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Dressing Your Child for the Age They Are
I firmly believe that children are a product of their environment. If taught compassion, they will be kind, if taught the importance of honesty, they will tell the truth, if they are loved, they will love. It is our job as parents to make sure we are providing the best example we can to our children, they learn from watching us.
My daughter recently hit and growth spurt and grew out of the little girls’ section of clothes. We are now in the bigger girl section, sizes 7-12. I already miss the cute patterns, modest hems, and perhaps the occasional cartoon character on a t-shirt or pajamas. At least it is not the junior’s section, yet.
I talk to my daughter about modesty, about what is appropriate and what is not. She is really funny regarding this too. She has a shirt that she received as a gift, it has a slight “V” in the collar, nothing inappropriate about it, but she wears a tank top with it because she says it makes her more comfortable. She also wears playground shorts with skirts and dresses and tends to be mindful about the clothing choices she makes. She is more focused on what goes together right now and pairing patterns. I call her my fashionista, because she really loves clothes and accessories.
With this recent growth sport and having graduated to this new section, I find we have to talk more about this continued appropriateness. The clothing choices available for young girls are interesting. Low cut or midriff baring shirts, sheer clothing, super short shorts, pants with “Sweet” or “Cute” appliquéd across the backside, or thong underwear. Call me crazy, but no eight-year-old needs to be wearing a thong. Heck, I don’t even wear them and I’m, well let’s say plenty old enough if I wanted to.
I discuss the importance of people seeing my daughter for who she is, not what she wears and looking her age. Luckily, her friends all tend to dress modestly, and the biggest concern this year is having new dress boots to wear. Unfortunately, modest styles are becoming more difficult to find. We have left many of what were our favorite stores and do a lot of online shopping, or shop at smaller stores that still offer cute, age appropriate styles that my daughter loves. I do not mind shopping online or at these smaller stores, but have found the prices tend to be higher. I guess when you are getting more fabric it should cost more.
During a recent televised performance of a singer, my daughter made the comment, “Mom where are her pants, she looks so inappropriate!” I told her I didn’t know, that I thought the singer looked inappropriate as well, and certainly had enough money to afford pants. We both had a good chuckle over it, but in the back of my mind I could not help but feel proud that she was able to recognize this. It made me wonder how appropriate are some of the female role models in popular culture these days?
I practice what I preach with my own clothing choices. I dress modestly, for my age and do not wear low cut, revealing anything. Even when we go to the pool in the summer months, I put a cover up over my suit, which is one piece and modest. I try to be a positive role model and set a good example to my daughter.
As my daughter gets older, I am sure more risqué styles might be tempting, especially if they become popular trends among her friends and classmates. I can only hope I have given her the guidance to make the right choices for her and that she stays true to herself.