Monday, March 18, 2013

Moms, Don't Give Up Trying to Teach Your Daughters Modesty

Do you notice a trend in clothing stores for teen girls? Everything is smaller, tinier, and tighter.

Last week as my daughters and I were doing some spring shopping and we ran into all kinds of this:

(yes, these are actually shorts, maximum about 5-6 in. long top to bottom)

Honestly now, $30 dollars for a tiny piece of fabric?  I could buy a bedsheet for less and end up with more fabric! Some underwear on the racks nearby were actually bigger than this!

And this made me giggle:

I must be old, because in the old days parents threw these away!  As a matter of fact, when my boys get a hole in their jeans I throw them out. Apparently I am not "hip" because this is a hot seller these days and costs about $40.  I know every generation has their own style and trends, but these just made me laugh. I also found some new jeans at a store that had cuts in them that went straight up and down in the front about 2 feet long and sewed back up. I joked with my girls that most parents could just do that for free with a pair of scissors and some thread without paying top dollar...

I was also especially saddened to walk by a popular tween store to find that in the back they were selling tiny underwear like thongs with writing on it that were very inapproriate. To girls. To your little daughters who are about nine and ten years old.


Where are the mothers?

And the fathers?

It makes me sad to know our daughters are being targeted, but the reality is we need to teach them that they do not have to be at the mercy of passing fads and designers who just want to make a buck and use them to do so. We need to teach our daughters to know who they are in Christ, to protect their bodies,  to respect themselves, and to be an example of Christ in even how they dress.

This topic is important to me because I wish I had dressed more modestly growing up. I wish I had the guidance in this area, but learned too late. My goal now is to teach my daughters and my grand daughters not to make the same mistakes. 

But I am glad that the maxi dresses and skirts are in style now. You can pretty much find them at any store and it is easy to make them modest with an undershirt, etc. It is also good to teach your daughters a lesson on how easily people are swayed by trends and advertising. Styles and fashions change--but God's word doesn't.

Sometimes I am even able to find things more easily at a thrift store than a regular store. I like it there because there are less options and you can get in and out pretty quickly, avoiding the vulgar music that can be found in so many stores. Sometimes I wonder which is worst, the music or the clothes!

I also know of daughters who sew their own clothes. They can make an immodest shirt modest and beautiful and they can lengthen a too short skirt to make it the right size for them. What a blessing it is to have the skills and time to do this. Mothers, it is wise to try to teach your daughters how to sew. I know of women who throw perfectly good things away that could have been mended if they only knew how. If you don't know how, why not take a class with your daughter so you both could learn! It is a very practical skill to have.

When it comes to clothing, I also try to tell my girls to keep it feminine and modest and try to stay away from legalism. I know it is not easy for moms because today they are up against so much, but stand strong and keep showing them the right way. They will thank you for it later. Our daughters are still trying to find their way in style and dress, and us mothers need to be there to guide them. We need to teach what true femininity and beauty is and we need to help protect them until they know how to protect themselves from others who'd like to exploit them.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to guide my daughter(s). The world would like to use and abuse them, but you have put me here in their care. Help me to gently guide them to become godly women on the inside and the outside as we continuously point them to  you. Please give us wisdom and discernment in the area of clothing and beauty and as we role model to them what it should look like.  Thank you for your word which points the way.  In Christ's name--Amen.

Encouraged here?
Please also check out my book True Christian Motherhood


Anonymous said...

Love this site and the article on modesty! I would like to know if there is a way I can cut the music off while reading though. I have a one track mind and the music is somewhat distracting for me.

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

Yes, the playlist is in the lower sidebar. Just click the arrow and that should turn it off. :)

Many blessings...

Tonya said...

What an important topic! I too wish I had had more direction when I was younger. But as a mom, I can direct my teenage girls! Many blessings.

Lori said...

There is a refreshing blog by a young lady named Olivia called Fresh Modesty dot com. She is a seamstress and offers an ebook detailing patterns for a couple very cute/stylish denim skirts. Her site is fun for young women who are looking for ideas to mix/match various modest skirt-wearing outfits. I recommend your readers to check it out!

J9L said...

Oh my gosh! Those "shorts"! One thing I remind the girls I work with (who are not Christians) They might be dressing to attract the football captain, but the creepy 40 year old guy up the street is looking too. Hard to understand how dressing modestly became a sign of repression rather than self-respect.

Renee said...

