Raising Daughters -- Modesty

>> Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am a mother. I worry. It's my job.

I am the mother of two daughters. I worry more. It's my career.

Raising children, in general, brings out a whole avalanche of worries.  But raising daughters has a whole other level of worries.

I worry about their education.  I worry about puberty and hormones.  I worry about pedophiles and other freaks out there.  I worry about drugs.  I worry about drinking.  I worry about sex and teen pregnancy.  I worry about college.  I worry about boyfriends.  I worry about abuse.  I worry about weddings.

I worry about not being there.

You get the picture?

But my thoughts right now are about modesty.

Our family went to a family function at Nani's school last night.  It was the school's Snowball Festival - an evening filled with pizza, popcorn, games and dancing.  A good secure, family environment.  We thought it would be good for Nani to go - maybe see some of her friends and it would allow us to expose her to a social environment outside our home.

I'd like to think that I dress my daughters modestly.  Cute outfits, but appropriate.  My daughters are 6 and 29 months.  Last night they were dressed in little dresses with leggings underneath.  I thought they looked adorable.

Look at them!  Aren't they adorable?!
 But last night, My Marine and I were appalled at how some of these other little girls were dressed.  Now granted, there were a few that were dressed very appropriately - cute little dresses, jeans and cute shirts.

But the other half......

I saw a little girl who had to have been 7 years old - if that - dressed in white bike shorts and a leopard-print v-neck tshirt.  You could see her underwear through her shorts -- the material was that thin.  We saw little girls wearing outfits that I wouldn't even wear as an adult - let alone as a teenager.


Am I crazy?  I must be in a small group of mothers who want their daughters to look respectable.

(And I can bet that my daddy is reading this right now and chuckling to himself thinking that the cycle has come full circle!)

I was raised to dress modestly.  I didn't own a pair of jeans until I was 8 years old and even then, my daddy bought them for me.  I practically gave my mother a heart attack when I came home with my dress for homecoming and it was strapless.  I was 17.  I remember wanting to wear a denim mini skirt on my first day of school my senior year and my mother telling me I had to wear shorts underneath it.  Again -- I was 17.

Looking back now, I can see what she was doing -- and there were times when I rebelled against it.  But it really wasn't that big of a deal back then.

But now that I have two girls.  It's a big deal now.

I don't believe in having them wear dresses all the time.  I allow them to wear jeans.  I allow them to wear nail polish and when the time comes, they will be allowed to pierce their ears and wear makeup.  It's part of being a girl.  I believe that you can do all of these things and still be modest and respectable.

Going into the stores, everywhere you turn, there's questionable clothing hanging everywhere. 

When we went school clothes shopping for Nani, we saw leggings that were nothing but black lace.  Something you'd see in a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog.  Sweatpants that say "Juicy" across the rear.  I could go on.

But I'm a firm believer in the "whole package" -- how you act, how you speak and how you dress reflect on your character.

Is it wrong that I want my daughters to be wholesome "packages"?

Maybe I'm just getting old. Or worse yet.....maybe I'm turning into my mother! GASP!

Linking up to Mama's Heart at It's Grace


Camp Isaac Mama January 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM  

I agree with you whole-heartedly. A lot of the things I see little girls wearing... shouldn't even be made in their sizes. But unfortunately, it is. Take it as a lesson to teach your daughters. You can show them while you're out shopping what isn't appropriate, and explain why, and hopefully it'll stick to their memories for a long time to come. You're such a good mommy :o)

Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

I agree with you 100%, I am appalled at some of the stuff at the stores. We always do belly and butt checks with anything we buy for Skyler. My mother in law does not get it, she buys stuff and then gets all offended when we tell her Skyler isn't wearing it and hand it back to her..keep up the good work!


Karen Mortensen January 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM  

You are right and I admire you for what you are doing. Keep up the great work. The world needs more mothers like you. 3 cheers for you.

