Raising Daughters in a World That Devalues Them: 7 Things We Must Tell Them

I took my daughter shopping one night over Spring Break. It’s flip flop and shorts weather down here in Texas about 10 months out of the year, not to mention my girl gets taller every minute. She passed me up months ago.

Shopping with my teenager should be fun. And mostly it is, except for the actual clothes-shopping-part. It’s so hard to find modest clothes. My teen doesn’t even ask for the shorty shorts any more, even though it’s challenging to find anything but in the stores.

“Why do they do it, Mom? Why do so many stores sell such immodest clothes for girls?” She was frustrated. It was a question I didn’t know how to answer. I think about how girls are viewed in this world and in return, how they view themselves. How do I tell my 13 year old daughter that sex sells? But I do tell her. She’s a smart girl and notices that some stores sell padded bikini bathing suit tops to 8 year olds.

It’s time for moms to be offended and stand up to giant stores like Victoria’s Secret and the way they sell sex to our daughters. Their new tween brand is called, “Bright Young Things,” and includes lace black cheeksters with the word “Wild” emblazoned on it, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with “Feeling Lucky?” and a lace trim thong with the words, “Call me” on the front. Source.

“Our country is replete with an unprecedented number of young girls suffering from eating disorders and body mutilation, while pushing the limits of sexual promiscuity. Is this racy underwear modeled by unrealistically thin girls really the best that we have to offer our girls? In this age when female sex trafficking is becoming a wide-spread crisis, reaching into the depths of our inner cities, is it really responsible for Victoria’s Secret to entice our impressionable young girls with this “come hither” message?

Underwear that reads, “Call me” does nothing but cheapen a girl’s self-esteem while exacerbating the objectification of her God-given femininity. Our children are being objectified by retailers who see them as nothing more than a path to increased profits.”-Amy Gerwing

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We live in a world that hates girls.

Too harsh? I don’t think so. Globally, did you know that more than 200 million girls in our world have been aborted or abandoned in what is being called a “gendercide?” Many who survive, face neglect, violence and most likely sex trafficking. We might feel detached from this epidemic on this side of the world, but we aren’t. The Super Bowl is the biggest day for sex trafficking in the world and most major cities including the one closest to me, is a hub for young girls to be sold into sex slavery.

Coupled with the pornography industry, when you consider every second, 28,258 Internet users are viewing nude images of somebody’s daughter, it’s more than disturbing.  Source

Yesterday I read about a young girl who was raped. She was just six years old. I’ve heard of horror stories like these thru our work at Mercy House, but this wasn’t in distant Africa. It was in our county, 20-something miles away. I have an innocent six year old and I am sickened by the crime against this child.

And as if all that isn’t enough to turn a momma gray, the surge of aggressive girls taking the initiative with guys at a very young age, trying to lure them into sexual activity has increased dramatically :

What in the world is happening?

What is going on in the hearts of some young girls that causes them to be so assertive?  I think there are several reasons for what we are seeing: (from Family Life)

First, the culture is supporting it.  Movies, television shows, commercials, magazines, books …  they all glamorize sex and intimacy and the right of young women to go after whatever it is they think will make them happy.

Second, we have a whole generation of young men who are confused in their own sexual identity. Are they supposed to be sensitive or aggressive? Leaders or helpers?  Many young men today are not being taught how to treat a young lady with nobility, dignity, and respect. Many are growing up without a father or male figure to provide guidance.  As a result, some of these young men have no idea how they should expect to be treated by a real young lady.

Third, the breakdown of the family has resulted in a whole generation of daughters who have been abandoned. And in the absence of a healthy, emotional attachment to their fathers and mothers, they’re trying to fill their emotional gas tanks with the opposite sex.

Finally, there’s little or no preparation for adolescence occurring among parents of preteens or early teens.  This may be the core problem.  When you ask parents of preteens how many of them would like their children to have the same experience they had in adolescence, there aren’t many hands that go up.  But those same parents often become increasingly detached as their children move into the adolescent years.

Seven Things We Must Tell Our Daughters:

  1. You are Valuable:: She needs to know she is important and so valued that you will protect her with rules and boundaries because you love her. There is safety and comfort within those restrictions, even when she pushes against them.
  2. Your Worth Isn’t Based on Your Appearance:: She needs to be told she is beautiful–not because she’s wearing a sassy outfit or new lipgloss–her worth is not found in her appearance, the opinions of others or herself. She is beautiful because she was created in the image of God. Her appearance has little to do with true beauty and her worth isn’t wrapped up in looking good or being perfect.
  3. You Don’t Need a Guy:: She needs to hear starting at a young age (but it’s never too late to start telling her). She needs to be told a boy doesn’t complete her, God does. Chasing or enticing or wanting a guy doesn’t make her attractive and it doesn’t make her a woman. The only guy she needs in her life for a long time is her Dad or a father figure until God brings her a husband if that’s His plan.
  4. You Are Amazing:: Our daughters need to hear we are proud of them. She is enough. Tell her out of all the girls in the world, you’d always choose her. Sadly, she will be tempted to spend a lot of time in life trying to prove her value to others. Create an atmosphere where she is loved, just like she is.
  5. You Don’t Have to Believe What You Hear:: She needs to hear your affirming voice in her head. Because there will be mean girls in her life, peers with pressure and adults in her world who will let her down and have low expectations of her. She needs to hear the opposite at home, your voice will lead her to Him and she’ll know who to listen to.
  6. You Have Me:: No matter what happens in life, the ups and downs that will come her way, the losses and gains, our daughters must know we are there for them. She needs to know she can talk to you about anything. Anytime. More importantly, we can show her Jesus.
  7. You Can Change the World:: She needs to know she can dream big and can accomplish whatever she wishes. She can do so with God by her side and she doesn’t need a boy or society to make it happen. She can be anything she want to be with your help. Stand by her, with her and watch her fly.

I’m raising two daughters in this world and my heart cries for Jesus to rescue us all. But until He does, I can’t always protect or shield them, so I will tell them the truth. I can’t change (all this) in the world, but I can prepare them for it.

“Our daughters are precious, intrinsically valuable and deserve better — they deserve to be cherished and protected.” -Amy Gerwing

*Update: Thanks so much for your thoughts on this post. I’m closing comments as personal attacks begin to take priority. Here’s a follow up post with some recommended resources.

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    I very much agree with you. I think you should know about the ad that I see when I read this post on your blog. It says “Like Asian Women?” and has a very immodest picture of a young woman.

    • 2.1

      kristen says

      Thanks so much for letting me know! I just deleted the ad block. It must have picked up on keywords from my post.

      • 2.1.1

        says

        You’re welcome. I knew the ad was automatic because of words in the post. It was sadly ironic to see it there, though. I’m glad you could easily remove it.