As my little ones are getting older, I am finding this topic more and more appropriate. It is something I have been working on for myself (I have been pretty modest growing up, but at times not at all feminine and flat out frumpy). I am very fortunate that my husband's family prefers to buy clothes over toys for our children so they essentially get all new wardrobes twice a year (birthdays and Christmas) - the hardest part is not having much say over what they buy. It hasn't been too big of an issue until recently as they start getting bigger. My MIL bought my 4 year old daughter an animal print and lacy/tulle type dress/pant outfit that I absolutely do not like at all! It doesn't show any skin, but the print and fabric combo make it seem "sexy" almost. It's just too much for a little girl in my opinion. My husband is going to talk with them and show them a Lands End catalog for some ideas on what we would prefer (plain, simple, modest, comfortable). Hopefully they will be receptive b/c I know they will always buy them clothes (my husband still gets clothes for his bday and Christmas every year!), I just don't want them to waste their money on something that doesn't fit our family values.

Renee said...

Thank you for the site recommendation - it looks like a good resource! Liking the swim options for my little girls :)

Jills Home Remedies said...

I have 4 daughters and it is my heart's desire to instill modesty in their hearts also. Thank you for your example and addressing these important issues.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this article on modesty! "I know of women who throw perfectly good things away that could have been mended if they only knew how. If you don't know how, why not take a class with your daughter so you both could learn!" Could this also apply to what you wrote about throwing out boys' pants when they get "a hole" in them? Maybe a patch possibly?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post June! As we are raising several (4) girls ages 3-9, it has been a big topic for us in our home. I too saw those kind of jeans just this weekend. So very sad.
Thank for this wonderful blog! I am always so encouraged!

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

Haha--I knew someone would catch on to that! Now I must tell you that I have done that a few times in the past (and even have experience sewing matching dresses, jackets, etc) and so forth but at our thrift store I can get a pair of brand new pants for boys for about 90 cents. So it makes more sense for me to just get the pants. And if you saw the way my boys (I have five rough and tumble sons) can wear out a pair of pants, you would probably just do that too! :)

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

"a few times in the past"

Meant to say *quite* a few times!

Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

Thanks for this post. I wish more mothers would feel the same way. I actually had a discussion with my daughter this weekend about her bending down in her pants. She doesn't seem to realize that she needs to watch this sort of thing. I have been praying in this area. She seems to be the only girl in her group that wears actual shorts and not short shorts.

Anonymous said...

I was taught modesty growing up. My parents would never let out of the house in something that was inappropriate. I wore camisoles under tops that you could see through and slips under my skirts. When I bend over I place my hand over my chest so my top won't gape open for all to see. Unfortunately I see too much inappropriate dressing even in the church, not only with the young girls, but also the mothers. June, I appreciate what you are teaching, I don't have any girls, I have 2 sons. I'm am trying to teach my sons to respect women. It's so hard when so many girls just show everything and advertise themselves. We are trying to teach our sons sexual purity and the boys are tempted at every turn, everywhere they go. There is a real battle there for our young children. Thank you June for teaching your daughters modesty and for all you other ladies teaching it. From the mother of sons. Terri

Anonymous said...

Wow, 90cents is a great deal! I understand why you wouldn't want to patch up the holy ones :)

The How- To Guru said...

Wonderful article on a subject very near and dear to my heart. I want to help my daughters and other young women with learning how to be modest and godly.
Thanks for speaking from the heart!
The How to Guru

Eileen @ Wellness and Workouts said...

So far, my girls, ages 17, 15 and 10 are dressing modestly. When the oldest ones were a lot younger, over 10 years ago, I started noticing that they liked to copy me. How I wore my hair, how I dressed, etc. Especially since we home educate, I was their main influence. I gradually started changing my wardrobe while they were still young, because I realized I was wearing clothing that I did not want them to wear when they got older. Humbling, but true. I don't get much attention for dressing modestly as an adult woman, but my teen girls get noticed for it, it is such a contrast to typical teen clothing! My biggest frustration now is that I am very fitness conscious, and wish there were more decent quality workout videos and websites with modest people in them. Oh, well. I am trying to make my own site fairly modest. If anyone knows of any modest workout videos that have good quality workouts, please let me know!

Unknown said...

Awesome post. My daughter and I went shopping today on a Modesty Challenge for my Modesty Monday blog post & I was a bit more than shocked when my daughter picked up a spandex type "thing" in a store & held it up and is this a top, or a skirt...or..?? It was nothing but a small piece of glittery spandex. But it was a skirt. I was floored.

And that wasn't even half of the things we saw today that just totally blew my mind that are on the sales rack for little girls. My daughter is 13 and a fashionista, and it is such a challenge to find modest clothes. I do love what you brought out about Maxi skirts! WE have fallen in love with them, and you can find them pretty much everywhere now, so that is awesome!

we are passionate about Modesty, and it is always so encouraging to find other moms and daughters who are head and heart strong about this issue!
Love your blog!


Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

Yes, this is such a long, hard battle against the world. We go through this every year, especially looking for summer clothes. I didn't grow up as modest as we're trying to guide our daughter, but my parents were down right strict compared to the stuff I see in stores these days. Where are the fathers?!

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

And when I say holes I mean BIG holes from playing football. Not just tiny little ones. Sometimes I even have them just sew them up themselves too. :)


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