Saturday, 6 July 2013

Am I a prude or Prissy?

I take the matter of dressing modestly for my little 5 year old girls extremely seriously and I'm starting to wonder if I have gone overboard.  I know that decisions of parenting are completely personal and will differ for each family, so fundamentally I have to do what I'm happy with and dh is happy with my view, so it is not as if we are at odds over this.

But like everything in parenting you have to strike a balance and I know that if I swing too far in one direction then the pendulum will hurtle back in the other faster than I can say 'strappy top'. My Miss M particularly is very fussy about what she wears, she knows what she likes and thankfully the clothes cover her well at the moment but she would love to wear a crop top and has practically begged me for a bikini before now.

I just can't get my head round why I would let a 5 or 6 year old child wear a bikini though? A one piece swimsuit is far more practical in regards to playing, swimming, water slides etc. She does not need an all-over tan and who would she be showing her bikini off to?

This topic came to mind again this morning as I asked the girls to go and choose themselves an outfit for dress-down day at school.  I had forgotten it was non-uniform day and had got their school dresses out the night before, so come the morning we went upstairs to choose something else to wear. Miss M was really sensible and chose a summer dress (perfect for the hot weather) although I did have to remind her she needed leggings under it as she is so tall and dresses all come up short on her. I can't abide short skirts, she wears an age 9 school dress to make it appropriately long.

Then Miss E asked me if she could wear her new shorts playsuit, it is very cute and is not revealing on the top but I just did not feel shorts were appropriate for school. She then got changed into her long trouser playsuit and this one has shoe-string straps and is normally worn with a t-shirt underneath. Today she did not want a t-shirt, she wanted to wear it alone like a big girl and fine, she can wear it like that on the beach but again, at school? Should she have her shoulders and decoutage on show there? I don't think so.

Thankfully I remembered I had washed her beloved skirt from last summer, the one with the sewn in shorts and she agreed she would love to wear that. I was happy with how my girls went out in the end, they both looked appropriate and dressed for fun and learning.

Doing a bit of modelling for us!
When we got to school I came across loads of girls, from nursery age right up to year 6 in very tiny shorts, strappy tops, halter neck dresses and short skirts. I'm not judging their parents, it is up to them how they dress but I just can't get my head round it being appropriate to have a load of flesh on show at school. In fact I can't fathom why anyone needs a load of flesh on show full-stop but especially children.

The odd thing is that I know I dressed (at times) in quite a revealing way when I was younger. As a late teenager I would often be in a low-cut top and this was always with the plan to draw the eye to my cleavage and away from other areas I was embarrassed of. Would this happen nowadays? Highly unlikely, this is an area I know I have changed in immensely since becoming a Christian.

Those of you with older girls, tell me how do you know when you are being too prissy? 

Is it a case of me waiting and seeing what my girls have to say on it and then listening to their argument, giving mine and coming to agreeable compromises? That is what feels like is the best option at the moment.

And while you are here, tall me why are bikinis a good idea?

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