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#1 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi, I have to make this short as all the kiddos are up....but I need to ask.....

I do NOT follow any modesty guidelines for dressing for religous reasons. I have since I have gotten older begun to dress and feel more appropriate in modest (or more modest) dress. I have a niece living with me and she is 12. I have over the last year or so become increasingly uncomfortable with the way she dresses (or maybe its the clothes others buy her....i think.) and I am looking for some input here.

Do any of you out there have guidelines for modest dressing for your teen girls? My niece is fighting me tooth and nail.....but for my own reasons.....I feel more comfortable if she were dressing more modestly. I have made several requests of her which she follows....but not happily. Next year we will be homeschooling.....and I think it might be easeir. I have guidelines for my boys as well......but well...they're boys. No underwear hanging out....no running around the house in your undies....I mean , hey....there are young ladies here....and I feel that modesty is important.

I guess what I am getting at is the need to hear some of you mamas input on how you deal with modesty in a young lady reliously and non religiously.

Please do not bash me here.....I realize some of my discomfort is my own stuff....but I am doing the best I can.....and would just like a little support and someone to tell me how they do things....
thanks, christine
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#2 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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I'm sure we'll receive a lot of heat for being on the side of even having rules about clothing, but I'll strike out in support here. 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.

I have three daughters and one son. My rule about clothing is simple: We dress in a manner that shows that we respect our own bodies. My children know that we choose certain colors to wear based on what looks good with our skin/hair/eyes and they know that we cover our bodies. I don't have a laundry list of "don't" that I spew, but their wardrobes do not include midriff baring shirts or pants so low that they would have to shave their pubic hair down to wear them, they don't include pants that are painted on their bodies, they don't include underware exposure in any fashion for girls or the boy....well, it is TX and some layering of tanktops occasionally allows a brastrap to show. It's hot here. Mostly we buy the kind of tanktops that have thicker straps, but occasionally not.
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#3 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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Luckily, my 13yo has tasteful taste, so it's easy. She prefers longer shorts, tanks that allow her to wear a bra w/ straps always showing or tanks with a built-in bra. (She's not big, but has a nice figure.) She does wear bikinis swimming. But she's not into the belly shirts, lots of make-up, stuff that makes her look trashy.

As for modesty at home, she's perfectly comfortable walking around in shorter shorts and a bra as long as it's only her brother and myself at home. Similarly, my son (15) is fine with walking around in boxer briefs and a tshirt when it's just the three of us. They change in private (well, she'll change in front of me).
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#4 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you midwifetx.....i appreciate hearing the side of someone who supports general modesty. seems so many young ladies let so much hang out......
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#5 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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I am very much disturbed by young girls dressing like little hoochy mamas at such a young age.

I may differ from you about the definition of "modesty" though. I'm not sure what you mean, but if you are talking about long conservative dresses only, then I am different than that.

I like some trendy clothes, some of which might not be completely "modest" but I like them for women, not "girls."

I wish that young girls weren't encouraged to be sexually "alluring" at such a young age. Let kids be kids. They already grow up so fast.
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#6 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Karina,

That's really what I'm talking about. We avoid clothing that would make our children look like Bratz dolls...or even Barbie Dolls for that matter, but we're not a drop-waist-dress family.
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#7 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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We don't have any rules about clothing. You won't get any "flames" from me about it, but it's not something I can personally relate to.

Of course not having rules about it doesn't mean I haven't spent time talking about clothing, social attitudes toward different looks, assumptions, self respect and respect for others, creative expression, and etc. My Dd wears halter tops, mini skirts, and short shorts. She wears sweaters, button up shirts, long skirts, and pretty dresses. She wears cargo shorts, fingerless gloves, and t-shirts. What's most important to me is that she's dressing according to what she wants, not according to what she thinks other people (esp boys) like to see her in. It's a confusing world as far as media and mainstream attitudes about sex/appearance go, so my focus is more about helping her feel strong and healthy in whatever she wears & that her choices are about her.

If I ever have an issue with something she's wearing I respectfully tell her, and because she knows that I am never out to just rain on her parade or be a nag, she respectfully hears me out and gives it some real thought. As for being in underwear and such...that's an issue of respect for others. We don't want to make people uncomfortable. Dd sometimes will come downstairs in her night shirt and underwear to get some water or whatever, and I think that's just fine. Ds prefers to not be undressed around others and we respect that as well. We don't think it's automatically bad or inappropriate for girls and boys to see each other in various forms of undress. A boy shirtless, especially in the summer, is no big deal at all. A girl in a sports bra and shorts... not a crisis in my book.

