Sadly, today children grow up much too quickly. With television, internet and music videos, they are exposed to things at a much younger age than were their parents. There is so much sexually explicit content, that even elementary aged children are experimenting with sex. Many girls want to dress provocatively, and welcome the attention of their male classmates when they do so.
Parents often have a struggle saying “no” to skimpy clothing and make up, and their daughters simply do not understand why their parents are being so rigid. It is hard to explain to them why it is not a good thing for a twelve-year-old to look seventeen.
It is a hard battle for parents, since the fashion industry is driven by the music/movie industry, and to an extent fashion is dictated—go to a store to shop and what do you see? Parents often succumb, because “it’s the style,” and it is hard to find the things they would prefer their daughters wear.
At this age, school uniforms are a blessing. Few schools require uniforms, but hopefully all have dress codes which discourage girls from dressing provocatively. Parents can set dress codes too. There must be some bottom lines, and the earlier you let your girls know what they are, the less resistance you will get later on.
We must explain too, that intelligence, kindness, sincerity, honesty, and integrity are far more important than physical appearance. Our society is weighted way too heavily on the side of the superficial, and it is never to early to start teaching children values. We need to point out that just because something is common, does not mean it is right, or best.
The battle to maintain innocence in children is getting more difficult with each passing year. It may be that parents and schools may have to join forces to counteract the “common culture”, and to prevent the subtle exploitation of our daughters.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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