10-19-2020 03:12 PM
10-19-2020 04:31 PM
Hi @Wondermumma ,
This is such a tricky one- definitely an issue I can remember from when I was at school, and also something that I'm personally starting to come across as the parent of a tween myself!
On one hand, I can totally understand where you're coming from with wanting to pull your hair out - but I can also hear your concern that it would be easy to inadvertently shame her, which could possibly also end up sounding to her like body-shaming. It's a really common thing for teens to experiment with their own sense of style. When you've had conversations with her about this, what does she say about it? You mention that you worry about her being respected by her classmates - do you worry that her dress style will affect that?
She may well end up looking back and cringing, but my personal opinion is that it's also a pretty safe way of experimenting with self-expression, and it may not be worth turning it into a major battle.
Does her school have a dress code at all? Another way of approaching it, especially if there is a dress code at her school, could be to explain to her that in the workplace she may well have to meet certain dress standards, and frame it as a way of getting used to having to dress in a certain way. If a lot of girls in her school are dressing similarly to your daughter that may be a more difficult line to take, though!
Ultimately, like with many parenting dilemmas, there's probably no 'right' answers to this one- you just need to find the path that feels best for your daughter, and you and your parenting style. Thinking of you - I can imagine that it's not an easy conversation to have.
10-20-2020 11:17 PM
Hi @Wondermumma ,
As a Mum of a 16 year old boy and 14 year old girl, I relate to your dilemma. My issues with our son revolve around him not dressing up and the usual thing of making sure he's had a shower, used deodorant etc. With our daughter, I think her school skirt is probably too short already, but she's mainly wearing PE uniform as she's quite sporty and dances. However, where I can relate is that she wears these really long jumpers with shorts underneath where you can't see the shorts. This is at least a trend where we live and looks like they've forgotten to put pants on to me. There are times I insist on her putting longer pants on underneath but to be honest, I'm not winning the battle. Our daughter is very petite and also dances a lot.
While these clothes are very short and odd from my perspective, they're not especially sexual, but clearly aren't modest and providing a lot of coverage.
I have had to think a lot about my role as their parent. I don't ant to be their best friend and "yes" person all the time. I think it's our role to challenge them. Disagree. Not always tell them what they want to hear. Raise issues from a different angle. Expand their thinking. However, there is a danger that if we position ourselves somewhere very different to the cultural norms and what other parents are allowing, that they'll stop connecting with us and set up their own world.
Our daughter withdrew into her room for a few months this year and I really felt like I was losing her. I had to work hard but delicately to lure her back out. She's naturally more of an introvert and she spends time connecting with her friends in her room. I felt like I was old hat. I've had to isolate due to covid and so we couldn't do a lot of the activities we used to do together outside the house.
So, when it comes to your daughter and the skirt, I'd ask her not to hitch it up when she's with you and she can tell her friends that's your rules if she sees them and feels embarrassed. I'd also talk to her about how people make impressions of people and about the importance of being respected.
I don't know if you have special time with your daughter like going out for coffee or a walk etc but that's something I'm working towards with my kids now they're getting older and more independent. It's important to create an environment where they'll talk to you about stuff and feel safe and not judged too harshly. At the same time, it's also difficult when they tell you things which you're not happy about and I'm finding it difficult to then switch hats and try to reign them in. I don't know whether I'm making it more complicated, but I think dealing with teens is complicated and we're needing to weigh up their opinions, feelings and desires versus our own along with the desire to see them succeed, be happy and stay safe. This quotes particularly resonates with me: '
Life is not meant to be easy, my child, but take courage, for it can be delightful.
George Bernard Shaw.
I hope this helps.
10-21-2020 05:49 PM
I can relate to this with my 17 year old. I just let her get into trouble at school as they have a strict uniform policy and she wont listen to me. She has had a few detentions and figure she will have to deal with the consequences of her actions. Sometimes its about picking which battle to fight.