Daughters, Clothes and My Grey Hair

I have four daughters. Some days, that fact alone is enough to make my head spin and my eyes cross. Add in the fact that my two oldest girls look much older than they actually are because they’re both tall and gorgeous. {I know I’m partial and all but seriously. They’re gorgeous.} The younger two are pretty much their clones so I know that I’ve got years to go with this whole gorgeous daughter thing. It’s stressful. Getting them ready to leave the house in proper clothes? It just might be the sole reason my hair is turning grey.

jeans

Over the years we’ve come up with a few short steps that help to smooth out the process of choosing outfits a bit. It might not work for everyone but I hope it helps you:

1 – Be prepared. We almost always choose the girls’ outfits the evening before we are going somewhere. If it’s a planned outing, we prepare in advance. Doctors visits, field trips, play dates, church – anything. Our general rule is the girls have three chances to choose an outfit. If they can’t find something we can agree on after that, I choose and they have to wear what ever I choose. I’m sure some of you are sensing how well that goes. So the older they get, the more thought they put into their three choices. Something that’s also helping a bit with their preparations is that I’ve limited their clothing a bit, into a capsule-type wardrobe. I’ll share more about that and how it’s working for us soon!

2- Ground Rules. In order for the girls to choose outfits, they have to know the ground rules. Can we just pause for a moment here? Moms you can set rules. You are not stifling the Holy Spirit or eliminating the grace of God in your home. You are creating guardrails. Kids need guardrails. I’m not going to go into what our rules are because they will be different for each family. According to my daughters, I am the most strict mother ever with archaic rules for how to dress. It’s how I roll. But no matter what kind of discussion or reasoning certain girls may try to share – the rules are the rules. The whole skinny jeans issue? We have a rule for it. This can make shopping very, very difficult because of the selection in the stores but we have our guardrails and we keep them. Crop tops. Bikinis. The length of their shorts and skirts. We have guardrails.

3 –¬†Style + Rules = Peace. Once the rules are set and the daughters have gotten the swing of choosing their own outfits, we let them experiment a little. Sometimes I shake my head at the things they choose. It definitely isn’t my style. But if they’re within our house rules, we try to let them express their own fashion style when choosing outfits. This is challenging for me, as I like things the way I like them. But I also remember being a young teen and wearing some pretty crazy things. The one thing that will put a stop to their ‘creative’ outfits:

4 – Dad gets unquestioned veto power. If Dad thinks a daughter’s outfit is immodest or just strikes him as inappropriate – it goes. No questions. Dad’s word is the final word and Moms? We have to stand with them. We might help to find a compromise but don’t try to undermine Dad’s final word. He has the unique perspective of actually being a male and was once a teenage male. We don’t understand teenage males. He does. So if he sees something in what your girl is wearing that strikes him as wrong – stick by him.

With all these nice little steps in place, you’ll never argue about clothes with your daughter again!

Okay, stop laughing.

There will still be disagreements. Teens will still push their limits. It’s kind of their thing. For me, it’s a lot easier to keep my cool in the midst of a challenging moment if I know there are guardrails in place that I can refer to. It also helps me when I think about the life lessons my daughters are learning. Modesty is something all Christian women need to learn about and teaching them about it from a young age will serve them well as they grow up.

What systems do you have in place at your house to help getting your daughters dressed and ready a little easier?

“…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” ¬†1 Timothy 2:9-10


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