  2. 3

    Julie says

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I have a 3 yo daughter and I’m just sick over the challenges we will face as she grows. But your 7 things we must tell them is such a wonderful reminder that we can prepare her for what is out there and help her understand Jesus is so much better than anything this world has to offer!

  3. 4

    Serenity says

    I actually stopped shopping at Victoria Secret for this reason. I will not give them one more dime to make our girls into sex objects.

    • 4.1

      David says

      The first time I saw the Victoria Secret commercial in the past few months I was disgusted. There are girls in underwear and they tell the audience “Tell me you love me.” WHAT? Because you’re wearing underwear? Shouldn’t that say “Tell me you LUST me? Amazing that many young women don’t know the difference between love and lust. Folks, people don’t wear Victoria Secret underwear with messages like “Call Me” unless they want people to see them!

  4. 5

    says

    Bravo!!! I just wanted to add that Target has a great selection of Bermuda shorts – I have a ton and they wash well and are affordable.

  5. 6

    Valerie Hudson says

    I have a 3 year old daughter. I am having the hardest time finding shorts! They end right below her pantie line! She’s 3!! So I buy the skorts. It is getting harder to find them too. I also do not put a bikini on her. Only one piece bathing suits.

    • 6.1

      Tonia says

      When my daughters were younger we would by the boys shorts. They are longer and looser, although not as pretty. Now that they are older, it’s not so simple.

    • 6.2

      Nicole says

      Yes, I found it so frustrating last year trying to find a modest tankini style suit for my then potty training 2 yr old. I didn’t want her in a bikini (!), but I wanted her to easily be able to go potty.

      I tend to dress her in skirts/dresses with hemmed leggings underneath. Shorts are impossible. I don’t get it.

      • 6.2.1

        says

        I got my baby girl a light pink checkered smocked ” bikini”. It was a sweet diaper cover. Then the top was a stretched smocking in cotton. It was my favorite forever. She was like few months old. still have it. It was darling.

    • 6.3

      Theresa Emery says

      I would suggest Hannah Anderson. Lots of knee length bike shorts. Just buy them a tad big so they won’t be tight. That is what my daughter wore for years.

    • 6.4

      Gina says

      Valerie, I had to buy my 6-year-old daughter size 4 BOYS shorts at Target because the girls’ shorts were too short. She loves them because they have pockets.

  6. 7

    Mary says

    I agree for the most part but I don’t think going at large corporations as a whole is the answer. I think targeting the areas of sensuality for kids is a better way. I love Victoria’s Secret and will introduce my young un to them when I feel its appropriate. She is 7 and knows that it is a store for grownups. I’m a modest dresser and I’m 37, but that doesn’t change my love for lacy, frilly things and the VS brand. I think there is a time and a place for almost everything. I don’t think young people should be wearing things like what you mention, but I think adults should be allowed the choice. Their program geared towards tweens is wrong, but when mine is a teenager, and if she wants to wear lacey, pretty frilly things under her clothes, from whatever store, I’m fine with it. I will continue to police modesty and its virtues as long as she is in this house with the hopes she carries it into her adult life the same way I did.

    • 7.1

      Christy says

      Mary,
      You completely contradict yourself through your whole post. How you could support Victoria Secrets and yet say you’re modest and say you want your daughter to be modest, but when she’s a teen, you’ll allow her to wear things that are completely inappropriate for her. What you’re saying is “while you’re a little girl we’ll dress you correctly, but once you become a teenager you can wear completely inappropriate things. You are part of the problem. It’s not appropriate for teens to be wearing VS anymore than it is for preteens.
      VS is objectifying young girls and telling them they need to dress like hookers to be attractive and as a mom, that’s what you’ll be telling her too…bravo

    • 7.2

      Shula says

      I feel warm and peaceful in my heart as I read your post Mary. I wanted to reach out and squeeze your hand to show you I’m standing with you. I feel beautiful and feminine and sexy and adorable when I wear beautiful lacy underwear. Even if God and me are the only ones who see it… it nurtures my feminine heart. Wearing elegant lingerie (without tacky slogans of course) is an important valid optiom to nurture and express a woman’s feminine heart I said woman not girl.

    • 7.3

      Margót says

      I agree with women, married women, being able to wear what they want under their clothing. I wear a whole lot of lace under my clothing, but then again, I’ve been married almost 10 years, and I wear it for me and my husband.

      With that being said, there are so many ways you can help a teenage girl feel beautiful without allowing her to have enticing undergarments. Because even if you think they will help her feel beautiful, im sure they will, but that type of underwear is made to be seen by someone other than the wearer. Sex sells, that’s what this post is about, and if we teach our young girls to dress confidently and modestly, that will teach them more self worth that sporting a Lacey Tanga made to “show off” the bottom half of your butt cheeks! ;)

      I once read a wonderful story about Muhammed Ali and his daughters, let me share it:

      His two daughters were haded up to the hotel room where they were all staying, dressed for a party. When they got there, their dad, Muhammed Ali, pulled them aside to talk to them about modesty. He said that gold was hard to find, buried. Diamonds have to be mined in caves, chipped away at and dug out with much effort. Pearls are found in oysters way at the bottom of the ocean. These precious things are valuable and very hard to get at, covered, hidden. That is how you should treat your body. It’s valuable, precious. It should be covered, hidden. Hard to get to.

      This it the type of talk father should have with their daughters. This is a beautiful example of a fathers love and adoration for his children. We should all raise our daughters to value themselves, and not to be seen as objects for sale to the highest bidder. When my daughter, almost 6, is old enough, she will hear is story, but mothers, let me challencpge you further. If your daughters are not of age, find someone who is, and shre this with them. I’m only 32, but I have pulled a few 18-20 year olds aside that I work with to let them know they are valued. Words from parents sometimes fall on deaf ears, but words from peers, coworkers, or mentors can have a greater impact than we will ever now!! Don’t be shy, or feel like it’s not your place to say anything because they are not your child. You may just be saving someone from rape or worse!

    • 7.4

      anne says

      wrong…you should not need lace and perversions to ‘feel’ like a woman. You are allowing yourself to be brainwashed by the commercailism of our society….Some of the most beautiful women i’ve known in the world would question your base thinking structure…perhaps you should do mission work to find out how life truelly is for most women on earth. You are continueing the error and permitting yourself to be wrongly influenced.

  7. 8

    says

    Not exactly the same topic, but very closely related. Check out this Dove commercial. I think every kid should watch it. It shows more in 45 seconds than anyone could say to them regarding the media portrayal of beauty…basically, the beauty we worship on billboards is completely manufactured. Everyone could be a billboard model if we just had make-up artists, hair-stylists, and photo-shop following us around. (It’s a good reminder for adults too. ;)

    http://youtu.be/omBfg3UwkYM

    • 8.1

      mgj says

      I was going to suggest the same thing. watch the Dove commercial. They have a few on their website that are relevent. More importantly, have your sons watch. For girls, I think this add is a relief, but for boys, it is an epiphany.

