Sunday, May 22, 2016

Modesty counts

Dear Readers,
We have received many comments about our last column: “slut-shaming.”

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I’m a dad. All my girls (three of them) dress with bra straps hanging out, pants too tight, skirts too short, and underwear that is, as the late John Ritter said, “floss.”

I had discussions with them about it and they started crying and saying I was mean and that every girl dresses like this and it means nothing. It’s just fashion. I countered with the fact that boys don’t dress where you see all their private parts. That just made them more angry.

Their mom lets them run to her and be consoled. So I’m the bad guy. I give up.

My youngest has been called a slut, whore, and you name it recently. She laughs it off. Please tell her that not everything is funny in life and some things are sacred, virtuous, and good.

How do I tell her she needs more in her life than so-called “fashion” to feel true happiness?

Signed,
Dad With Kids Who Think Fashion Is A Purpose In Life

Dear Dad,
We do empathize with you. We’re proud of you for stepping up to the plate and being a real dad. You’re a dad who coaches for all the right reasons and you make sense.

Take these few questions to your girls (including Mom) and ask for some time without distractions – and that means no phones – to discuss the following.

Preface your discussion with the realization that what you wear or don’t wear never makes you a slut or whore or any such vile label – rather it makes you feel self-worth and dignified:

Why is it important for you to show your underwear, midriff, half your rear-end, and your breasts and wear extremely tight clothing?

Who notices your private parts showing and what reaction do they have? Who makes sexual insinuations?

Who invites you out? Who asks you about your hobbies, family, activities, thoughts, values or ideas – and who doesn’t?

When you dress sloppy and “sexy,” do you feel good about your values and virtues? When do you talk about important things like your hopes, dreams, and core beliefs and values?

Where is a good place to show your body parts and how sexy you are? Have you sent nude or partially nude pictures to anyone? Do you know the majority of what you send is shown to 15 others? Do you know that employers look at your Facebook account? Do you know SnapChat pictures don’t always go away … certainly not in the 6 seconds the site advertises? Where do you feel safe?

What is your goal in sharing your intimate and cherished body to others (no matter if you have had sex in any way, shape or form – or not)? What positive and intelligent feedback do you receive regarding how “hot” you look? Is being hot an essential and important goal? Being famous is the No. 1 goal of many girls today.

USA Today reported a while back:
“Eighty-one percent of 18- to 25-year-olds surveyed in a Pew Research Center poll … said getting rich is their generation’s most important or second-most-important life goal; 51 percent said the same about being famous.”

The most important question today for your kids and “our” kids:

How is being famous going to make you genuine, real, never-let-you-down friends, without buying them or bribing them with things, amusement activities and sex? Fame for the wrong reasons – or no reason at all – is not a plus, and those who gain it quickly often become a joke.

Creating healthy relationships is all you can take with you when you die.

Style is external plus internal. It matches distinct and honorable personalities. Fashions come and go and are frequently entertaining. There’s a big difference. Everyone needs style to express their principled personalities in an appropriate and non-distracting way.

Don’t give up, Dad! Have weekly family meetings and include fun activities after serious life discussions. We promise you, from our experience, kids are hungry for this high-quality attention.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Don’t forget to check out our newly re-designed website – it has lots of resources you can use and includes our podcasts! Go to www.rhondastopbullying.org

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