or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › modesty and teens....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

modesty and teens.... - Page 3

post #41 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merripan View Post
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.
I think every relationship that exists involves boundaries. I have different boundaries with my husband than I do with my sister-in-law, and I have different boundaries with my best friend than I do with a casual aquaintance...but they are there just the same.

We aren't really a consequences enforcing type of family so I can't really speak to that end of things. Positive and negative examples are everywhere including often in the home. I surely hope to be a mostly positive example to my kids, but I know there's some negative in there too. It seems that with the "my house, my rules" approach I would be saying "I get to make the rules because my voice matters more than yours." and that's just not all that positive IMO.
post #42 of 98
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". [/COLOR][/QUOTE]




Yeah, there are so many variables at play in this thread, it's confusing. : I would hope that we all value respect and trust and communication as being paramount in any relationship. COntrol can easily backfire.
post #43 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy View Post

COntrol can easily backfire.
: right from toddlers finally 'released' from their strollers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merripan View Post

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.
nak

My 4 yo understands the finer points of affordability and reasonableness of her desires for Charlie and Lola comics her when out shopping for food for the family but I digress...We are talking about teens here and the subject at hand is parental comfortableness with a teen's choice of attire. I don't think that this is a situation where doing a paper round in order to get more power in the ituation is going to make any difference - unless you are suggesting that earning power is related to power and respect in the home.

My 14 yo has not yet been ruined by my choice of being his supportive, caring and questioning mum. I am helping him tease out his own boundaries and find where his needs and wants sit within those of the rest of the family. I can't remember the last time I needed the final say and I believe that natural consequences are plenty powerful enough.

I didn't start off raisig him to obey me at all times and only do what I wanted him to and I'm not raising his brother and sisters that way either. We have always been on the journey alongside each other not head to head. I suppose that if you start out this way the necessary control of teens seems a bit odd.
post #44 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.
That was me, and I did my best over and over to discuss it with my parents. It is impossible to have a real discussion with someone who has all the power and feels it is their job to force to do what they feel is right. It is like talking to a dictator.

"My house my rules" ends the discussion. I think it is a complete cop out that parents use when they either don't have good reason for what they are saying, or they know that the child/teen doesn't agree that it is a good reason. Because, honestly, if you have a real reason for what you saying, then you would be focusing on that reason -- not the fact that you wield power. If a parent is talking about *why* they feel the child/teen should do something and are open to hearing the child/teen thinks about it, then the power play isn't necessary.

The problem is that when it comes to clothes, a lot of parents don't have a real reason other than "I'm worried about what other people think" : so when the child/teen says "I don't care what other people think" the parent can't say much back other than "my house my rules." Because, ironically, most parents try over and over again to teach their kids to not care what other people think, so it turns into a quagmire.

Also, it is our job as parents to teach our kids how to make their own choices. Talking about *why* we feel certain things are important in an envirnment where the child/teen can question everything and therefore come to their own conclusion allows them to learn to make their choices. Forcing rules with power leaves them with nothing to draw on once they do leave home.

In other words, is your goal to get her to dress nicely this week, or teach her how to make good choices regarding clothing for the rest of her life? "My house my rules" can accomplish the first goal, but will only get in the way of the second.

Quote:
It didn't help either your parents OR you in the long run.
It did help me in the long run. I have a happy life with a good marriage and great kids. For me, building a good life was only possible by getting far away from my toxic family.

Quote:
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.
some do, some don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot
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.
Agreed. We are mostly consensual, but I have at times drawn a line with my kids. I can't imagine doing so over clothing, though.

When there is something that I feel strongly about, I explain *why* to my kids which opens the door for conversation. We can discuss if there is another way to reach the same end point, or at least they understand *why*. (for us it is things like you have to rinse your swim suit after swiming or the chorline will eat the fabric, or you really do have to feed the fish you bought or they will die -- stuff like that)

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
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".
Nice post!
post #45 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothertoall View Post
thank you midwifetx.....i appreciate hearing the side of someone who supports general modesty. seems so many young ladies let so much hang out......
I'm totally in agreement! I think that at that age, most teenagers, both boys and girls, don't have sufficient experience either with life or with sexuality to know what they're playing with -- they're basically just listening to their peers and their hormones (and hey, didn't we all? ), but I am so glad you're homeschooling.