  8. 9

    Amy says

    Amen! Can we please let our girls dress like girls, not harlots? You can dress your girls modestly, but you might need a few basic sewing skills and some creativity. I do take one exception with your post, though: number 3 under 7 things we must tell our daughters. “You don’t need a guy” sounds too much like liberated feminism. I think I know what you mean…you don’t need a guy right now. However, I want my daughters to know that God created ladies to be helps to their husbands. Not all girls get married, but with God’s original plan in mind, I am preparing them to one day be married to a godly husband and to be a keeper at home. We talk about the right way to find a husband and we talk about getting married and having children. I don’t know what God has in store for them in the future, whether to remain single or to have children or not. All I know is I am aiming them in the direction I see in the Scriptures. (My daughters are 5, 3 and 1, by the way.)

    • 9.2

      Ames says

      I felt the same way. Saying “You don’t need a guy” comes off just slightly wrong. As a child I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mother; it was second in my thoughts only to God. Yes, I had some distorted ideas about it because of society, but I feel like telling my daughter she doesn’t need a guy is going against the pure desire that the Lord put in her. I agree that she doesn’t need a guy until the proper time, and I will work to train and encourage her to have self control and keep her heart guarded, but I will not ask her to emotionally deny that she desires to be one with the man God is preparing for her.
      I appreciate these 7 encouragements, though, and how you related your own experience with your teenager! Very important points made! This is not a censure, just feedback :)
      Blessings, dear sister in the Lord!

      • 9.2.1

        kristen says

        This post is written for parents of young daughters. I really don’t want my daughter’s looking for a boyfriend until they are ready for marriage. “YOU DON’T NEED A GUY” is really a response to our culture’s craziness with making our young daughters’ feel like they need a boyfriend. I obviously have an amazing husband-who I do need. And I pray my daughters will find a man just like their father. But I believe if they are being tenderly cared for by a loving earthy father and focusing on a relationship with their heavenly, it will quench the desire to have a guy TOO EARLY. Our world and especially our media (kids shows) are obsessed with romance and dating and encouraging even elementary kids to have crushes. I want my daughter to find the right guy at the right time, but they don’t need one right now. Just my two cents, of course :)

        • 9.2.1.1

          Amy says

          I do know what you’re saying, and I so appreciate your post. On the one hand, the world is telling our daughters to be sexy with their clothes (or lack thereof) to attract a guy. On the other hand you have the feminist movement and the trend away from marriage. So that is what I was responding to. Neither attitude is right. It’s a challenge to teach our daughters what God says and not let worldly attitudes and terminology creep into our thinking. By the way, this is from a woman who was an “old maid” (35) when I got married! So I know there is life outside of marriage and girls need to have skills to live unmarried if that is what God has for them.

        • 9.2.1.2

          Phyllis says

          Thank you for your article! I totally understood what you meant by “you don’t need a guy”. My very pretty 15yo daughter is the baby of the family. She has two older brothers and we started discussing our dating guidelines with them when they were 6 or 7 years old…..basically, until you’re old enough and responsible enough to get married you should focus on learning how to be a good FRIEND instead of having a GIRLfriend. We believe strongly that dating is not a recreational activity, but a way to figure out if someone might make a good spouse for you (so why do that until you are able to take on the responsibility?).

          So basically my daughter has developed a very unique balance of “liking” boys, but realizing that now is not the right time to have a “boyfriend”. However, some of her good friends are practically unable to function unless they are someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend…and I know THAT’s the sort of thing that you were referring to.

          My daughter now has a little group of friends (boys & girls) who are fun, outgoing, like the opposite sex, but are encouraging each other to hold off on boyfriend/girlfriend relationships until they are older, and they hold each other accountable. As a result, they are getting lots of practice at learning how to be a good friend, how to communicate, and what qualities are needed for a lasting relationship. There is plenty of time for romantic relationships later!

      • 9.2.2

        Heather Burris says

        Isn’t there a big difference between saying, “You don’t need a guy” and “Even if you want to get married, you shouldn’t?” I don’t see how saying #3 indicates that your daughters should avoid the desire to be married to a man and keep a home. The only man we absolutely need is God. And if we desire a husband and God intends to fulfill that desire, great! That still doesn’t mean you “need” your husband. To me, this “need” further skews our society and helps encourage people in marriages that aren’t Hollywood-perfect to give up, because “it wasn’t my ‘soulmate’ after all.” I love my husband and I want to be with him until I die, but it isn’t about need. It’s about choosing each day to honor the commitment I made, and to do so in a way that honors God too.

        • 9.2.2.1

          says

          Exactly, Heather! While I do understand that men and women in a true Godly marriage will complement each other, I do not *need* my husband the same way that society tells us we as women or girls need a boyfriend. I love my husband but I am a complete and whole person without him. I need him because I love him, not because he is a man. If something ever happened to him, I wouldn’t feel like I needed to replace him in order to have a man in my life – but that’s what society is teaching us, that we need to have a man in our life whatever it takes.

          The problem with society, and this is also why we do our best to teach our THREE girls that they don’t need a guy, is because it is being pushed on girls that they are somehow inadequate or “wrong” if they are single. I remember it when I was a teenager 20 years ago, and it has gotten even worse.

          I like the “you don’t need a guy” statement, and I do teach my kids that. We are raising our girls to be strong, independent Godly women who don’t need to depend on whether they have a boyfriend to feel that they have worth.

        • 9.2.2.3

          Kara says

          I think “you don’t need a guy” goes a long way in helping girls to wait for the right guy and not jump at a relationship just because they’re at a marriagable age. There were lots of great single women role models (as well as great marriage models) in my life as a girl and as a result marriage wasn’t set before me as the hightest calling…..being the woman that God wanted me to be was.

      • 9.2.3

        says

        You don’t need a guy…to be complete might be a more accurate way of saying what you mean. God created us with a desire for the opposite sex which helps us to become one at the appropriate time through marriage. But we come to that day as two compelte individuals, each created in God’s image, each of us complete, two whole people who become one in a miraculous way when we follow his plan. Yes, we need each other, but not in the way the world uses the word “need.”

      • 9.2.4

        Patti says

        I think – the “I Don’t need a guy” is not the way you are interrupting it. There are young girls out there that think they “NEED” to date….so they start at 12, 13, 14….when they are no where near ready. They end up having sex at a pretty young age-some pregnant…..because they felt they “needed a guy”. I have a niece who wants to go on birth control because it might help her find a boyfriend. She’s 17. She thinks she NEEDS a guy to be complete and is willing to go to extreme measures to get that guy. (We’ve had a long talk – I think I got thru – but it’s hard to tell.).