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#8 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Once again, UnschoolnMa, I'm really loving your articulation!

Especially this part ~



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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
It's a confusing world as far as media and mainstream attitudes about sex/appearance go, so my focus is more about helping her feel strong and healthy in whatever she wears & that her choices are about her.



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#9 of 98 Old 05-27-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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I don't have a laundry list of "don't" that I spew, but their wardrobes do not include midriff baring shirts or pants so low that they would have to shave their pubic hair down to wear them ... they don't include underware exposure in any fashion ... some layering of tanktops occasionally allows a brastrap to show.
DH and I agreed on parameters very much like those quoted above for DD.

Pre-teen girls start to push the edges of acceptable behavior and that's normal. And, so is you saying "no" to clothing that may put forth negative messages about self-respect and intentions. Mama, trust your judgment.

DH or I would be certain to look DD over before she left for school or went out with friends. We weren't obvious about it, but we watched and, if she went over the line, we pulled rank. Sure, there was complaining. But, so what?

I'd treat DD to very trendy or stylish clothing from time-to-time. These pieces maintained modesty and, at the same time, were eye-catching and quality. Her peers regarded her as having style (they used "cooler" words than that - but, I'm getting of an age when my memory fails this late in the evening ). I think doing this allowed DD to channel her desire to make a statement with her clothing to a positive once.
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#10 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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Ever since dd [13] was a baby, we dressed her like a doll and since some time she wanted to dress on her own.. we always go shopping together and she knows where to set the limit... by "modest" you mean, not too mini skirt? anyway dd loves to wear long pants with simple top...
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#11 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 01:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I wish that young girls weren't encouraged to be sexually "alluring" at such a young age. Let kids be kids. They already grow up so fast.
I totally agree. We all know that different clothes make you feel different. When we wear frumpy clothes we feel frumpy, when we wear nicer clothes we feel better about ourselves. I don't think children should wear clothes that makes them sexy. Especially in school it isn't healthy to them and it doesn't give them the kind of respect that they deserve from their peers and those around them.
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#12 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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our ideas are in tune with midwifetx. Not religious, not prudish and don't believe having dress rules for our dd violates her personal freedom. I thnk media and corporate interests push a certain sleazy style of dress on girls nowadays and we don't buy into that stuff. We think that girls too young to understand the message their clothes give still need guidance to dress. We know who will get blamed if a girl with her thong underwear and belly showing is sexually assaulted or called names. Fortunately our school expects respectful dress.
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#13 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I wish that young girls weren't encouraged to be sexually "alluring" at such a young age. Let kids be kids. They already grow up so fast.

I wish the same thing, but I also don't see my wish automatically appealing to my curious child who is exposed to culture and does not live in a vacuum.

Not that I am a 'permissive' parent who sees her as the one who runs the show, but I also do not put myself in a position to run the show.

I give my dd what I call the "running commentary" on observations and experiences I've had and watched others have ~ then let her decide for herself about the cause-and-effect role of clothing in her life. I figure it serves her better to learn these things while still close to mama than when she's all grown up and further away from me.

Even more, I love that we have no struggle around these things. . that I am free to trust her and the most interesting thing I've noticed about that is that the choices she makes are consistently ones that I would have hoped she would make. Truly amazing.
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#14 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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Outside of school, my dd can pretty much wear whatever she wants. School though, is to focus on your studies. I think it helps to dress in clothes that cover and fit well. She and I have settled her into a look that is slightly preppy with polo shirts, blue jeans and capri pants. If she wears a top that is cut more revealing, she will wear a cami underneath. This prevents her from feeling over exposed to the world. We will buy the occasional trendy item if it isn't too "sexy". Mind you, my dd is 13. There's time to be sexy looking at a later age.
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#15 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks to all who responded....I was feeling like maybe my desire for my girls to be more modest without following a totally modest dress regime was weird.....I'm sometimes not sure if I know how to parent teen girls....
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. I hope I am not WAY off the mark. I know some mamas here are more permissive and some are not. I suppose I was hoping to just see that I am not an oddball. That there are other families who feel like I do. I think the sexualization of children in our culture is horrible. I feel like I am already starting the same thing with my 5 year old.....she sees stuff on tv and wants to walk, talk and dress that way. I am frustrated. But I am sticking to my guns. No bellies, no butts hanging out , no revealing blouses or tops, and nothing see thru, no panties hanging out....My niece doesn't really understand...and she gets irratated...but It is MY house.
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#16 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Really for right now, fashion should be your friend.