Remember, you have the ultimate power: you control the credit card.
post #46 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Remember, you have the ultimate power: you control the credit card.
Back to square one.
I'm out.
post #47 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Remember, you have the ultimate power: you control the credit card.


Yes, I control my money. I have my own money, yes, and I use it to buy the things my family wants and needs.


But what does it mean, exactly, to have the money? And how are we defining the word 'control' in this context? The definitions as they stand on this thread have a lot of double meanings, IMO. So let's flesh this out for the sake of clarity.


What if we were to substitute the word 'gun' for 'credit card' in your quote, Meg Murry?

Would it be present in your household for the purpose of supporting harmony or antagonism?

I would think that one who would choose to own a gun would do so for the purpose of supporting their family's harmony by way of defense/protection (as that particular tool can be used), and not for the purpose of creating an internal dichotomy by way of which the 'one who's boss' can wield their power, no?


I can see how either 'gun' or 'money' could be used in similar ways.



Interesting, isn't it?
post #48 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Remember, you have the ultimate power: you control the credit card.
If I read the OP correctly, these aren't clothes that she is buying, but that other people are giving to the child.

As far as my own family goes, we give our kids a set amount for clothes (in cash) and they get to decide what to buy. Either my Dh or I or both are with them and talk about things, but they make the decision and pay.

Oddly, our kids are actually interested in our input. For some strange reason, they seem to think we have their best interest at heart.
post #49 of 98

teen clothes

I think that there can be reasonable modest expectations for clothes without making it an all-out power struggle. My 15 yr old son wears huge baggy pants and wears them low - ok, fine, I think it looks silly but as long as he wears a shirt that covers him so his underwear doesn't show, that's his choice.

My 13 yr old daughter knows that things that are too tight or too short are going back, no matter who buys them. Beyond that, the choice of style, colour, fabric, and so on are hers. We go shopping together, and often she will choose things that I don't care for - but as long as they are neither tight nor short, that's fine with me.

My own dress style is very modest (long skirts, long shirts) but I don't expect that she has to dress that way. There's a lot of leeway between the way I look and a pole dancer, and she knows where the line is. Often she will come home and say "I was going to buy a skirt I really liked, but I know you'd think it was too short, so I got this one instead". We try to compromise so that she gets things she likes that I can be comfortable with as well.
post #50 of 98
How about looking at it this way: I will not force my child or anyone's child (and I assume the OP will not do so either) to wear a particular set of clothes or not wear them. I can only control what I can control. That said, I will not be complicit in buying into (in any sense) the inappropriate eroticization of our children. When the OP's niece is an adult who can afford to buy her own clothing with her own money, what clothing she wears is of course up to her. Reading the post above, (oops!) if it's an issue of other people giving her inappropriate clothing, I honestly don't know what I'd do. If it were appropriate to talk to them straightforwardly and ask them to select more modest duds, I'd prefer that -- I'm not fantastic at making effective, well-placed, subtle suggestions, but if someone else is, of course that would be preferable.

I find this a serious issue. Even apart from dramatic scenarios of rape, molestation, or harrassment that are often brought up in this context, I think women sell themselves short by placing so much undue emphasis on external beauty and sexuality -- and the fact that this emphasis is being placed at younger and younger ages is deeply disturbing to me. We're beyond the era of the nymphette Lolita and well into creepy pedophilia when Abercrombie and Fitch makes thong underwear for six-year-olds (if I remember rightly...anyone recall this??). Bottom line, though, very few children can buy revealing clothing without their parents' consent and cooperation, which I do not believe in giving, regardless of peer pressure (including peer pressure from some MDC mothers). I believe in choice and freedom in many aspects of parenting, but this is one place I think it's important, at least in our family, to draw a line.
post #51 of 98
Oh sure I agree that I don't get to control what happens in your family or any other family either. This thread is pretty timely for me in a way actually. My Dd recently walked a friend home after a day of day of play in the water. My Dd (13.5) and her friend (11.5) were both in bikinis. A woman saw my daughter and her friend walking and told my daughter to "go home and get some clothes on". My Dd declined, said she was happy in her bikini as it was very warm and they'd been in the water. The woman said my Dd was parading around and that it was indecent exposure. She threatened to call the authorities. Dd told her to "go ahead if you need to." On the way home from her friend's house (we live around the corner... half a block I'd guess?) this woman starts following my Dd home, griping about her swimsuit the entire time. On my front door step this lady goes into how my Dd shouldn't wear her bikini around town because *she* doesn't want *her* daughters to see it, she thinks it's inappropriate, and she thought that my Dd must have been sneaking around to wear it behind my back. Oh my!

