4 weeks ago - last edited 3 weeks ago by Janine-RO
My daughter is almost 16 and tends to abide by the Free the Nipple ideal. I don’t wear a bra a lot myself, but it’s not obvious with what I’m wearing. She doesn’t care if nipple shows, cleavage etc. At times it goes too far. And then there is her love of wearing a bra and nothing else, as when I picked her up from a friend’s place just now. I am accused of promoting rape culture every time I raise objections. Any tips on settling reasonable boundaries? I think she is an exhibitionist; she thinks I’m horrible. We live in a small town with an unusually high number of sex offenders and I do feel protective. I am generally a patent somewhere between authoritative and permissive.
4 weeks ago - last edited 3 weeks ago
I have to say this is a real conundrum because if you maintain your point (that your daughter takes it too far) she would see that as promoting rape culture and therefor a betrayal. I can appreciate your need to be protective that's understandable. It's going to be difficult to set boundaries as it's like a trap. If you say anything then you're the enemy. It might be worth continuing a dialogue more generally about your daughters interest in this issue and have a curious but open chat about why it's important. Maybe re emphasising that you're coming from a place of care and concern rather than promotion of rape. Maybe others on the forum will have some insights too! Good luck!
3 weeks ago
Thank you, Tom-Ro. I live in a small town next to prisons so there is a high number of sex offenders in the area, which adds to my anxiety about this issue. However, she is not interested at all in talking about it, so no curious chats are possible at the moment!
3 weeks ago
Hi @Ellie67 ,
Gosh I can really relate when you say that curious chats aren't always possible! I have a 12 year old (going on 16 some days!), and while I would say that generally our relationship is good, there are some conversations that she absolutely refuses to have.
I'm hearing how much you love and care for your daughter, and I don't think we ever stop worrying about them. It sounds like she is a strong minded, intelligent, and determined young person - and those are all wonderful qualities! But they can also make parenting challenging at times
I did have one idea, which may be a bit out of left field. I'm hearing that a lot of your concerns stem from being worried about her safety. Do you think she'd be interested in doing a practical class in self defence/ martial arts? When I was in high school (at an all girls school) at a similar age, the school arranged for an ex policeman to come and teach us the basics of self defence, and techniques that are really effective for personal self defence. it was everything from phrases to use, to physical defence moves. That's now longer ago than I'd like to admit, but I've never forgotten it.
It made me more aware of potential risks, but also made me feel more empowered and in control of my body and my safety. It's relatively uncommon, statistically speaking, to be attacked by a stranger.. but having those very basic skills and techniques helped me a lot. And I'm sure it also made my parents feel much less worried when I went to university a few years later!
This is just a thought- let me know what you think! It's a really tricky space for parents to navigate, and I really feel for you @Ellie67