wall. Yes, all of it. And in the end, your little Goth may run screaming outdoors, finally wanting to hit a ball with a stick instead of spending another moment making homemade music videos with you.
If you can’t beat ’em, be Goth. But you thought you wanted to get rid of the Gothic in this kid? And I suggest that you join them? Well, put in another light, Goth just isn’t fun when everybody else is in on it. And there is certainly no appeal to watching your own mother, church leaders, crazy uncle, teacher, or any other of those incredibly adulty and un-cool people crank up the latest Goth band, put on black fishnets, smudge on black eyeliner, and swear that they’d love to go clubbing with you. If this doesn’t send your little Goth girl or Goth boy running for their khakis, stand behind your little Goth and lip sing along to all their music. Instant cure.
Avoid these common mistakes
Rage. Any anger and antagonism on your behalf will likely produce only the opposite of your intended effects. Your fledgling Goth will likely only immerse him or herself deeper into Goth. Why is this, you wonder? Well, may I simply bring to light the fact that many Goths become Goth during their adolescent years. Any more questions?
Revulsion. Goth flourishes in the light of revulsion. Consider the film The Exorcist. The more horrified the audience, the more the demon became profane. Revulsion will only make your Goth think their attempt to shock and alter the world is working. Quash the idea and bite your tongue.
Ridicule. Freak. Morticia. Weirdo. Mutant. Ghoul. Vampire. Goth-tard. We’ve heard it all. And your Goth will either develop thicker skin to your insults, or they will develop a persecution complex. Neither are helpful and both will cause outpourings of really awful poetry about how much you suck.
Kittens. Yes, I said kittens. Contrary to many commonly held misconceptions, most Goths love all things furry. Bringing home a fluffy and cuddly white kitten will not melt an antagonistic Goth’s heart and rid him or her of all things dark and creepy. You may, however, end up with an organically-dyed black kitten christened Mystress Rayne Sorrow.
More Gothic Advice
Perhaps these suggestions have worked for you. Perhaps you’ve “cured” your loved one of their ghastly Gothic tendencies. And then, perhaps you have not. Here is where I tell you that I’ve played quite a dirty trick on you…. If you’ve tried these suggested steps, even just one or two of them, then you’ve been spending a lot of time with your little Goth one. You’ve discussed Goth music, Goth art, Goth clothing, accessories, and fashion. Maybe you’ve even crafted with your Goth. By now, it won’t matter whether or not you’ve cured your loved one of this black affliction. With all of this time spent on the Gothic side of life, you’ve most likely found that Goth is no macabre menace but a charming world of creepy, yet creative, creatures. Revulsion may have passed to simple irritation. Simple irritation may have passed to a home-maintenance headache over those black walls. Some of you may have found the dismal poetry, homemade bat centerpieces, and raucous music to be a tolerable addition to your home. But just maybe some of you have fallen for the macabre world of Goth. Welcome, my friends…. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!