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modesty and teens.... - Page 2

post #21 of 98
I aim with my 14 year old dd to have her choose HER style. I do beleive she is really more moset than the average but the past year we have been dealing with major peer pressure. She at times thinks it is "cool" to look like she is 18. I choose my values and as pps have shared, I want it to come from HER.I want her clothng to be an expression of HER style. I don't want to engage in a lot of power stuggles that are needless. We did a shopping trip a few months ago and she picked out really bright colored outfits from mainly Forever 21. I have always tried to support HER style and expression. As pps have shared, I feel the pressure to conform to highly sexualized image is very strong. Like pps have shared, I feel it is about self-respect. I have always tried to support LIVING, LOVING and JOY over the mainstream superficial and consumerist portayals of beauty. I want her to enjoy moving her body,living life to the fullest over merely passively living up to some superfical beauty standard imposed on her to feel Ok and "cool".
I dress simply and plainly.
I don't like that "cool" is sexualized. I have seen my daughter many times choose the more modest path. For example, at volleyball proatice, most of the othr girls took off their tops and she did not.
Right now, it is more in certain peer situaitons where she will dress in ways that I don't think are really positive. I won't let her out of the house if cleavage is showing. She mostly wears jeans . My goal is for her to "own " it. I don't want to be the clothing police. I have to remember that she is 14 and gets to grow and choose her style. At this current age and stage, it is very important to be very unlike me. I respect this. I also though, as pps have shared, want to gently guide her to what is healthy,strong,self loving and self respecting. Sallie
post #22 of 98
Thread Starter 
I feel like i'm not really able to answer in the way i feel I need to because the kiddos are being really needy.
suffice to say....I would like for her to be a good person, a modest person and behave in a way which is not overtly sexual like I see her friends doing. I want her to be a decent moral human being....not just woman or young lady. I suppose boys do get off a tad easier...but I DO give my boys a lot of talk about how to treat a lady, young woman, girl. I think that she IS a young lady....whether or not she WANTS to be one....well.....I don't know. Its mostly a matter of in my house I like modest dressing for women and girls and my men don't dance around in their undershorts. I guess its just me....its just the way I feel about things....
post #23 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothertoall View Post
Even though my niece is NOT my daughter , I feel responsible for making sure she makes appropriate choices.....that goes for also teaching her modesty and appropriate behavior becoming of a young lady. How to sit, how to dress and how to behave.
The potential problem with that is that those things may not be as important to her as they are to you. The stereotypical "young lady" stuff is sort of enforced femininity, and it may not be her "thing". It might be an easier path if you try to convey why you value modesty for all people, not just females. (This of course assumes that you do value modesty for men as well.) I'd give her some space to figure out who she is in all of this.


Quote:
My niece doesn't really understand...and she gets irratated...but It is MY house.
It is your house, true enough. (Does she live with you? If so, is it her house too?) It is her body no doubt. I think you can guide without being really heavy handed.
post #24 of 98
there are times when i would say no to my girls clothing - i haven't had to so far though but if they were wearing something really overtly sexual i would. i wouldn't approve of stilletos and a micro mini with a bra top or something in public i'm pretty relaxed though so maybe i'm not one to respond to this.

i'm not sure how to say what i want. i think that maybe you could sit down with your niece, discuss your own values of dress with her, your own perceptions of sexuality and dress and start a dialogue about that. that would open doors for honest, two way communication as opposed to you telling her what to wear.

good luck, i hope you find a happy medium
post #25 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwifetx View Post
. I personally feel that modest clothing helps young people maintain a respect for the power and value of their own bodies. : I want to encourage them to know that who they are is the most important thing, and encouraging children to wear revealing clothing, IMO, is not the best way to do that. Helping them make good decisions in choosing clothing that is attractive and compliments their body shape and coloring is part of that.
My rule about clothing is simple: We dress in a manner that shows that we respect our own bodies.
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post #26 of 98
I'm wondering exactly what clothes your niece wants to wear that you object to. There is such a variety these days!

My dd is too little to give me this kind of issue yet, but I know the deal at my oldest son's middle school: you can't show your butt, belly, or breasts. End of story. That seems reasonable to me. Especially since, as another poster said, you can dress very fashionably these days without baring all.

I teach my boys that they have to dress in a way that's respectful to the people they'll be around. So, they can wear torn jeans and ugly tee shirts out with their friends, because it's accepted. But they can't wear them to Nana's for dinner, where it sends a disrespectful message to another generation. It's all about respecting yourself and other people, and I think she's lucky to have you helping her with that.
post #27 of 98
How does your dn feel about her body? Is she happy and confident in her skin?

