So what are your options? You can either:
A) ask her to change and be ready to stand your ground or
B) ignore and hope that every red blooded male she walks in front of doesn’t try to read her nether region.
If you decide to give this one a pass, because the word itself seems benign or not sexual in nature, think about the lesson you are teaching your little girl. She is wearing a piece of clothing that attracts attention to a part of the body that is highly sexualized. Beyonce and J Lo gave the butt it’s come-back and your daughter is now a part of the home-town tour. How does it feel to know that men are staring at your thirteen year old’s rear end? If you don’t have a natural inclination to grab a shotgun right now your denial is worse than I thought. And what about the pedophile lurking at the mall. Your angel, the one you promised to protect the minute she drew breath, has now captured the unwanted attention of your local pervert. If you don’t think your community has them, please don’t hesitate to consult any number of online sites in which you can have instant access to sex offenders in your area. I would start here and here. They are everywhere and now have a front row seat to your daughter’s main attraction.
It’s not just the pants. It’s the shirts that have a shoulder exposed and the skirt that looks like a napkin. It’s the teeny bikini and short shorts that all scream LOOK AT ME! I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT! It is a silent invitation to make your daughter boy-bate yet you quietly acquiesce. You can’t make her change, right? All of her friends wear glittery half shirts that say I’M HOT so if everyone else is doing it….It’s just how kids are these days. What’s a dad to do? The truth is you stopped being the boss of her a long time ago and now just hope she doesn’t fight curfew and really doesn’t wear makeup at school. And maybe deep down, not knowing what’s going on with her is a little bit easier when your head hits the pillow at night.
Wake up, dad.
Our daughters need to understand that they are valued because of what they hold in their hearts. They must be encouraged to dress in a way that keeps attention on their beautiful faces so that their audience can focus on their words. And I bet you think she’s got some pretty important things to say; things that make you proud that she’s your girl. Teach her that her opinions matter. That she is more than what she wears and certainly she means more to you than what her peers think. Tell her that you love her enough to ask her to be different. When all of her friends wonder why she’s the only one wearing a one piece bathing suit at the pool, she can be confident that you have her best interest at heart. It may not be easy but does it matter if it’s right? She may struggle when she doesn’t get the same attention from the boys but you’ll teach her that that kind of attention isn’t about liking her for who she is. It’s about objectifying her outside without consideration for her inside. You’ll remind her that she is to be respected, that her body is a gift and should be treated as such. It will be important to remind her that she is loved.
She needs to know that she is loved by you.
When was the last time you hugged your baby girl? I mean really, truly held her so that she felt your heart beat. I know. She wears a bra now and rolls her eyes when you make a joke. She’s way cooler than you are and none of her friend’s dads bother them with hugs and kisses. They leave them alone to text and IM and don’t try to disengage the cell phone that has suddenly become an additional limb. Your daughter still needs to be held. She may be screaming for independence but she is still a child and needs to be protected and held within arms length. Giving her space and giving her free reign are two different things.
Have you grabbed her for a quick trip to the store or brought her flowers just because? Did you make a date to take her to a movie. When was the last time you left a note on her bathroom mirror reminding her that she was the best thing you’ve ever done. Ever. When she disappointed you did you in turn tell her that you know she’ll make the right choice next time. Did you cancel that conference to make sure you made her soccer tryouts. She learned to kick a ball because of you and wants you to think she’s as good as you are.
Talk to her. Don’t worry about being her friend. Just be. Let her know that you are available and a good listener. Ask her questions that have more to do with how her day was. Be prepared to engage even when the days seem to run together and time is short. Know her friends, her interests and her aspirations. Don’t rely on your wife to be the only one emotionally connected to your children-especially your daughters-and don’t leave it to her friends and classmates to be the singular voice of reason about all things life related.
You are the first man she will love. You hold the key to her heart long before she marries and has her own children. She will make choices because of the father you have decided to be. Your little girl needs your love, compassion and affection and if you do not give it to her, if you withhold it from her because she seems to no longer need you, she will seek that closeness from someone else. Someone who may not value her. Who may not care about the goodness in her and exploit her need to be held, to be cared for, to feel wanted.
You may not have until tomorrow to become the father she deserves. A sweet talking, smooth walking, four-years-her-senior-and-brags-about-his-conquests kinda boy may already be charming his way into her heart. And once he’s in, that means you’re out. It could be a group of friends that skip school because togetherness feels good. And so does smoking a joint and blowing off final exams. All because they made her feel connected and welcome-a part of a chosen family that sticks together and looks out for one another. If you lose her it will be a fight to get her back. The pole is shiny. The pole is escape and acceptance rolled up in pretty lies.
I married a man like my father. My father told me I could be anything. He kissed the top of my head and hugged me even when I didn’t want him to. He showed up and cheered me on. He was fiercely protective and horribly intrusive when I needed my privacy. I could not get away with much and in the end, trying wasn’t worth the look of disappointment on his face, so I stayed out of trouble. So when it came time to fall in love and take a husband I chose what I knew. Someone who loved me to the end of the moon and back. Someone who was protective, caring and respectful. A man who would hug me even when I was not my best. I chose love because I had been loved in a way that gave me a sense of value and I hope you’ll do the same.
Because she’s worth it.
This post was written by April Cao. You can find the original post here: http://theconservativeparent.com/?p=171
BE A MAN.