It’s something I didn’t think I would worry about much until my kids (mainly my daughter) were older but I find myself thinking about it often these days, especially with the warmer weather…
As I get older, I find myself leaning towards a much more modest appearance than in years past. Ironically, I have been drawn towards more modest clothing at the same time that I have worked hard to get my body into shape in between having children. I would have thought getting fit would have the opposite effect – go figure. I read a quote once that sums it up pretty well though – “Modesty is treating your beauty with dignity.”
But in a moment of raw honesty here, I wish I had dressed more modestly when I was younger. During my high school years, I truly thought that how I dressed would directly impact if boys liked me. I cringe when I think about that today and pray that I can help my daughter avoid those same line of thinking. I’d also like her to think less about boys than I did and more about her friends, life and future but that’s for another day.
In today’s over sexualized world, I don’t think we can’t sit back and assume there will be time in the future. I think the lessons we teach our kids when they are young and the examples we set for them will have a lasting impact as they grow up. I want her to grow up with an understanding that her body is just that, hers. I want her to dress modestly but more importantly, I want her to be confident in herself without worrying about how others perceive her physically. I don’t want her appearance to detract/attract attention away from the amazing person she is and will be.
It seems crazy to worry about this when M is only 3 but I already see tendencies towards more revealing clothing. Here’s a perfect example. The picture below compares my daughter’s size 4T shorts to my son’s 12 months. Size-wise, there is supposed to be a 3 year difference so why are her shorts significantly shorter than his? I know that boys shorts are typically worn longer than girls, but that doesn’t mean the girls should be that short.
Quite frankly, it’s appalling to me that it’s even a question at this age but why is it that when I go shopping for her I frequently need to buy one size up to ensure that her stomach is fully covered in t-shirts or that we have a house rule shorts must be worn under dresses because more of them are too short anyways? Why am I bombarded by very tiny bikinis in the bathing suit section? It’s difficult to teach our children modesty when the modest options are limited.
As these thoughts go through my mind, I find myself asking what the “rules” I want our kids to follow are. I don’t think I know the answer to that entirely yet, we’re sort of figuring it out as we go. At this point, are loose rules are:
- Shorts must be worn under dresses
- One piece bathing suits only
- No exposed midriff
Crazy, I know but it works for us. I do find myself aware of how I dress and if it is in line with the standards I hold my daughters clothes up to. I want to be example for her of how to dress modestly without feeling like she is missing out on something. Because dressing modestly doesn’t have to mean dressing plainly or covering up from neck to ankles. It quite simply is treating your beauty with dignity.
What “rules” do you have in your house about how your kids dress?