The "in" styles involve layers and layers of t-shirts. Looooong tops in baby doll fashion (with an extra tank top under making the top not low cut). NO belly baring. And leggings under short skirts with ballet flats.

These styles have just come "in" and allow a tween girl to dress cute and stylishly without looking imodest.

I mean look at what Ambercromie kids is showing this year. http://www.abercrombiekids.com/webap...-1_12156_12103

And Ambercrombie is nitorious for showing overly sexualized children's clothes. This year its simply not so much in fashion.
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#17 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Does she want to be a young lady? Does she see herself that way?
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#18 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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um....I don't know what you're getting at....but I suppose I would like for her to behave modestly. I guess whether that is a young lady or .....
I would like it that she not dress or act in way that is over sexualized. being a teen or tween is hard enough, I feel that I am guiding her through this process and hopefully in the end when she is grown she will still behave in a fashion that is modest and not go flashing her goods all over town(as her aunts and friends do.... )
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#19 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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I'm just curious about how she sees herself. I think you may be conflating several separate issues.

I don't have teens yet, but I do remember being one, and being pushed pushed pushed by my mom to be a 'young lady' and act like one, sit right, don't be too forward with boys, and I hated every minute of it. I actually tend to favor modest dress for my own reasons, but I have never been interested in being any sort of lady. As a teen I got into wearing a lot of stuff, both revealing and just plain tacky, that I might not have if I'd simply been allowed to be who I was without a lecture for every little thing that didn't fit somebody else's idea of what a girl was supposed to be like.

I think it would be wise to try and get inside your niece's head and find out why she wants to dress a certain way before you start laying down the law. It might also be worthwhile to examine your own ideas and what might underlie them.
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#20 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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Although I don't have teens yet, I do have two sons and I teach high school. I do have stricter than the norm standards for me and mine. I don't insist on dresses at all times, but I do make sure that my clothing presents me in the most dignified and non-objectified manner possible. I don't want people to focus on my body rather than my face or the other parts that are me like my ideas, words, mind, values, etc. I wear my shirts with a higher neckline and no sleeveless tops. I do wear pants, but they are a modest fit. I don't wear anything that reveals my knees, and I prefer to have at least a 3/4 sleeve. But, IMO, modesty is about more than just the types of clothing that are worn. It is also the way I speak, act, etc. I could be dressed covered head to toe, and still be behaving immodestly in speaking harshly, vulgarly or in a way that lacked dignity. I believe that we are all created in the image of God. It is an honor and duty to present that image respectfully on my part and in a way that doesn't elicit disrespect from others (if I can help it). This belief, BTW, informs all of my morals. If everyone is created in the image of God, harming another person, behaving rudely, lying, stealing, etc. become actions that bring dishonor to God.

Remembering my own years as a teen girl, I now can't understand wanting to dress in a way to advertise parts of me - cute butt, nice breasts, nice curves. I can see now that even if I was dressing that way to feel more attractive, that the kind of attention I was creating was not aimed at me the complete person. Those who saw me never once looked at my short shorts or tight shirt and said, "My what an intelligent, creative young woman!" Even if they had extreme control of body and mind, I am sure that their first thoughts of me were completely physical in nature.

I have no problems with sexuality or sensuality or beauty, but I no longer want to display that for just anyone as a freebie. Mine is more valuable than that. If I were very wealthy, I wouldn't display that money and what I spent it on for the whole world to see. How much more valuable am I! I am trying to teach my sons (now 7 and 2) to try to remember these values for themselves and for any potential mates when they are grown.
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#21 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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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
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#22 of 98 Old 05-28-2007, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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....
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#23 of 98 Old 05-29-2007, 03:03 AM
 
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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.


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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.

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#24 of 98 Old 05-29-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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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

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#25 of 98 Old 05-29-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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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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#26 of 98 Old 05-29-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 98 Old 05-30-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 98 Old 06-05-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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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
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#29 of 98 Old 06-06-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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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.
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#30 of 98 Old 06-06-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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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!
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