|Not an outfit for a middle schooler?|
Dressing provocatively is hardly a new trend for teen girls. My mother remembers the girls having to kneel down at school to make sure that their skirts were long enough to touch the floor. Plenty of girls got sent home to change. That said, it’s disturbing to see the little girl who my son walked home with in elementary school get out of her mom’s minivan, wearing daisy duke’s and thigh highs (and it’s pretty much a fashion don’t).
Not only does it make me cringe that these girls are dressing so – well for lack of better word, slutty – at such a young age, but I wonder what our young sons are thinking. In 2013 a junior high school in California banned girls from wearing tight-fitting pants, citing that it distracted the boys. When I see a provocatively dressed tween or teen, I think, “Why didn’t her mother say something or teach her how to dress in a stylish, yet not hooker-like, outfit.” But, as the mother of a boy, I realize that it’s my job to teach him how to respect women – no matter how much skin they show. While it’s completely normal for a boy (especially a just-going-through puberty teen) to drool over a scantily clad member of the opposite sex, it doesn’t mean that he has to treat her like she’s not a person too. Instead, us mommies of boys can talk to our sons about how to treat a girl – even if she’s showing more skin than a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.
So, I sat my son down. Well, actually I thought that might embarrass him, so I casually brought up the subject during the car drive to school. When I asked if he ever noticed that some of the girls in his grade dress “older”, he immediately responded, “Yeah, like Jane (that’s not her real name.” He was talking about the thigh high-wearing girl who I saw getting out of her mom’s minivan. I asked him if he thought that dressing like Jane made a girl look prettier. I got the eye roll and, “I dunno.” I moved on to asking him if he thought that the way a girl dress made him think that she might act a certain way – like she might want to have lots of boyfriends. He said, “Nooooo mom. I think people just dress differently. I don’t really care how a girl dresses. It’s just clothes.”
If you’re looking for some sort of answer or 10 definitive tips on how to keep your teen son from oogling the girls in his grade or 5 ways to help your neighbor tell her daughter that it’s not appropriate to wear a thing sticking out of the top of her short shorts, I don’t have it. While my son thinks clothes are just clothes, yours might think that Jane is rather slutty. How would you talk to your tween or teen about this subject (you can discuss it in the comment section below)?
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