I've been thinking about your question and thinking back to my teens when I wore large shirts and baggy jumpers which totally swamped my petite frame and I was very reluctant for anyone to see the shape of my body. I am still only 5'0" and still petite with a less than AA bust when not breastfeeding but I have so much more confidence about my body now and feel comfortable in my skin.

When I used to cover myself I knew that I didn't meet the ideal I saw everywhere. Everyone around me was growing but I didn't. I think that I felt like I needed to hide myself because I didn't look how other girls did. I was always known for being clever and funny; not for being good looking or attractive.

It has taken me years to feel how I do now and I love wearing clothes that flatter my shape. I never wear anything loose, excessively long or baggy not even to work.

If your niece is full of confidence in the way she looks and dresses please consider that any criticism of her looks may destroy that confidence at a vulnerable time in her life when she is comparing herself to others and hoping to fit in. Tell her she is gorgeous and looks fantastic not sow a seed of doubt or shame.

My husband tells me I am gorgeous, funny and clever and I know its true but for years I doubted it.
post #28 of 98

whose house is it? The rules...

Fairly new here, and am enjoying what I read. I'm due in late January and this is my first.

I remember my mother raising me when it was "uncool" to nurse, to say yes to your child, and to allow the freedom of choice about things. Personally, I think she did a fine job of raising me to be the best person I could be, with a good head on my shoulders.

A lot of what she did I'm taking with me and keeping. She nursed me until I was between 2 and 3, when I finally decided that I didn't want the boob anymore, and instead wanted "big people" food. She chose to say yes when I wanted to pick out my own clothes (within reason based on season), and gave me options on which one to pick if I couldn't decide. She gave me the ability to understand that I could try something on the dinner table, and didn't have to eat it all, just had to try a little bit. And she made me understand that it was Mom and Dad who made the rules in the house, and they were reasonable, but would be followed - unless I could sit down with reasonable, calm arguments about change.

I will most likely have small assorted fruit thrown at me for saying this,: but I have always felt that, while our children share our homes and our lives, they still need limits and lines - as my mother used to say, "This is not a democracy, it's a benevolant dictatorship". Parents make the home safe and secure by not only being there, but setting reasonable boundaries for children to learn from, and follow. They learn how to deal with the "outside" world by learning how to follow the rules at home.

My parents rules were very simple for living in the house:
A. Do your best in school, and GO to school every day unless you're sick.
B. If you aren't going to school, then you need to have a job.
C. If you don't have a job, then you need to do extra chores around the house to help out.
D. If you aren't doing any of the above, you are not being a productive member of this small society we call home, and you can find someplace else to live.

I don't believe that it was harsh at all, though my older sister and brother felt that it was (they were from a previous marriage of my mother's). After I moved out of my parent's home, I lived with other people and their children. While they felt differently about disciplining their children than my mother did, they still had the limits set in place - it's reasonable to do so.

I guess I'm a product of the times, but I believe that setting clothing limits is the LEAST one could worry about for a teenager... It's something that can, at least, be controlled by what is being purchased... :-)

~Merripan
post #29 of 98
Wile I agree with HomeschoolnMama and May May to a point I realy think that darkpear makes an excellent point with regard to being pushed pushed pushed to be a 'young lady' (or, as see it) how the ulra conservative side of society, for there own reasons pushes the idea of what 'young lady' should be like, act like, sit like.
We have certain rules which EVERYBODY, male and female, child and adult follows with regard to dress and as darkpear said, I too have had to examine my own ideas and what might underlie them.
I am non-religious and thus do not dress according to religious beliefs. But as far as my rules go.
No-one needs to see the top half of anyone elses rear when they bend over.
Dressing should be according to the climate. A strappy top mini-skirt and sandals in January makes as little sense as an overcoat in July.
I have no problem with any of my family changing their clothes in my presence but equally, I have no problem if someone feels more comfortable changing in private.
I do NOT have any rules with regard to dresses/skirts only, for girls. For me personally, that is simply sexist.
Incidentally, while on a personal level I have no problem with nudity, I dress conservatively for work. Fitted trousers, with shirts or short-sleeved polo shirts but I wear pretty underwear underneath (which of course no-one need no about but me :-)
Modesty for me, is about how I think, feel and behave.
A woman can behave immorally even if covered from head to two and another could behave in a moral way, even in a bikini (I've never worn a bikini myself - way too curvy).
Similarly. I could be looking at and thinking about a man in a very sexual way even if he was fully covered from neck to toe. But regardlss of my thoughts, I cannot expect the man in question to take responsibility for the immorality in my own mind.