I told her that I was totally comfortable with the suit, it was legal for Dd to wear it, Dd makes her own clothing decisions and I am there for any feedback or thoughts, my Dd doesn't have any reason to sneak anything, and that what my child wears isn't going to be dictated by her morals. Thanks for stopping by!

I'd never step into someone else's business that way. But here in this thread, on most threads actually, debate (respectful one would hope) is always a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry
I will not force my child or anyone's child (and I assume the OP will not do so either) to wear a particular set of clothes or not wear them. I can only control what I can control. That said, I will not be complicit in buying into (in any sense) the inappropriate eroticization of our children. When the OP's niece is an adult who can afford to buy her own clothing with her own money, what clothing she wears is of course up to her.
So does that mean if the child has money of his/her own (did not come from you) that they are free to buy an article of clothing you don't think is appropriate? Are they free to wear it? Let's say a 13 year old girl has $30 saved up from various sources (Christmas, bday, can refunds, babysitting, paper route). Let's say she buys a tank top or skirt you think is immodest. She should be free to wear it without you making conditions, making her take it back, trying to talk her out of it, etc right? I am just making sure I understood your quote correctly.
post #52 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
[COLOR="DarkRed"] So does that mean if the child has money of his/her own (did not come from you) that they are free to buy an article of clothing you don't think is appropriate? Are they free to wear it? Let's say a 13 year old girl has $30 saved up from various sources (Christmas, bday, can refunds, babysitting, paper route). Let's say she buys a tank top or skirt you think is immodest. She should be free to wear it without you making conditions, making her take it back, trying to talk her out of it, etc right? I am just making sure I understood your quote correctly.
Aw, rats, I knew someone would ask me this. Honestly, I genuinely don't know. My daughter is six right now, and so right now, it's easy to persuade her or come to compromise (e.g., that she can wear it at home for dress-up, but not in public). I am about as sure as I can be that it will not be so easy later.

All that I can say is that I don't buy into it and won't subsidize or support it. I'm hoping logic works, but I realize it probably won't. I don't know. I'm not saying I have all the answers.
post #53 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Aw, rats, I knew someone would ask me this. Honestly, I genuinely don't know.

All that I can say is that I don't buy into it and won't subsidize or support it. I'm hoping logic works, but I realize it probably won't. I don't know. I'm not saying I have all the answers.

Cool. I think it makes perfect sense to say that we don't have all the answers and that we just aren't sure how that's going to work. I've had plenty of those moments, and I am certain I will have more. You are so not alone!
post #54 of 98
I've got a 12 year old dd, and clothes have been a minor issue occasionally.

We go by the guideline that, yes, your body is beautiful, please wear clothes that are comfortable and help others respect your body as much as you respect it.

When she was younger, our guideline was, skin can show if it is okay for someone to touch you there. Are you comfortable with a touch on the arm? Fine, bare your arm. Comfortable with someone touching on the stomach? No? Then cover it up, let them know it is off limits. This worked well in our home.

I also occasionally point out people (discreetly!) and ask what she thinks. I try to do this both with people whose style I feel is appropriate, and those who I feel look too, well, hoochy. I want her to understand that she ultimately can dress how she wants--but your clothes and the way you dress and carry yourself DO affect how others view you. Whether you care one way or another about this, well, that's her can of beans. I try to reinforce that I think she is a creative, intelligent, kind person, and she should carry herself as such.

Overall, she has great sense, and she makes good choices. I have hardly ever forbidden her from wearing something. Occasionally I WILL make her change her clothes--usually it is because something is dirty, though, not because it is inappropriate. And typically I won't even say anything if something is dirty; but if we are going to your uncle's wedding, for example, it is disrespectful of yourself and other to wear the shirt that you spilled coffee on yesterday. While others may not agree with this, this is how it is in our house, and so far our daughters have not had any problem with it.

I agree with the general consensus that you can't FORCE a child to wear what you want them to wear, just like you can't force a kid to think like you do. But you CAN help them understand why you think the way you do, and try to guide them. I can't say it enough, I've been blessed with very reasonable kids. It doesn't mean that she does everything I say and thinks the way I do--what I mean is that when she disagrees with me about clothes, food, ANYTHING, she is able to think about and articulate to me WHY she disagrees, and over the years I have learned to compromise and respect her thought process. The more reasonable the both of us get, the less we seem to disagree on anything.