        There is no woman that “NEEDS” a man. Yes we would love to be in a happy loving relationship/marriage (which thankfully I am – but I didn’t start dating him until 23….he is my one and only love). BUT none of us need a guy/man to be a complete person.

        Today’s society is telling girls they are not complete without a guy. This is a bad message to send our girls.

    • 9.3

      Nan says

      I’m definitely not a strong voice on the subject, but I kind of like the “you don’t need a guy” sentiment. It’s important that young women CAN be self-sufficient. If, God forbid, a husband just isn’t in your daughter’s plan, I believe that its important that they can find comfort in that notion. If God’s plan for your daughter is to minister to orphans in Haiti, and that doesn’t involve a husband, would you be any less proud? While I want ALL of my children to have skills around the home and the ability to care for a spouse, I don’t want marriage to become their identity so far as they would feel like a disappointment if it didn’t happen for them.

      • 9.3.1

        says

        I agree. That’s one of the reasons I became a nurse. I wanted to get married, but God had not brought a man into my life. At the time it was painful, but I have come to realize marriage was an idol. My first identity is in Christ. Yes, I’m also a wife and a mother. But, not every woman is called to be a wife and a mother, and we should not look down on them for not getting married or think they are being too feminist.

        • 9.3.1.1

          Blue says

          Or some are called to be wed but not to be mothers. Some of us have had our own bodies fail us in that regard, and have let God give us the answer on parenthood and what we are to do with the love we would have lavished on a child.

          I have a wonderful niece who is very modest–a trait she inherited from both her mother and her crazy aunt. ;) She chooses decent clothes and behaves in a way that makes all of us proud.

          • 9.3.1.1.1

            Heather says

            All the wives and mothers out there that God has so richly blessed with that opportunity…realize there are women out there for which that is their heart’s desire and, after years and years of prayer, God still hasn’t said “yes” yet.

            I trust completely in His plan, knowing that His ways are not my ways. Prepare your daughters to live His will and plan for their lives, whether that be having the opportunity to be a wife, wife and mother, or neither. It’s not fair to tell them they WILL get married when that is your plan for them and maybe not His…being either should never come before being a daughter of the King.

    • 9.4

      Punky says

      I also like the “You don’t need a guy” sentiment in a balanced way. What happens if someone doesn’t get married? God does call some people to a life of being single. I am married to a soldier, and I have to live by myself without my man for long periods of time. I have to have the skills to be able to function, but I also need the ability to rely on God and realize that He is my fulfillment even when my husband is gone and I can’t even communicate to him on a regular basis–or if I should lose my husband. Even after marriage, a woman should be finding her fulfillment and joy in Christ. Looking for complete happiness and fulfillment even in a Godly marriage, rather than in Christ, is a recipe for disaster. The message “you don’t need a guy” is perfectly appropriate and I don’t think it’s necessary to over-react to it if it’s presented in a very balanced way, as it was here.

    • 9.5

      Marisa says

      Comments like this, about God creating women to help their husbands, do a real disservice to the legitimate point that the author is trying to make. God did not create you, or your daughters, to be nothing more than complementary to some man. I feel really sad for your daughters if you are honestly teaching them that their worth is bound up in someday finding someone to marry. That’s just as bad as teaching them that it’s bound up in finding someone to gratify them sexually now.

      • 9.5.1

        Stacy says

        I think, by your comment, that you do not fully understand the legitimate point the author is trying to make. She states that no man, completes you, only God does. And that statement is true even after you’re married. I am blessed to serve along-side my husband, but he, nor my role as a wife is what makes me valuable, but the fact that I am deeply and radically loved by God. And this same God designed marriage, so it’s not a bad thing or something to be looked down upon if one chooses it. You don’t “need” a man to want to be married, and if you are married that does not signify that I conclude that I “need” a man, or find my worth in such man. Marriage isn’t about a woman being nothing than complementary to some man. I feel really sorry for you if you truly believe that about marriage, because God is the one who created marriage and it is a blessing.

        • 9.5.1.1

          Mary says

          And I think you are so blinded by your faith that you can’t understand the point that Marisa is making. In fact, you ar so blinded by your agreement with the author that you can’t understand the faults in her arguments.

          As proof, I offer this: I think that by saying ” Many are growing up without a father or male figure to provide guidance. As a result, some of these young men have no idea how they should expect to be treated by a real young lady” it is a disservice to single moms. And a disservice to women and girls in general. We are not responsible for how men treat us, or rather, I am not responsible for how my neighbor treats his wife/sister/mother. I am only responsible for shaping my own children. And even then, I can only provide a foundation of love and acceptance. To put that responsibility somehow on women as a whole is misguided and irresponsible. If this is the attitude what responsibility do men have?

    • 9.6

      Karey says

      II know why you’re feeling rubbed by #3, but as a mom of a 16 year old, I tell her all the time she doesn’t need a guy. Her friends are all boy crazy and she thinks sometimes she’s missing out, but she also knows that dating is really for finding a mate and at 16, she’s not ready for a husband, so FOR NOW, she doesn’t need a guy. It’s not that she will never want a guy, it’s that she doesn NEED one to be happy, fulfilled, have a fun time in high school, etc.

  9. 10

    says

    Greetings,

    I am from iBelieve Magazine. This is a magazine being used by Christian radio stations. I would love to have this article featured for June in our E-Magazine. Is there away I can get permission? Would you allow this?

    Bill Scott
    iBelieve Magazine

  10. 11

    says

    Ugh! I have seen those padded bras and swimsuits too! My oldest is just starting to grow out of the little kids clothes and will be moving up into the 7-8 sizes soon. I am totally disgusted by some of the stuff I am seeing up there from punky goth stuff to promiscuous, over-sexed clothing. It is good to see that I am not the only one who feels this way.

  11. 12

    says

    Amen! It makes me cringe when I see little girls wearing “real” bras–what is the point of that? And Victoria’s Secret? Don’t get me started. Thankfully my girls haven’t wanted to shop there and they seem to understand why I don’t want to go there either.

  12. 13

    Karen Cook says

    From a Mom of 4, now teenage boys, I thank you! My husband & I have worked hard to make sure our boys know to respect girls/women. They have been taught from a young age, to turn their heads/eyes away from any images of women that are not appropriate. I’m glad we started young with that. It is a very difficult thing when temptation is walking all around you. So many images…magazines, t.v.,…just walking around town or at school. We have also told our guys that “If it’s not yours,…you don’t touch it.” They haven’t had the benefit of growing up with a sister, so I know they’ll have a bit of a gap on some things…..it’s hard to teach by example if you don’t have that :) We have been praying for our boys’ mates since they were infants….that God will keep her and them pure.
    Thank you for being parents that value your children enough to guide them in this process….and for writing about it.

  13. 14

    Jennifer says

    Finding clothes is a struggle in our house. My Dd is tall and skinny, regular shorts look like short shorts on her. My Mom is a huge blessing by making Dds old jeans into long cut offs and sewing them up for me. By the time shorts are needed her jeans are too short anyway!