Elle Belles Bows January 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM  

No. It is not wrong that you want your daughters to look wholesome. I totally agree that some of the stores really offer way too provocative clothing for young girls. That is why I love homemade stuff so much. Great post. Kerri

Erin January 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM  

I think that is totally acceptable to set a standard of dress for your children, and modesty seems to be a forgotten value. In a lot of ways. I do get upset when I hear people tell girls that they have to "cover themselves up" so they don't "put things in boy's heads." Here's my take: I dress modestly because covering my body appropriately sends a message to MY OWN MIND about how I should act, the things I should think and say and watch and do. Sure, it helps people around me avoid thoughts about me, too, but more than that...it shows God that I respect His creation...me. I do agree that it helps others respect me more, too. I also totally agree about the jeans and the makeup and the earrings. That's the fun of being a girl! But as unpopular a view as it may be, I really do think that immodest clothing can set a person (boys and girls, although sadly mostly girls) up for an immodest lifestyle. Ah. I sound like MY MOM too. They must have been on to something, huh?

And for the record, I'd like to see a pair of sweatpants with "Bookworm" or "Daughter of God" written across the bum. I'd buy those for sure.

Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM  

I LOVE Erin's comment about the pants with "Daughter of God" or "bookworm" across the bum. That's funny :) While I would approve of those messages my daughters still wouldn't wear them. LOL I've been thinking about having my girls only wearing dresses. They already wear them most days but it's impractical for me to wear dresses most days so I feel like I'd be setting a poor example by not doing myself but expecting them to do it. Shirts these days are too short or too tight and pants are WAY too tight.

MaryAnne January 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM  

They look beautiful! Dresses with leggings are probably my favorite little girl outfits =)

Mommy-moto January 22, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

100% agree! I have a little boy (2 years) and even with boys, there are some modesty issues - like wearing pants below the bottom.
I think that the way to combat this is to start with the modesty 'training' at an early age. My little boy sees me wear long pants/jeans/skirts and covering tops. If a shirt is too low in my opinion, another shirt goes on underneath - and he even sees me cover my hair out of modesty. His daddy wears jeans at his waist and belted. And as long as he's not working on a building project, he is wearing a good fitting shirt or tee.
This will be what is 'normal' to our lil boy. I fully expect that in the future when he's dressing himself, he'll ask for sweater vest with a turtal neck: he wears them now and has had good roll modles in modesty

Good luck to you in training up your girls in the way they should go! God Bless!

P.S. Erin, I'm totally with you on the "Bookworm" sweet pants!

Raising a Happy Child January 24, 2011 at 2:04 PM  

I was thinking about something like this earlier today. I am not very feminine, and I was wondering how I will react of one day my daughter wants to wear provocative clothing. We already had several "arguments" about cosmetics kit that she got as a gift and that I don't let her use. She is 4, by the way :) I want to hope that I can raise to make intelligent decisions and to realize that wholesome clothes don't have to be ugly. Moreover, stupid clothes attract stupid guys.

It's Grace January 25, 2011 at 10:50 PM  

Jennifer, you are so right. It is nearly impossible to go anywhere without encountering this. It's so sad, too. These young girls are believing the lie that what's on the outside is more important than their hearts. Loved this.

Thank you for visiting my blog the other day and for your sweet words. Isn't Little House great? We watched at least 2 episodes each day of the weekend-we're hooked.

Thank you so much to you and your husband for serving our country. Marines are the best! My Dad and Grandpa are Marines, and I couldn't be more proud.

I'd love to have you come back on Thursday's for Mama's Heart and share what's on your heart. My prayer is it will be a wonderfully supportive group of mother's sharing ideas and encouragement.


Crazy Mom January 26, 2011 at 7:45 AM  

I agree with you that it is quite difficult to raise our girls to be modest. This is something that I've had to deal with quite frequently over the last year or so. My daughter turns 11 today and I believe, after much discussion and disagreement, that she now understands what modesty is and why it's important. Modest doesn't mean boring and plain, it means pure of heart...not wanting to cause your brother to stumble, not sharing your purity with anyone. It took a lot of work to get to this point with my oldest...and I'm hoping it makes things a bit easier with my youngest...she's much more concerned about looking pretty and being sparkly! LOL!

Great post!