Perhaps simply sharing with your niece WHY you think the way you do--being completely honest. Saying even "I can't articulate exactly why, but here's a go at it." And then letting her know you are willing to compromise on it. Let her know you would like to hear HER side of the issue, and you want to respect her reasoning AND the guidelines of dress in your household. Not every kid responds well to this, I know; but in general it seems that kids respond better when their help is enlisted rather than when they are simply commanded to do (or not do) something.

Ultimately, though, it IS your house, and you do make the rules. You also can make the exceptions. You are the adult, and you are responsible enough to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.

I think it is great that you are making a thoughtful decision, and are taking care of your niece. I know you will do what is best for both of you.
post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
I'm wondering exactly what clothes your niece wants to wear that you object to. There is such a variety these days!
Me too! Link to a photo, or just a good written description? My assumption of what you mean by "modest" might be different than what you actually mean.

When I was in high school, I had a favorite pair of jeans. Wore them til they had holes and rips in them. Couldn't bear to part with them, and there was a rip under one butt cheek. So I wore them with a pair of light pink printed shorts underneath (so you didn't see my leg/butt, just the shorts). I thought it was great and remember LOVING them. My unofficial adoptive mom wasn't a fan but respected that I loved them and was covering up enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth S View Post
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.
You aren't the only one; I'm with you! I see the value in how I was parented too, and specifically try to follow many of the examples my parents set for me.

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?
My child has many, many friends - but only two parents. I absolutely respect the power of friendships, and how necessary they are. I am friendly towards my kids of course. I do enjoy doing something one-on-one with my girls. But they aren't my friends; they are my daughters and that is a very special thing.

I guess it comes down to sometimes needing to be seen as the bad guy, being willing to be the recipient of the anger of a kid who feels they've been wronged. I am her parent; it is my job to help her along, but what my 38 years of experience have taught me might be different than what my 10 year old understands, values, etc.

With friends, you each get an equal vote. I want to; you don't. Ok, I guess I will and you won't. But with parent/child, it isn't necessarily the same. I know that there are some families on MDC that really do give everyone an equal vote, and don't force kids into following any rules.

I do have expectations. Rules if you will. There are things that I'm ok with, and things that I'm not. Sometimes my kids understand and agree. Sometimes they think I'm nuts. When I was 12, I would get frustrated with my mom's rules sometimes. Now that I'm an adult with my own kids, I understand just about all of it on a whole new level.

I think being a parent instead of a friend means that you are willing to take the heat for unpopular decisions. Discuss, listen, be respectful - sure. And I try not to make things too structured/strict. Pick your battles as it were.

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.
See, there you are in 23 words covering what I took too long to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinglemon View Post
I think that there can be reasonable modest expectations for clothes without making it an all-out power struggle. My 15 yr old son wears huge baggy pants and wears them low - ok, fine, I think it looks silly but as long as he wears a shirt that covers him so his underwear doesn't show, that's his choice.
We try to compromise so that she gets things she likes that I can be comfortable with as well.
One, I have seen the baggy pants with boxers showing. I think it looks silly, but I can't see why it is an issue. Why does the shirt have to cover up the underwear really? His butt wouldn't show either way, right? How is boxer fabric all that much different from lightweight tee shirts?
And two, I agree on the compromising with dd part. This is what dd1 (almost 11) and I do also. She likes clothing from Limited 2. I think some of it is just fine, and other stuff is really not classy in any way.

One rule I have stuck to so far is no words on the butt of your pants/shorts/underwear. We've seen "hottie" on the butt of shorts. I'm sorry, not on my 10 year old.... She thinks I'm awful, but as liberal as I consider myself, I don't think that is going to fly at my house with young girls. If she were 17, and could get by without her dad seeing it, I might feel differently.

They also have thongs and underwear with no fabric on the sides, just string ties. In sizes that would fit my 10 year old! I just can't go there.

I think a lot of it (for me) has to do with age/experience/maturity of the kid. When my kids are young, I have a little more control over what they eat, wear, etc. because I am buying it. As they get bigger, they'll be places without me. I still wouldn't be ok with them using their own money to buy things that are really over the line, but I hope that as they are old enough to want such things, they'd also be old enough to understand a little more about the consequences.