    These 7 items are great reminders of things I need to work on with her. Does anyone have a devotional recommendation for the 12-13 yr old middle school girl. Either one that we can read together or for her alone?

    Thanks!

    • 14.1

      Angie says

      My daughters are 12 and 13 and the devoitonal book we use is “Devotions for the God Girl” by Haley DiMarco. It deals with modern issues in a godly way and it’s produced many great discussions with our girls.

    • 14.2

      Amy says

      Lois Walfrid Johnson is a great author for young people. She has some devotional books and extremely well-written historical fiction series that teach these godly principles

    • 14.3

      Ginny says

      We use the devotional “Lies Young Women Believe”

      It teaches a lot of these things.

    • 14.4

      says

      There is a group called Generations of Virtue that has a series of books, jewelry, and other items promoting a virtuous lifestyle and Godly man and womanhood. They have items for both boys and girls.
      I told my son a story about a young man in my youth group at church when I was a teen. He was attractive and nice, and all the girls had crushes on him. He was a godly young man however, and refused to be led astray. Because we all knew that he wouldn’t even kiss a girl unless he was serious about her, we all respected him and we all wanted to be chosen as his girlfriend. Because his kisses were rare, they were special. My son took this to heart as a young teen, and followed the example of the young man in my story. He has now become engaged to a lovely Christian girl, and they are waiting to move in together until they are married. I am in awe of the man he has become. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a losing battle because it is still possible to overcome the world through Christ.

  14. 15

    Rob says

    It’s not just mothers who need to be outraged about this kind of thing, it is also fathers who must take a stand.
    I think you hit upon the root of the issue with the breakdown of the family.
    We, as a society, allow our children to be raised by minimum wage, understaffed daycare centers rather than staying home with them and teaching them the correct way to live and treat others.
    I will quickly rescue myself from the pending onslaught of sexist accusations by saying that I do not specify which parent should stay home and raise the children, just that at least one should take responsibility for doing so. Having been raised (raised myself) as a “latch key” child and choosing later to actually raise my own children, I can tell you from first hand experience that it makes a great positive difference.
    We should consider jettisoning our need for bigger houses, newer cars, and keeping up with the neighbors in favor of actually raising our kids.
    Some will say that they can’t afford to do that. To them I simply reply, “Bull.” Lower your standard of living and raise your children….or choose not to have them. It’s time for some personal responsibility.

    • 15.1

      Gina says

      Rob, I totally agree with you for the most part I will only say that there are a few select situations where a single parent (not being their original plan) do have to work but if this was the exception not the rule there would be more likely another great mom or grandparent or dare I say this in our generation a paid domestic helper at home available to fill the gap. Our kids are tripping through life trying to figure it out unfortunately so are most of their parents.
      If mom’s and dad’s had a better grip on being husband and wife and were displaying that before their children there would be a greater potential for kids to see what that looks like. I will be attacked for saying this but dad’s need to worry less about taking their daughters on dates insteed of showing them his deep love and protection and provision for his wife. A cared for wife can take care of her children. But a boy does need a strong Godly example to train him up in his teen years.

  15. 16

    says

    Even my 5 year old always asks if she looks pretty . I hate that it matters to her why not ask if she is funny or smart but nope its always looks

  16. 17

    Michelle says

    I am 24 years old. To this day, the shorty shorts and padded bikinis and underwear with sayings on them disgust me. I often wonder – aloud- why such things are made and sold. “What is this world coming to?… I don’t want to know how much more skimpy clothes will be by the time I have girls of my own!… My children will never… I just want to be CLOTHED… How bout let’s not be a stumbling block to the guys around us who are striving to be godly men” (just some of my out loud musings) By the grace of God, I was blessed with parents who told me all seven of the things you listed my ENTIRE life. Sure, I’ve had my share of body image struggles. But my worth is not found in my looks. Thank you for posting this. May every mother and father read and implement this! Teaching these to as many young girls as possible will make them the epitome of the popular saying “be the change you want to see in the world” .

  17. 18

    says

    This post is much appreciated. I agree with you 100%. I noticed a decline in modest and appropriate clothing for my daughter when she was four. She’s almost 15 and going to the mall is torture.

    I wanted to share with you that my ministry the Whatever Girls just launched a campaign on Monday called “Our Daughters Deserve Better”. I’m a fed up mom and am taking a stand against all this. Would love to have you join us. Here is the link to my article about the campaign: http://thewhatevergirls.com/2013/03/18/our-daughters-deserve-better-campaign/

    Thank you for sharing your heart and for speaking out for all of our girls.

    Erin Bishop

  18. 19

    crys says

    while I dont agree with the targeted design toward younger girls, boycotting an entire brand the size of VS is not usually effective…but as a customer you have a voice too. Sometimes even stronger. I was reading a while back…geez I cant remember where…but about as a customer beginning to ask those eye-opening questions of the staff- like “why are you making sexy lingerie for girls” or “what is call me on the panties suppose to mean to an 11 year old”…then asking the management, and over time posting on the site or writing letters, making phone calls to the company. As a customer your voice is more valuable to them…especially if its something they begin to hear a lot. Its become such a large problem that to stop shopping somewhere isnt even touching the surface…most of us cant stop shopping everywhere that encourages trafficking and slavery….if we go to walmart or their brands then we have hundreds of slaves working for us in sweatshops overseas. Its such a huge problem … I have been wondering how we can mobilize and target our individual efforts into a larger opportunity for change. The sexy dress issue is not only a result of not being taught self value or our value in the Lord…but it’s also the result of the larger slavery and devaluing of people issue…what are some other thoughts on how to bring effective change?

  19. 20

    Michelle says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your blog and I can sooooo relate to you on every aspect ;) God bless~

  20. 21

    Cara says

    Amen! It makes me so sad how we start devaluing our girls when they are still infants. I hate to see the onesies and sleepers that say things like “Pretty like mommy” or “Too hot to handle” or “single and loving it.” Not to mention the multitude of “daddy’s little princess” etc gear. I want my daughter to know that she is loved unconditionally by me, her father, her grandparents, and her God. I want her to know that she is strong and brave and not less than anyone else. It can be hard job, and she’s still a toddler!

    You should check out the documentary Miss Representation, about the way women and girls are portrayed in the media. You can check online for screenings. It really changed the way I see media, and has made me MUCH more stingy with TV time for my daughter.