I think part of the reason that tweens and teens have clothing issues is not how they feel in their clothes, but how they feel in their skin so to speak - being unhappy with the way their body feels, looks and how it is developing, their body being a negative experience for them, so to speak - due sometimes to weight, skin or hair problems.
But for me there are waaaay bigger battles in life without making clothes into one and remember, after a certain point, unless you are prepared to follow your kids 24X7, they will manage to wear some of what they want even if it means decieving their parents to do so.
I remember a school friend of mine, at 14, leaving her own house in the very conservative style of clothes her parents tried to insist on, coming to mine, borrowing my tops and my lipstick (the latter of which I requested my Mum to buy for me and then promptly never used!) and changing again before we went out.
"Out" being the local YC or into town window shopping.
I reckon, if you can give kids good reasonable values, the self confidence to be their own person and the self esteem to knw their own mind, you can't go far wrong.
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merripan View Post
Fairly new here, and am enjoying what I read. I'm due in late January and this is my first.

She chose to say yes when I wanted to pick out my own clothes (within reason based on season), and gave me options on which one to pick if I couldn't decide. She gave me the ability to understand that I could try something on the dinner table, and didn't have to eat it all, just had to try a little bit. And she made me understand that it was Mom and Dad who made the rules in the house, and they were reasonable, but would be followed - unless I could sit down with reasonable, calm arguments about change.

I will most likely have small assorted fruit thrown at me for saying this,: but I have always felt that, while our children share our homes and our lives, they still need limits and lines - as my mother used to say, "This is not a democracy, it's a benevolant dictatorship". Parents make the home safe and secure by not only being there, but setting reasonable boundaries for children to learn from, and follow. They learn how to deal with the "outside" world by learning how to follow the rules at home.

~Merripan
Thank you for saying this! I'm a strong believer in kids needing boundaries and parents being the boss while they pay the bills etc. Sometimes it seems that I'm the only parent not trying to be my kids' best friend!

Your comments make me feel good about the way I parent, because you see the value of how you were raised before you have become a parent yourself. I'm not throwing fruit at you -- I'm offering you a bowl of delicious Oregon strawberries as a thank you!
post #31 of 98
I believe in modest clothing. But I also believe in letting girls make their own choices. The most important thing for you to do is to set a good example yourself. Make sure you wear the kinds of clothes you would expect her to. I think it's also reasonable to refuse to buy clothes for her that you find unaccetable. If she gets them elsewhere, then she gets them elsewhere.
post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth S View Post
Thank you for saying this! I'm a strong believer in kids needing boundaries and parents being the boss while they pay the bills etc. Sometimes it seems that I'm the only parent not trying to be my kids' best friend!
I think it's possible to be both a close friend type parent and a trusted, caretaking, rolemodel. Everyone has boundaries (parents included!) and we treat each other with an equal level of respect that isn't based on age.
post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
I'm wondering exactly what clothes your niece wants to wear that you object to.
I am too. My oldest is only 10 but this isn't an issue for us. I really don't know if it isn't an issue because my DD has good sense, or because I'm very mellow. I buy all her clothes and we shop together, so I have more input that you do with you neice, but my DD is a bit chubby, so she is used to me discussing with her what looks good on her. If I told her that something didn't look good, she would take my word for it and try on something else, but I don't mind if she wears spag. straps, short skorts, etc. just so long as it fits well and works for her. I'm used to seeing her skin -- she spends most of her time in swim suits -- so all clothes cover more!

Would it be possible to discuss with whoever is buying your DN clothes that may be gift certificates would work better so she could try the clothes on and make her own choices? I think that giving kids as much real control over their lives as possible is a good thing, and most girls this age LIKE to shop for clothes, and it would make it easier for you to have input. Letting her try on a variety of clothes and discussing them could be a lot of fun.

I can see if these clothes are gifts from people who are important to her that telling her that you don't think they look very good could be a VERY emotionally loaded thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
It is your house, true enough. (Does she live with you? If so, is it her house too?) It is her body no doubt. I think you can guide without being really heavy handed.
I agree. I was raised with the whole "my house my rules" line and I thought it was complete nonsense. If it wasn't my home, then I was homeless. I left home when I was still a teen, so I guess being told over and over than it wasn't my home and I had no say eventually sunk in.