I also think we should remember what it felt like to be a teenage girl. To begin to realize that we can make statements with our clothing. I'm really dying of curiosity as to what the OP's niece wants to wear....
post #56 of 98
orangefoot - I strongly agree.

Altho' Merripan's parents were different in that respect, the majority of parents with the 'My house, My rules' rather than "our home, as a family" (whatever form that family may take) attitude to parenting are not the type of parents to enter into respectful and rational discussion with a child.

I also think that pulling the 'I pay the bills' thing is totally unfair on children as they have absolutely no earning power and it may surprise you Merripan, the number of parents who use this argument well before the child is anywhere near the legal age to work.

And indeed any 'dictatorship', however benvolent it would seem - would have its negatives.

I respected my mother far far more for saying 'Davi - I think that looks terrible on you, the colour makes you look all washed out and the shape doesn't suit you, maybe you could wear something else, than I did my father saying 'you're not leaving the house in that'.

The former resulted in me wearing the garmet in quesition, realising after a while that it didn't suit me and putting to the back of the wardrobe.
The latter resulted, in a row, tears, me decided I wasn't going out and wearing the thing around the house anyway - regardles of how awful it looked. I was a stubborn teen, like many.

Like I say, there are WAY bugger battles in life than clothes.

I do like the guideline of, skin can show if it is okay for someone to touch you there. Are you comfortable with a touch on the arm? Fine, bare your arm. Comfortable with someone touching on the stomach? No? Then cover it up, let them know it is off limits.
But, I wear flip-flops outside in the heat but wouldn't like someone touching my feet!

On the subject of thongs tho, - am I the ONLY woman in the world who wears them becuase she actually finds them comfortable?
post #57 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavinaT View Post
On the subject of thongs tho, - am I the ONLY woman in the world who wears them becuase she actually finds them comfortable?
Ya know I only wore a thong once and I didn't care for it, but my Dd swears I just haven't found the right kind yet.
post #58 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavinaT View Post
On the subject of thongs tho, - am I the ONLY woman in the world who wears them becuase she actually finds them comfortable?
No you're not:

UnschoolnMa keep searching
post #59 of 98
Thread Starter 
okay...so we had a talk...I explained to her that I was uncomfortable with her clothing choices mostly because she just didn't know how to act in them...IE..she just sits with her legs open in a skirt...flashing her under wear to everyone.
In lower cut tops...especially size xs that are cut for women with more boobs than she has....she is flashing the entire world her chest.
I am not a prude...but I also have young men in my house. I want her to respect herself....and my wishes. I didn't expect this to be such a huge debate...but am happy for the insight.
I am NOT a dictator...but I do expect that in MY house where the environment is MODEST dress.....that she is expected to do the same , as are my boys.

I guess Im a minority here....in that the bit about unschoolin mamas dd walking around in her bathing suit , my kiddos would not be doing. We change out of our swimsuits when done with swimming and do not run around in them as they are not clothing.
I realize that is a personal opinion....and reconginize others may not feel the same. We have had several icky people in the neighborhood watching children and some attempted abductions of young girls. I want my niece to NOT attract any more attention ....I'm looking out for her wellbeing as well as my interest in her being more modest.
I do tell her why I don't want her wearing certain things , she sometimes agrees and sometimes is reluctant.
I will stick to the whole when she is grown and moves out she can do as she pleases. I am not trying to be controlling...I just prefer modesty amongst my family.
period.
thanks for all the input.
post #60 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavinaT View Post
I also think that pulling the 'I pay the bills' thing is totally unfair on children as they have absolutely no earning power and it may surprise you Merripan, the number of parents who use this argument well before the child is anywhere near the legal age to work.
It seems like a sad thing to teach a child. I'm a SAHM, but even if I did work, I would make a lot less money than my DH. According to this logic, he should get more say in all spending decisions in our family because "he pays the bills." Ick.:

Quote:
I do like the guideline of, skin can show if it is okay for someone to touch you there. Are you comfortable with a touch on the arm? Fine, bare your arm. Comfortable with someone touching on the stomach? No? Then cover it up, let them know it is off limits.
That doesn't work for me because I don't want other people touching my arms or legs. Actually, I don't want people out side of my family to touch me at all -- anywhere!

In order to follow this guildline I'd need to wear a burka rather than shorts and a T shirt.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Preteens and Teens
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › modesty and teens....