  21. 22

    says

    I think you would really like BYOU “Be Your Own You” Magazine for tween/teen girls that is focused on positive self-esteem, inner-beauty, anti-bullying and online safety. We would be happy to send a complimentary issue if you would like to check it out and do a review for your followers. We also have a line of clothing apparel that emphasizes positive, empowering messages. :-)

  22. 23

    Rachel says

    Agreed!!! I have two girls, ages (almost)7 and 5. The clothing is already outrageous. On a related thread, we were in our library yesterday and my 5 yo picked up a few books from the “young adult” section because she liked the pictures on the front (girls in pretty dresses). She likes to flop on the big chairs and pretend she is reading, but we never take them home. This time, I looked at the inside of the books she chose – they were horrendous. The reading level on them was between 4th and 6th grade (roughly ages 9-11?) and the books were cover to cover sex, how stupid parents are, how stupid rules are, and loving dangerous bad boys that mom and dad disapprove of. It was the sex and the attitude that were so shocking.

    Your rules for what we need to teach our girls are so, so true. Their value needs to come from their MAKER and not their looks, their clothing …etc. Thanks for the great post :)

    • 23.1

      ashncarson says

      I have noticed that in the young adult section at Walmart, all the covers are those dark vampire type stories and it makes me sad for my daughter, who at 10, loves to read! I just hope she can continue to find great books, even if we can’t buy them new because of that reason!

  23. 24

    says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. So many great things you said here and so much a desire to see mother’s empowered in raising their daughters with these in mind.

    Megan

  24. 25

    says

    Oh Kristen
    How I hurt for our daughters. They’re bombarded with lies and mis-truths at every corner.
    This is such a fantastic post. I couldn’t agree more!
    While my own girls are now 18 & 20 the blech that’s offered to them as acceptable is disgusting!

    I’ll never stop praying, leading, loving and trusting God for my kids!

  25. 27

    says

    A to the M.E.N! My girls are only 16 months but this entire industry is so sexually and self focused it frightens us. Leading our children in the image of Christ is the answer but it doesn’t take away from all the influences at school, stores, and even church.

    We have to teach our children that there is trendy modesty in their clothing choices!

  26. 28

    Patricia says

    Mothers who are insecure about aging must stop living vicariously through their young daughters. But, to do this, women must stand up to society that says that youth is the pinnacle of life. It’s not. It’s only the beginning.
    As for “hating” young girls, I don’t think it’s too harsh, but I would adjust the wording. To hate someone means to recognize that they exist. I don’t thing that young girls are recognized as human beings. Otherwise, Victoria’s Secret would not be referring to children as bright young “things”. Things? Never. This is where we must begin to change.

    • 28.1

      Robyn says

      THANK YOU! My daughter is 21 now, and I have noticed all through her childhood that more moms have been looks-obsessed than the girls. Whatever may be offered to them on TV or at a retailer, would they really be so anxious about it if we moms weren’t so concerned with being young and hot? They learn from us.

  27. 29

    Emily W. says

    I even tell my high school journalism students these things. I’ve learned about 5 more to use in my encouragement and support of these fine young ladies. You are certainly right that I should not wait to start telling my two elementary age girls these things!

    THANK YOU for this insightful post.

  28. 30

    says

    I have a 6-year-old daughter. *Shudder!*

    One thing you didn’t mention as a factor is music. Most of the music that young people listen today is sexually explicit, and I’m not talking about the words. The music itself shuts down blood flow to the frontal lobe (where the Holy Spirit speaks to us through our conscience), and increases blood flow to the emtional centers of the brain, as well as stimulating sex organs and other things. The secular music industry knows this without question. For a really in-depth look at the issue, I would recommend The Distraction Dilemma available from Shepherd’s Call ministries.

  29. 31

    Fran Clites says

    These times that we live in today makes me very afraid and sad for all of my grandchildren. I have three (soon to be 4) granddaughters and I could almost cry when I think about their futures. I also have 3 grandsons and I pray that they are being raised to respect women. It’s a truly scary world out there now.
    With the media being saturated with “sexy” it has to be incredibly difficult to raise your children with a high moral standard.
    I too will never shop at Victoria’s secret again. I just don’t understand who would buy this type of TRASH for their daughter anyway.

  30. 32

    says

    Thanks so much for sharing this post. I’m 26, recently married and hoping to have children in the near future. It scares me to think about if it’s this bad for girls now what will it be like when I have children who are in there tween/teen years? Growing up my mother always made sure I dressed modestly and I was never allowed to have the short shorts. We argued about it sure, but I knew she was right, even if I didn’t want her to be. Now, I’m thankful that she put up with my pouting and whining:) I hope when the time comes I have the strength to stand strong and encourage the beauty within my daughters. Thankfully, my husband and I are very much on the same page when it comes to this topic so I’m hoping that will help. Great blog!

  31. 33

    Cathy says

    My 18 year old daughter shops in the men’s section to find shorts that are appropriate and Tshirts that are long enough to go past the tops of her jeans. Swimsuits are a real challenge. She works at a camp in the summers and swimsuits are a necessity for lake activities. We have gone the board shorts and UV resistant shirts or the competitive suit route. This doesn’t work for my 11 year old since she is shaped differently. Very frustrating.

    I also work at a 3rd and 4th grade school and am shocked almost daily at what parents let their children, girls AND boys, wear to school.

  32. 34

    Sarah says

    I think that my wonderful Godly husband is the one of the biggest keys for my daughter and her purity. He is so loving to her. A relationship with Jesus is number one….and knowing His truth from His word, but a good daddy surely must be number 2!!!!

  33. 35

    says

    This was a WONDERFUL post! I have 4 daughters and one son with another little one on the way. Our daughters need to know the truth of their identity in Christ (and so do our sons)! Thank you for writing this. I will be sharing it!

  34. 37

    Stephanie Moody says

    Thank you so much for this post! It is excellent! I am also raising two girls and I am so concerned about the lies Satan is or will be telling them. I appreciate the time you took to put your thoughts into words. It is a great encouragement to me! God bless!

  35. 38

    Gale Perkins says

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing it. I am tired of seeing immodest clothes for my 11-year old. I can’t believe it takes lots of looking to find bras for girls that are not padded! Really! But you are right, her value comes from the fact that she is a child of God. I hope she will always remember that. I tell her never to let people make her feel worthless or bad about herself. Her Father is a King, so she is a Princess, and she should act and be treated as one!

  36. 39

    Amanda says

    I got teary when I read this (and by the way, I liked your post on boys and growing up too quickly a few weeks ago). I have a nearly 11 year old, who is very smart and self-confident. She is one of those children who was born 30, if you know what I mean. My husband and I have really talked about how important it is for her to stay a little girl as long as possible. I already have problems finding clothing (shorts in particular) for her that I don’t feel is too grown up, and she just wears a 10, so we are still firmly in the children’s department. I also agree with the you don’t need a guy sentiment. I spent much of my college/early 20s as one of my only friends not married or engaged. I am glad now that I did, but it was hard back then to be “without a guy”. I forwarded this to my husband – I think it is an excellent read.