It is possible to provide a child with loving guidance without laying down the law.
post #34 of 98
Wow, that is really sad, Linda on the move. I can really get how that sank in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
It is possible to provide a child with loving guidance without laying down the law.

I believe that it absolutely is possible.

I'm reading all these posts about not being a friend to one's child. And when I went within to find my truth, I could just see no reason not to be my child's friend.

For those of you who don't identify as their child's friend ~ would you be willing to elaborate? I'd like to understand. It couldn't be because you don't believe that friends have the power to influence, surely, based on what I read of your thoughts on their peer friends' influences.

Part of my definition of the word friend is 'modeling' and my behavior is my business. That is all I can see to do that resembles what you're calling 'guide' because where they're heading in life is their business.
post #35 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
For those of you who don't identify as their child's friend ~ would you be willing to elaborate? I'd like to understand. It couldn't be because you don't believe that friends have the power to influence, surely, based on what I read of your thoughts on their peer friends' influences.

Part of my definition of the word friend is 'modeling' and my behavior is my business. That is all I can see to do that resembles what you're calling 'guide' because where they're heading in life is their business.
I do consider myself to be my daughter's friend, and much of the time we have a good close relationship. What I meant about not being my daughter's "best" friend (and this was not at all aimed at fellow posters, rather, the world out there beyond Mothering forums), was that I believe there is a place in a child's life for a parent/adult who provides guidance and boundaries -- best friends do not tend to do this. This is why spiritual leaders, mentors, parents are sought out to play a role in many people's lives long after we reach maturity. Unfortunately, today's world reflects a love affair with instant gratification, together with lack of personal responsibility, self involvement and poor morals. At its worst this results in Girls Gone Wild, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan -- whose mother used to go out partying and drinking with her, before she was even of legal age.

I like the Mothering boards because I find myself surrounded by like minded people more often than not, despite some of the contentious "arguments" we get into . I find it hard enough sometimes to stand up for my own values in today's world -- my impressionable and easily influenced teenager needs help from me to learn her way (and yes, I allow her to learn from her mistakes, and I do give her freedoms that my own parents would never have given me) and gain a foundation of good values and practices.
post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth S View Post
Thank you for saying this! I'm a strong believer in kids needing boundaries and parents being the boss while they pay the bills etc. Sometimes it seems that I'm the only parent not trying to be my kids' best friend!
You are very welcome. I see a lot of people on the boards here feeling very much as though how they were raised was "wrong". Perhaps it was wrong for them, but no child comes with a manual and each child is different and needs different guidence depending on their personality.

That being said, however, I believe that parents are there first and foremost to be the leader and guide to the world. Being friends with your kids is great, but it takes a back seat to teaching them what is expected of them in society.

As for others who have stated that they didn't agree with the "My house, My rules" situation at home, and ended up leaving the situation because they didn't agree with it - well, I can only say that I'm sorry you felt you had to get away from the situation rather than discuss it rationally with your parents. It didn't help either your parents OR you in the long run. I had a "My house, My rules" home to grow up in, and I feel I came out just fine. My sister didn't like the idea, and ended up running away and living on the streets, because she refused to come up with a rational argument to have change that would benefit everyone. To this day, my sister is one of the most spoiled humans on this planet, and uses our mother's guilt at "forcing" her daughter out into the streets as a way to get everything she wants from Mom.

Most parents, when allowed the chance to discuss the situation rationally, with positive arguments and suggestions for change, will listen and discuss what options can be given to make said changes for the betterment of the household.

~M
post #37 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
I'm reading all these posts about not being a friend to one's child. And when I went within to find my truth, I could just see no reason not to be my child's friend.

For those of you who don't identify as their child's friend ~ would you be willing to elaborate? I'd like to understand. It couldn't be because you don't believe that friends have the power to influence, surely, based on what I read of your thoughts on their peer friends' influences.
I'm not saying that you cannot be your child's friend. However, there has to be a line between being your child's parent and being your child's friend. You need to make the distinction based on the situation. Friends do not set boundaries and rules at home. Friends do not enforce consequences when said boundaries are broken. Most importantly, friends do not always set positive examples of how to survive in the world.

On the other hand, a parent DOES do those things. In fact, that's really what a parent is THERE for.

Being a friend to your child means that you also know when it's time to be a parent, and following through with it.

