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What age is appropriate to introduce (dress code related) modesty? (choose the best answer)
Tags: appearance, children, modesty, Standards
This entry was posted on October 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM and is filed under Agency, Mormon Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
For me, I plan on introducing it when my daughter is hitting puberty. Though I will be introducing it in a “I know you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, here is some tips to ensure you’re comfortable no matter where you are” light, rather than a “don’t tempt the deacons” perspective.
At the very least I’ll be getting her a decent book on make-up, fashion, and hair.
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I think “dress/matters” should be taught by parents, but not necessarily from the “Mormon” view point. Our Culture is are Culture__ and I don’t think it’s that bad. But there are large sub-culture ideas kids should be taught about, and they should taugh to avoid them.
Modesty is a principal for any age- the idea that what you wear sends a message about ourselves, and that the message we want to send is that we respect our bodies. However, at different ages, this applies to clothing in different ways. That said, I don’t think there will ever be a point that I tell my daughter that bare shoulders are off limits or immodest.
I don’t think I’ll EVER teach “your shoulders and thighs are immodest” but rather “what message do you think those daisy dukes are sending?”. I don’t think any patch of skin is inherently immodest, it’s all situational and cultural- modesty is about being aware of what your clothes say about you, and wanting to send a message of self confidence, self respect, and respect for others. That means we can teach modesty at all ages. And wear sun dresses at all ages:)
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What Jenn said.
Remembering lit class with Madame Bovary and not comprehending the immodesty of sexy ankles. Yep. Culture is culture, as Bob said, but I agree with Jenn, too, that modesty is a principle at any age.
However, I think the more important question is not “when do we teach” but “how do we teach” so as to induce modesty without inducing shame.
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Just noticing that the all-too-common strategy for many Mormon families might not even be a choice in this poll, which is: when they dress babies and toddlers or make modesty alterations to their toys. Agreed that modesty should be not an “introduced discussion” a la THE CHAT at a certain age, but a natural part of growing up and becoming confident in one’s own skin. Where I think it gets a little extreme is with the under-8 crowd.
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I don’t use the word Modesty for my kids. But I tell them what is appropriate to wear from toddlers on up. I see no reason to spend more time talking to my TEENAGERS about what to wear than talking to my younger children. That is ridiculous. All my kids need a little bit of guidance from “no you can’t wear crocs to preschool because of the bark at the playground” to “please put on something nice when Grandmother takes you out to dinner” to “That shirt is dirty and you’ve been wearing it three days. Change your clothes right now.” I talk to my kids and teach them. However, I think it is wrong to wait till a kid hits puberty and then just when they are selfconscious about their body tell them that it needs to be hidden. I don’t think preschoolers can be sexy, but I pretty much think that what is “appropriate” can be pretty much used from toddler to adult so that is what we do…..and I have never had to tell my kids that their shoulders are evil or something crazy. My 15 year old daughter seems happy, comfortable, and generally modest and not overly concerned about her own clothes or the clothes of others.
I teach my children how to choose their clothes as soon as they start choosing them.
And yes, it includes sleeves and longer shorts, as well as wearing shorts under their skirts.