Saturday, February 25, 2012
Teaching My Daughter About Modesty
Just as a reminder, my daughter is 5. She'll be 6 in a few months, so she isn't at the age when most people talk about teaching their daughters modesty. But it's something that's been on my mind since she was four.
When my daughter was four, I had my third child. When I was healed enough to exercise again I started doing a free DVD I had gotten through Special K cereal. The workouts were great. They were challenging and I could feel results, but one thing really bothered me. The title of the DVD was "Get Swimsuit Ready." and throughout the DVD, the instructor tlaks about doing things that will make you look good in your swimsuit, or if you need inspiration, think of your favorite swimsuit and looking great in it. That is a huge demotivater for me, because two months after having my third baby, I sure didn't want to picture myself in a swimsuit, and also, my husband and I have always told out kids that we exercise to be healthy and strong, so we don't hurt our backs when we pick things up and so we can run and play without getting too tired. I would only watch the DVD after my kids were in bed because my daughter remembers everything she hears on a TV and I didn't want the message of "exercise just so you can look good when you hardly have anything on" to stick with her. Eventually, I stopped watching it all together.
Then some kind friends gave my daughter some of their daughter's cloths that she had grown out of. One of them was a halter top dress that plunged VERY low. At first we told her she could only wear it around the house, but then she'd usually change because she said it wasn't very modest. Eventually, when she wasn't looking, I got rid of it and she hasn't missed it.
We also talked about being modest, my daughter and my three year old son will now tell me when they see an immodest woman, weather it be on TV or in person (and they say it very loud). My daughter can tell me exactly how said woman is being immodest, weather it's she's showing her back and her tummy and she needs longer shorts, or she's just in her underwear (they say this all the time in the summer when people go into the store with bikini tops and short shorts).
In many regards, i do feel like we're doing a good job with our kids, teaching them about modesty, and I dress modestly. Or do I?
I always wear sleeves and at least knee length skirts and shorts, but I have fairly long legs, and a ghetto booty that'll make any dress ride up in the back if I'm not careful, so that's something that I need to make sure I watch. I've also noticed that I have a dress, which is very flattering, but ti's a V-neck that crosses at the point of the V and I've found myself constantly having to adjust it to be sure nothing's showing. This has become even more interesting with the things that are enhanced in early pregnancy. I don't want the fact that mommy constantly had to fiddle with her dress to keep herself completely covered to stand out in her mind. Looks like it's time to break out the needle nad thread so I can keep that dress from separating anymore.
I know these things may seem small, but I try to be constantly improving, though it seems like sometimes I'm decreasing in at least one thing. Anyway, as a youth I felt like modestly was easy and I didn't yearn to show off my body or anything. But hen I got to thinking, what if my daughter, and someday maybe daughters don't feel like that when they're in their teens. I guess it helps that my mother was always modest in dress, as well as in actions (i.e. not boastful or puffed up), so I hope that I'm being as good of an example to my daughter. I want her to live a happy, chaste, and virtuous life. To be able to say at any point in her young adulthood, hey, I'm going to marry this wonderful man in the temple and I don't have to go through any serious repentance first! Woo-hoo!
I know the challenges will increase as she gets older, but we're trying to start her off right, so she doesn't view her body as a sexual object, but is happy and confident in who she is.