It’s That Season Again

What limits do we set with our kids and what battles do we wage when it comes to how they dress?

It’s that time of year when winter clothes are put away and shorts and tank tops suddenly appear from the bottom drawer; when baseball and softball paraphernalia begins to collect at the back door and dinners get rushed again; when fancy dresses for the spring holidays are purchased and Prom season.

I don’t know about your house, but in my house the struggle to get my children to wear coats in the winter is only equaled by the struggle to get them to not wear shorts in early spring and late fall.  I pick my battles.  These are not battles I wage.  This falls under my “natural consequences” parenting method. If you chose to wear just a hoodie in 32 degree weather despite my urging to wear a coat, then you froze at the bus stop, not me. (This also goes for homework assignments not turned in on time, you didn’t do it, you get the F, not me. Other categories apply as well, but you get the idea.)

Then there is the sports equipment bag that never seems to be put away in the same place every time we get home. And the hat.  Where is the hat?  And I really can’t discuss the cleats.  I think we can all agree that they pose dirt and tripping issues when they are not in the boot tray.  (A heavy sigh accompanies each trip.)

The real issue with this time of year for me is the dressing.  The Easter/Passover dresses are beautiful. The bonnets, are adorable. The little white shoes…….oh wait they aren’t little white shoes anymore. They are HIGH heeled shoes.  For the life of me I can’t figure out why shoe manufacturers decided putting little girls in high heels at five years old was appropriate. It is not.  This leads me to wonder, why parents buy these shoes for their little girls.  They are not safe.  They are not appropriate and then unnecessarily teach girls to hurry up and “grow up.”

Prom (with a dash of Homecoming dance thrown in).  I would like to take a moment to say, I love the idea of Prom. I love the idea of kids dressing up and celebrating their high school experience together and dancing and having fun.  Here’s where it veers off course for me. Prom dresses. 

When did it become socially acceptable to dress one’s daughter like an adult entertainer?  When did it become socially acceptable to dress one’s 14-17 year old daughter like a 25 year old? 

I was dropping my daughter and her boyfriend off at the Homecoming Dance at East Haven High School last fall when I saw a girl walking in with her date.  She was wearing a dress so short and so tight that I had to wonder if she was going to be able to sit down at all. She was made up so heavily that instead of creating a look to enhance her features she ended up looking like Tammy Faye Baker with a fake tan.  And the shoes. She was wearing 5 inches see-through heels. The entire outfit made this girl look like a prostitute or an adult film star.  Either way she would have looked completely out of place while walking in with a 16 year old boy with slacks and a nice tie had she been the only girl dressed this way. Sadly she was not.  

This was also the dress code at the 8th grade graduation I attended for my daughter.  It took place at 3 o’clock in the afternoon but two thirds of the girls were dressed like they were going to go clubbing.  The dresses were tight, sparkly and completely inappropriate for the occasion.  I bought my daughter a beautiful floral print linen sundress with some modest wedge shoes.  She looked 14. She was 14. She looked beautiful.  She did not look like a little girl trying to play dress up wearing her aunt’s clothes and make-up in public. I cannot say the same for the other girls.

When I see prom pictures of friends’ children or even my relatives whose kids have gone to prom I am struck by the outfits the girls wear.  

Read the rest of this entry at my blog:  


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Michele Antisdel April 03, 2012 at 12:27 AM
great blog Becki! I so totally agree with you on the prom dress thing. As I said in an earlier post, everyone needs to know how and when to dress appropriately, including kids going to school dances. It's not nightclubbing, its a school dance. Dress appropriately. My daughter wouldn't even be allowed out of the house dressed the way I saw some of the girls at EHHS Homecoming this year. No way. Not happening.
Lise Cavallaro April 03, 2012 at 01:27 PM
So true and I agree with you. There are some beautiful prom dresses out there. My daughter went to two home comings and I couldn't believe what some the the girls were wearing. Very tight and very short. The boys looked better than some of the girls. These kids were also getting dropped off by their parents, so they knew what their kids were wearing. I don't know why some girls and their parents don't get it. Classy not trashy.
CitizenVoice April 07, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Great piece, Becki. Up until the prom dress part, I thought you were hiding in my house, which at the moment looks like a baseball, softball, Cub Scout & Brownie flea market...not to mention the up-coming dance recital stuff and school variety show sax practice music sheets and, oh no, now the fishing gear. All this from 8 & 9 year-olds. I dread the prom age, but I would rather stick pins in my eyes than let my girl go anywhere dressed as a hooker. This style of clothes is pushed on these poor kids by every form of visual media and clothing chains eminating the "Brittany" or "Biance" look. TV watching is very minimal here but its still next to impossible to filter everything these kids may be exposed to in that area. Its a battle, but its a battle worth fighting and winning. Of course, there's always moving farther away from the cities. The country kids I know don't seem to have so big a problem.
Becki Pastor April 07, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Thank you for the kind words. We as parents need to tell manufacturers and retailers that we won't accept the things they force upon us. High heels do nOT belong on little girls and hooker-like outfits do not belong on our teens. Keep it classy for your children. And CV I went through the dual scout/team stage and now we have replaced that with scout, marching band, etc.!!


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