  37. 40

    says

    You inspired me to offer to mentor my little cousin, whose dad is recently divorced, and who just entered puberty. I’ve been concerned about her for awhile, but your post helped me to see that I CAN make a difference and speak truth into her life. (I’m the mom of 2 little boys, but I also have such a heart for raising godly girls!)

  38. 41

    Shirley Caudill says

    I would not and did NOT teach my girls that the world HATES them. I taught them that the whole world is not interested in being Christian, thus they are more interested in making money and have no interest in what the Bible tells them about modesty. I taught them that vanity and the pride of life is a sin and is not in God’s plan.

  39. 42

    Kenlyn says

    How interesting that I should see this article now. My almost 11 yr old daughter is built like a 17 yr old and wears a size Adult Medium and is 5’4. We have been trying to find her “panties” and a camisole/tank that covers with extra padding so that she can “fit in” since the boys are already starting to take notice and say things to her and about her. I dread the years to come.
    In my past life I had a pajama and boutique company. I think it’s about time, with the help of my daughter, that we start a undergarment company that will combat Victoria’s Secret’s disgusting pre-teen line.

    • 42.1

      Tonia says

      You just discribed my oldest daughter too. We have a really hard time finding things for her that fit right, and let her look like the 11 year old she is. When shopping for swimsuits this year we had to go to the ladies dept. We found some modest suit’s for her, but she looks like an adult. This is a problem I didn’t have growing up, so in some ways I don’t feel like I know how to deal with it. Thank goodness I have some basic sewing skill’s so I can make a lot of what she needs. Swimsuits are beyond my skill level though.

      • 42.1.1

        says

        You can find modest swimsuits at most stores that sell competition suits. The Speedos they sell in department stores are not the same quality. In addition to the competition suits, the swim stores usually have some nice one piece suits with good coverage and thick enough material to be modest. I agree that sewing is the best route. I used to tell my daughters that the things I made them weren’t “homemade” but “custon designed.” My oldest was worried about an important formal event at her college because so many of the girls at her school could afford fancy designer dresses and she knew that a formal from someplace we could afford wouldn’t compare. She asked me to make her dress, which I did. When she told her friends that I had made it and it was one of a kind, the girls in the designer dresses were jealous of her! One of them even wanted to know if I would make her wedding dress!

  40. 43

    Jessica D says

    I completely understand where you are coming from w/r/t marketing sex to young girls, but where did you get the info that bright young things was marketed to the tween early teen crowd? The only legitimate, actual advertisements I’ve seen for it, are as a campaign marketing the VS pink brand which is marketed to college age girls. IE I have not seen bright young things as a separate brand, only as an part of VS pink, and while I think we should raise women of character I think if a self realized college age lady wants to wear cheeky underpants who are we to say no? If tweens are wearing these things it’s because they have weak parents who don’t know how to say no.

    • 43.1

      says

      Being a Grandmother and a Great Grandmother who shops at VS for myself and wedding bridal showers, I WILL NO LONGER BUY FROM VICTORIA’S SECRET! Not one dime of my $ will go to promoting this is our young ladies! Thank you for this article!

    • 43.2

      Gina says

      “Self-realized college age lady” who wears underwear that says “Call Me”? You think that’s really okay? I can guarantee you that if my “self-realized college aged” daughter wears “Call Me” or “Feeling Lucky” underwear or pants with “Juicy” emblazoned across her rear-end, she will no longer be self-realized. Or in college. She’ll be sitting her juicy,feeling lucky bottom-end at home. I am her parent. Her father is her parent. And until such time as WE are not the ones responsible for her then that is EXACTLY who we are to say no. *And* until such time as she is married, her father and I ARE the ones responsible for her, especially spiritually.

      No decent, “self-realized, college-aged lady” I know would be caught dead in such underwear.

      • 43.2.1

        Jessica D says

        I think you are missing the point, I have seen no such evidence that this line is marketed to people younger than the 17 to 25 demographic that they’ve always intended. Especially as bright young thing is a term that dates to the 20′s and flappers and not to preteens. Furthermore I was referring to self realized in the sense of self supporting or independent of their parents. I put myself through college and have been on my own financially since I was 18, and if I so chose to purchase underwear with text on it then it’s no one else’s business. Beyond that if you feel that as little as five characters of text can change the attitude and values that you have instilled personally in your child, either you have no faith in the child or yourself. Period. Like I said marketing something like to young impressionable tween and young teens can be problematic, I just don’t see where it IS marketed to that group. (please note these products come in the VS pink sizing, so no special sizing for kids etc and there are no commercials that air during kids programming or any programming as far as I can tell, beyond that if someone else’s sexuality and/or body image bothers you, then I’m sorry that you’re going to have a very hard time in life)

        • 43.2.1.1

          Lindsay says

          I understand your point. But even without the Pink line, I still see VS as a company that encourages the objectification of women. Their advertisements, especially the black & white photos in the hallway of the mall, are in-your-face sex. Men & boys can easily get those stuck in their heads to fantasize over. Girls & women can easily take them to heart as “this is what I SHOULD look like, because that’s what will give me value.”

      • 43.2.2

        windsor says

        Expressing to your daughter that she will never be an adult until she is married devalues women more than sexy ads do. It sees women as the property of their patents until they are the property of their husbands. Talk about objectification.

        • 43.2.2.2

          Whitney says

          Exactly! We have to teach our girls to be strong minded individuals who value themselves and are capable of making solid/rational decisions. We must start having realistic expectations from them. We have to allow them to talk honestly and openly about ANY and ALL topics with us so that they get the tools to make said solid decisions. Then, when they move to college, we will be able to trust that the values and tools we have given them will guide them in the right direction without us trying to hold their hand until marriage. Along those same lines, those girls will also be more likely to come to you for advice when some of the harder decisions arise….wouldn’t that feel much more rewarding as a parent than feeling like you have to “put them in their place” when they’re legally an adult?

        • 43.2.2.3

          says

          I sooooo agree with this. My college roommate HATED going home and being with her parents because they treated her like a child, and tried to control her. My parents had it right – they allowed me the freedom to fall when I made bad decisions, and when I was ready to clean up my life, they were right there for me.

          I will never, ever, try to control my girls when they are in COLLEGE, for crying out loud. Especially not for something so minor as their choice of dress or underwear. If I haven’t taught them what they needed to know by then, than I have failed and no amount of trying to grasp control of them will fix it.

          • 43.2.2.3.1

            says

            Oh and forgot to mention – out of the two of us, I was the one who would still call up my mom and ask her for advice, even though I knew she didn’t approve of some of the things I did. Now, I’m a mom of my own and my mom is my best friend. My college roommate? She just snuck around, told her parents what they wanted to hear, dressed conservatively around them, and now she’s a mom of her own and has a very distant relationship with her parents.