Anonymous January 26, 2011 at 8:55 AM  

I agree. It is hard to find modest clothes for young girls. I believe even more difficult with tall thin girls such as my daughter. I believe this is why the Lord has laid on my heart to start teaching myself to really sew(I know the basics).
Lisa, wife to a Navy man

His Talmidat January 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

It is especially hard when people in your family don't understand, or kinda look down on you for choosing modesty. And then get offended if you chose something as not modest for your family that they think is just fine. We've never given anything back, but I do put extra shirts under spaghetti strap dresses and skirts over leggings. Still hard to figure out how to respond though.

I greatly appreciate my husband's opinion on what our girls wear too. He has a perspective that is unique, being a guy and all :) We try to think of how we would feel if our daughter was 13 rather than 4. If it isn't okay then, we figure it would be unfair to allow her to be used to it now. I'm not great at explaining it to her though, ugh.

abba12 January 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM  

We are about to have our first girl, and I am appaled by some of the items in just the baby sections! obviously you can't go far wrong with 0000-00, but from about 0 onwards, I never expected to run into modesty issues, but what few skirts I can find in the stores will be far too short once baby turns into a toddler and begins to walk. People don't know why we are concerned, 'they're just babies after all'. Sure we don't NEED to worry about modesty at that point, but if not now then when? Do we stop buying short items when our girl is two? Is it ok till she starts school, then we change? We would rather be consistent from the begining. Two year olds wearing strapless dresses freaks me out! I even have a OO top that looks like something I wouldn't let my teenager wear. I have no problems with people seeing a baby's diaper butt, I even got some cute designs! but there is a difference between it peeking out under a dress, or being displayed as she crawls, and wearing a 'skirt' that is a shorter length than the diaper itself and shows off that fact.

I'm dreading the family issue... Funnily enough, my father, who is not a christian, has very good taste in modest, childlike clothing. My christian homeschooling inlaws on the other hand... how do you deal with gifts of clothing that are inappropriate?

Jen January 27, 2011 at 7:04 AM  

I want my girls to be lights in the world, in all manners -- how they act, speak, respond. If their dress does not match this, what they say and do will be tainted. They will be labeled, judged, by the outside instead of what is truly on the inside. I think it really does need to match up.

Bobbi January 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM  

I'm glad to hear you were a good example and actively involved with others who DON'T share your values...it's the beginning of an opportunity to share your Faith...the reasons behind why your daughters dress modestly...perhaps something that they have never heard before. It's sometimes easy to forget...we can't expect regenerate behavior/or dress from those who are yet to see The Light! May we all be careful to maintain an attitude that doesn't make them feel "less than" but makes them yearn for what we enjoy in Christ!

It's Grace January 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM  

Jennifer, thanks so much for linking up. We share the same convictions, and I so apppreciate you sharing your heart. I love that there are other mothers out there who want the same for their kids. The support of community means so much.

Also, the linky tool has been fixed and I'll be using a new tool next week for our link up. I signed up with another hosting service and changed all the link up's, so we're good to go and it's showing up on my blog. (There was a code issue between the first host I was using and WordPress) Thank you again!!


Tiffini January 27, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

loved your post;) I'm here from Mama's heart. your girls are beautiful:) I'm sure on the inside too!
It is sad. The lies that our media are shoving at us as women and our little girls is devastating to women.
Our responsibility is to teach them what is right..you are doing a great job...no - not crazy or old

Cassidy January 30, 2011 at 8:04 PM  

I agree wholeheartedly and wish that more mothers and fathers did as well. My girls dress modestly and like to. The only trouble I have is one of my girls loves to wear boots and she wants to wear them over her jeans. We are country girls and to go out to the barn that's a good idea because your jeans do not get nasty while you're out there with the horses and such but to wear in public I (and my husband) do not allow her to wear them over her jeans because we think it is too "se*y" of a look. It might give the wrong idea and so we don't allow that. Other than that we don't have trouble with the girls dressing modestly. In fact, they often tell us about immodesty. They may say something like, "I met a sweet little girl named (xyz) at church but Mama, she had on a really short skirt and it was not modest. I wonder why she didn't wear modest clothes." They are concerned. I'm glad for that because I feel like they are understanding and desiring of that modesty and it means so much for them to take charge in that... along with Mama and Daddy :)

Great post! Beautiful family!
Smiles, Cass

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