~M
post #38 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merripan View Post
As for others who have stated that they didn't agree with the "My house, My rules" situation at home, and ended up leaving the situation because they didn't agree with it - well, I can only say that I'm sorry you felt you had to get away from the situation rather than discuss it rationally with your parents. It didn't help either your parents OR you in the long run.

Most parents, when allowed the chance to discuss the situation rationally, with positive arguments and suggestions for change, will listen and discuss what options can be given to make said changes for the betterment of the household.
(My selection)

IME the majority of parents with the 'My house, My rules' attitude to parenting are not the type of parents to enter into respectful and rational discussion with a child.

Personally I think that pulling the 'I pay the bills' thing is totally unfair to children who have absolutely no other choices about where they live as they have no earning power.

If you use these arguments you are essentially telling your child that they have no power and that you have it all. The discussions on this thread around control and validation for that control make me uncomfortable - especially over something so personal as form of dress.

Some might say that this is how parenting should be but although I am long way from consensual living as discussed at length over on GD, I do believe that being my children's critical friend is a much more heathy way to move forward together than any form of dictatorship; benign, benevolent or malevolent.

If wearing spaghetti strap tops is already into the disrespectful zone of the contiuum and requires correction then I wonder where other teen challenges lie and how they will be dealt with.
post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
IME the majority of parents with the 'My house, My rules' attitude to parenting are not the type of parents to enter into respectful and rational discussion with a child.
I can't answer to any other situations other than my own and those I've witnessed while living with friends. My parents did have the "My house, My rules" situation - however, they always had time to listen to me if I was willing to come to them with a reasonable way to change the situation regarding most anything - curfews, allowance, clothing, bedtimes - whatever. My friends as well have the "My house, My rules" situation. Again, they make time to listen to their teens if they had valid and reasonable changes to suggest. Perhaps these are exceptions, but I am going to follow the same situation in my home as well. I came out fine, and my friends teens are doing very well - well-adjusted, and quite confident in themselves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
Personally I think that pulling the 'I pay the bills' thing is totally unfair to children who have absolutely no other choices about where they live as they have no earning power.
First of all, the "I pay the bills" argument is one that, by the time a parent would feel the need to play, the child is normally old enough to have a paper route, and the argument is usually about whether they can have money to spend for [insert whatever stuff here]. If you are using this argument prior to the point where a child can understand the issue at hand, and the reason why such an argument may (or may not) be valid, then you need some counselling. Obviously, a 5 year old is NOT going to understand said argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
If you use these arguments you are essentially telling your child that they have no power and that you have it all. The discussions on this thread around control and validation for that control make me uncomfortable - especially over something so personal as form of dress.
There is a thin line between "boundary" and "control" - some people feel that it is the same thing. It is not. A boundary is something which is fluid, which bends when needed, and moves when necessary - when the situation needs it to. Control is rigid, it is un-moving, un-wavering, and unrelentless. It does not see when a compromise needs to be made. Forms of dress should fall under the idea of boundary - make reasonable compromises based on what is acceptable for age, modesty, and location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
I do believe that being my children's critical friend is a much more heathy way to move forward together than any form of dictatorship; benign, benevolent or malevolent.
That is certainly your choice. As I said, I have seen what has worked in my family, and what hasn't. Each child, as I said before, is different, and requires different things to raise them successfully. I will take what I have seen work, and temper it with my own learning knowledge of my child and its needs - and I will go from there.

~M
post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merripan View Post
Being friends with your kids is great, but it takes a back seat to teaching them what is expected of them in society.
It's true that I want to teach them things, and it's true that they teach me things as well. I also think it's worth noting that much of what society expects and values isn't in line with what I value. I talk to my kids about why I feel that way. Nothing has ever had to take a back seat for us.

Quote:
As for others who have stated that they didn't agree with the "My house, My rules" situation at home, and ended up leaving the situation because they didn't agree with it - well, I can only say that I'm sorry you felt you had to get away from the situation rather than discuss it rationally with your parents. It didn't help either your parents OR you in the long run.
Actually my standing up for myself and getting away for awhile did help, although not immedietly. If a parent has already decided that it's their way or the highway that leaves kids with just two choices. Sometimes the highway is easier to live with. I prefer to live in a household that respects each person as an equal member, and to have a dialogue and relationship with my kids that allows for them to tell me anything...including when they think I am mistaken or in the wrong, without them worrying about me telling them that "this is my house so deal with it".
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