Q&A on Questionable Clothing

QUESTION: Many of my daughter’s friends are wearing outfits that I feel are inappropriate. I am very disappointed that my daughter is now wearing some of the same styles. How can I address this with her so she understands the seriousness of her decisions?

ANSWER: You have raised a number of questions that are typical of pre-teen and teenage parents. Allow us to address these questions separately.

The first issue is peer pressure. There are many practical tips for parents and teens on our website – search under the topic, “Peer Pressure.”

The second issue is your determination that her outfits are not appropriate. That determination can mean a number of things depending on your personal standards. You did not specify the exact concern, but her clothing might be too revealing, they might reflect a Gothic style, they might be too baggy and loose, or they might be too tight. Regardless of the reason you feel they are inappropriate, it is important to discuss this situation with your daughter. Your question seems to indicate she was one of the last in her group to dress in this style. It is likely that she has had a good influence from you in the past. Use this situation to build your relationship even further in future decisions.

You are also encouraged to do a little Bible study with your daughter. You can start with 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 which reads, Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. In your discussion, find out the real reasons she is making these decisions. Keep your comments focused on the clothing styles and your daughter’s choices, and stay away from condemning her friends. As she struggles in her maturing process she is confronted with the desire to fit in with her friends, as well as her desire to follow the principles that you have taught her. Use this situation to help your daughter make a decision that is truly mature and can be used as a positive example for future decisions that most certainly will be more difficult and impacting.

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