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.
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