On Tuesday, this article was very popular on Facebook: Parents, Don't Dress Your Daughters Like Tramps It was reposted by just my friends more than a dozen times. There is one reason for this: It hits a chord with all parents. We all agree with this.
So who are these parents that let their kids dress like they're going clubbing when they should still be wearing Garanimals? Who told Target that my 7 year old would EVER be allowed to wear gold lame stretch pants and a halter top? And why does Wal-Mart sell padded training bras in sizes as small as 6X? When shopping for clothes for my 2 girls I am constantly amazed by the crap that is out there. I want my kids to "grow up" but I don't want them to audition for the next season of Jersey Shore.
It's not just the little kids either. The pre-teen and Junior departments at stores like Kohl's are full of clothes that promote their budding sexuality. As the mother of 2 girls, I think that they need to hire someone like me to design clothes for little girls. I want my girls to look cool, but I want them to know that they can do that without wearing low-cut, skin tight, mid-driff bearing, clothes that no one should be wearing regardless of their age. When I was growing up, I wanted very much to be cool, just like my kids do. I wore some get-ups that I am definitely not proud of today. Okay, it was the late 80's and early 90's -- I wore LOTS of things that I am not proud of, and I did it with a spiral perm. My job as a parent is to make my kids better at things than I ever was. This includes fashion. If I have to be a "Mean" mom to do that, then so be it. And I was a rebellious teen once too, so don't think I won't search your backpack for clothes that you plan to change into once you get to school, or call your friends' moms to make sure that you are still wearing what I sent you out of the house in. I pulled all that crap on my parents too.
I am blessed with boys as well as girls, so let me make something else clear: If you want me to like you dating my son, do not come around my house dressed like he picked you up off of some random street corner. I am working very hard to raise my boys to treat women with respect and I will not have them dating girls who make respect hard to give. Also, as much as I try to instill morals and an appreciation for modesty in my boys, I know that there will be a time when their hormones take over and all of those things I tried to teach them will grow faint in their memories or disappear altogether. I can be a mean and snarky mom if I need to in order to run you off, and as much as I hate conflict I will endure it if it means my son can avoid being your "Baby Daddy" at 16.
My kids will no doubt "hate" me at times, I know that I "hated" my parents when I was a teenager. But I also know that those times will pass, just like they did with me and my parents. I am now so very appreciative for what I felt was a strict up-bringing of not being able to stay out all night and wear micro-mini skirts. I am even more appreciative as a mother. I had 4 kids on 4 different kinds of birth control....it really IS a good thing that I wasn't allowed to stay out all night in a micro-mini, and that I wasn't a slut in high school. I will accept my kids' hatred for not letting them do whatever they want because it is my job as a parent to not let them run around all willy-nilly doing whatever feels right in the moment. As the guy who wrote this article so rightly states -- "I am their parent, not their best friend."
Don't get me wrong, I hope to foster a relationship with my kids that encourages them to come to me with their problems, but I also want them to understand that the responses they get will be from their MOM. I cannot turn off my parent-ness for them to bear their souls to me like I was their 16 year old co-hort. The more open and honest our relationship, the better, but it will ALWAYS be a parent/child relationship.
I saw this yesterday and I love it, so I am sharing it here with all of you. If you are easily offended by a little foul language, you may want to skip it....I also am working on one for sons.:
Tina Fey's Prayer for a Daughter
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, dammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.