How to Teach Your Child to Dress with Modesty
By Sylvia Cochran – Christian Parenting
On my last trip into Los Angeles, I saw young boys with their pants buckled below the tush, proudly displaying their boxers. The girls showed enough skin to be shoo-ins for a reality show about parenting gone wrong. Do the kids not own mirrors?
The Parental Wardrobe: A Root of All Kinds of Evil?
Mom, if your weekend duds would cause a movie to get an R-rating, it might be your bad influence that it causing your 10-year-old to dress like a 20-year-old. When you show a lot of skin, your daughter is not going to see any reason to do otherwise. If your idea of modest dress is a flimsy jacket over a see-through blouse, you should not be surprised that your daughter follows suit.
Tip: Adjust your own wardrobe choices before asking your child to do the same.
Understanding and Supporting the Definition of Personal Style in Your Child’s Wardrobe
Having grown up in the 1980s, I understand the difference between immodest dress and personal style. Bold prints, neon colors, scrunchies as wristbands and leg warmers were considered personal style. Ample cleavage and short skirts were considered immodest. While my mother may have felt like wearing sunglasses because of some of the color combinations I picked out, she was mindful of the length of the skirts.
Tip: Allow your child to develop a personal style but be sure that the clothing pieces are modest for daily wear.
Hold the Purse Strings
If you hand your child a fistful of cash and send them to the mall, it is anyone’s guess what the youngster comes home with. Instead, go clothes-shopping with your child and reserve the right to make the final buying decision. After all, you are the one who had to work for the money that pays for the clothes. Yes, junior may moan that “all my friends” are allowed to pick out their own clothes. So what? Just because another parent has capitulated does not mean that you have to follow suit.
Tip: Discuss clothing parameters before the shopping trip. My child’s school uses a handy piece of cardboard. It is cut to define the acceptable width of shoulder straps and the maximum space between the knee and hem of the skirt. Boys are easier to shop for with respect to modest clothing.
Correct Infractions Immediately
Remember to always praise in public and correct in private. Before your child leaves the house, make sure she or he is dressed properly. If your son wants to wear a shirt full of holes, ask yourself why he still has it. He needs to change and the shirt needs to go in the trash. When your daughter tries to wear a shirt that is a few sizes too short, have her put it in the give-away pile and change.
Tip: Know what your kids are wearing. If you allow a child to walk around with pants buckled below the behind for a couple of weeks before pointing out that it is not acceptable, you may have to prepare yourself for a bit of a battle. If you correct the infraction at the first occasion, the lesson is likely to be learned much easier.
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