Strategies for Clothing Battles

teenclothing.jpgAre you the parent of a young daughter and are dreading - or already are deeply entrenched in - arguments over questionable clothing choices? Today, PPLM Parent Education Program Manager Amy Cody addresses the question “What to do when your pre-teen daughter wants to wear makeup and skimpy clothing?” Amy offers general guidelines and links to additional resources for strategies and talking points on this tough topic:
“Pre-teens express themselves and announce that they are growing up by the way they dress. But what do you do if your pre-teen daughter wants to wear makeup and skimpy clothing? Start by talking to her about what messages she wants to send with her appearance. Explain that even if she's not trying to look sexy, some people may think she is and will have certain reactions. Buy her some clothes that will still make her feel more grown up. And remember, it's your job to set limits on her behavior. Be sure she knows your opinion about her clothes doesn't affect how you feel about her. And, don't forget to share your values and remind her that looks aren't as important in life as character, intelligence, love, and friendship.

The main points are:

  • It's okay for parents to place limits on what kids purchase and wear
  • It's important to help kids understand that who they are and how they act is more important than what they're wearing
  • Dressing in skimpy clothing sends certain messages to others that [your child is] too young to send
  • Skimpy clothing is for older teenagers and people who are mature enough to make the decision on their own to wear those clothes
  • Every home has different rules
  • The parent loves their child and is trying to make the best decisions possible for the well being of that child”

    Amy also suggests these three sites for strategies and talking points about the skimpy dressing topic:

  • Kids & clothes: When you don’t like their choices, is battling inevitable? (Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network)
  • Too sexy, too soon: The sexualisation of children in the media (Young Media Australia)
  • Preteen clothing struggles: Countering the 'Britney Effect' (Dr. Spock)

    Image credit: Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network