      • 43.2.3

        Marisa says

        Are you kidding? You are responsible for your daughter until she is married?!? How about letting your adult (college-age) daughter be responsible for herself? Your job is to RAISE her… not to control her forever. Furthermore, everything about your comment implies that you think your daughter is your property, and will remain your property until she becomes someone else’s property, namely, her husband’s. Guess what? She isn’t, and if she has any brains in her head, my guess is you’re going to learn that the hard way. Treating women and little girls like sexual objects is bad- but treating them like property in general just might be worse.

      • 43.2.4

        Leah says

        This is ridiculous. If you really think that you are going to be able to keep you college aged child home about what type of underwear she want you are kidding yourself. Teach your child that it doesn’t matter what her underwear looks like, it is for her and her husband to see and that is it. Undergarments can give confidence and I think that is perfectly fine. The thing is for people to know who should be seeing that underwear.

        • 43.2.4.1

          says

          I just wanted to put my two cents in about the topic of the underwear with “call me” or “feeling lucky” printed on them. How can a Christian woman, of any age, who isn’t married and, according to Scripture, has no right to have a sexual relationship with anyone be comfortable wearing such things? I know some women think those are just words that no one else will see, but that action really speaks volumes about one’s attitude about pre-marital, sexual relations. It says, “I’m available for sex.” The words we say or wear, tell much about our heart. Matthew 12:34

      • 43.2.5

        ana says

        Exactly the type of daughter that will run with the first man that offers to take her away, even if in the form of marriage, just to taste a bit of freedom. A parent that has to control and can not trust that their adult child will make the right decisions after all of the guidance and teaching from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood is expressing they don’t have confidence that they did the right thing in raising their child. Guide. Lead. Teach. By being the person, and being happy being that person, you want your daughter to be.

  41. 44

    Jeannie Hignell says

    My joy in life was the privilege of raising five daughters. My biggest thing was telling them they could achieve whatever they wanted. They knew they were loved, knew they were valuable, and knew that they could achieve great things through their wonderful minds, the God and family who loved them, and hard work! Today one is a doctor, one is a dental hygienist, one is in nursing school, one has a master’s in psychology, and one excels as a saleswoman in a man’s world. They are all mothers except the youngest and all wives except the oldest. They are making the world a better place, not because I was a great mother and their dad was a great dad, but because they believe they can!! We are creating a generation of kids who think they deserve things because they exist … but it is our responsibility, as parents, to instill confidence, which comes through hard knocks, failures, successes, learning to handle strife and difficulties, and learning that the world doesn’t owe you a living. We build confidence in our children by allowing them to succeed and fail!!

  42. 45

    LB says

    Thank you so much for this. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know about the VS thing. Good grief. I am a grandmother of eight, and have watched my daughter raise a beautiful, inside and out, girl to the age of nearly 18. It IS possible to accomplish raising godly children. Anyway, I thank you for the heads up on VS. I need to research this further. I am so disappointed because I like their products. I may have to abandon the brand though — but not before letting them know how I feel. Thanks again.

  43. 46

    Vanessa says

    I agree w you on this.. It really hits home now because I have
    A daughter and I will do my best to teach her how important
    Modesty is.. Not because of a religion but more important because the
    Way society is.. So very important

  44. 47

    says

    Almost, but not quite. My daughter is still a baby, but I’m hoping to teach her that she’s not defined by her sexuality — at all. She’s more than her shorts or her bathing suit or whether she has sex before she gets married.

    By wringing your hands over this business, you’re just perpetuating the idea that women are defined by what their appearance above all else.

    Can you imagine if we obsessed this way over the way boys grew up?

  45. 48

    Carole-Marie says

    I would like to start off by saying that I agree with many things that were stated in this article. I am 22 years old and as an Advertising and Public Relations student, I know all too well that sex sells. The clothing for girls is getting more and more immodest and I was shocked to see how many girls I saw during a recent trip to Disney that were wearing clothing that was overly sexual. I told my mom on numerous occasions that if I have a daughter, she will not be wearing clothing like that.

    On the other hand as a still young adult with memories of middle school and high school still fairly close at hand, I remember the draw of panties and bras that are colorful, lacy, and filled with silly things and sayings. These items are not bad. I have a rather impressive collection of lacy colorful things of all shapes and sizes that bring me joy. I love it when they match. I have a pushup bra that I certainly don’t need…but I dress modestly to go with these things. I don’t buy them to show them off to men. Stores like Victoria Secret sell a product and while a person may not agree with their advertising methods, it does not make their products evil or wrong. The lesson should not be to wear plain unmentionables, but on what appropriate actions while wearing them are. Ladies, keep your bits covered.

  46. 49

    Nichole says

    I’ll be honest… I find it easier to raise my daughter with these beliefs than to shield my 17 yr old son from it. He is bombarded daily with sexually aggressive girls by what they wear and how they speak. We can’t believe some of the things he tells us goes on around him. It’s a scary world out there.

  47. 50

    Whitney says

    Interesting points. I certainly agree that children’s clothing seems to use less and less fabric lately. I am 27 and have always been a modest dresser. While I’m a Christian, I don’t think I could honestly say that the only reason I have chosen to dress that way is because of my faith…..should be, but I would be lying if I said it was. From about 11-high school and even into college, I struggled with self image issues. I developed breasts at a much younger age than other girls so I think I made a negative correlation with wearing anything revealing because I always felt like it was something that made me different and “weird”. I think it’s also important to not only discuss what to tell your daughters, but what to SHOW them. My mother was/is a wonderful, supportive, loving Mom. She told me I was beautiful, could achieve anything, et…. That said, I remember watching her try every diet on the market. I remember watching her mix up Slim Fast powder in the kitchen while we ate lunch….all the while, weighing probably 130lbs. So, despite her encouraging words, I grew up believing dieting and struggling to accept your appearance was just something women did. I would hear her discussing with her friends whether or not their hair was perfect, if their outfits made them look fat, etc. I picked up on this dance women do where they take turns cutting themselves down. Obviously, I wasn’t the only girl to pick up on this because my friends and I began doing the same thing by middle school age. I think it’s important to stop victimizing our gender by saying “society” devalues us and instead start empowering this generation of girls by being the women we want them to become. “Society” cannot do anything that we do not allow it to do.

  48. 51

    says

    I actually am raising two little boys and am always wondering/praying about how to train them to be nice young gentlemen. That is my biggest fear as a parent is raising them to be moral-less people. That being said, as I was reading your 7 things to say to a daughter, I think most, if not all of them are things I would find appropriate to say to my sons. Thank you for sharing this!

    • 51.1

      Lindsay says

      That’s what I was going to say -
      We need to also tell our boys these things about girls!

  49. 52

    Amy says

    Thank you for this! It is a never ending battle trying to find modest clothing not to mention battling the clothes their father’s wife picks out for him to buy them….seriously is it just me but I REALLY don’t think thongs are appropriate for young teen girls.

  50. 54

    Courtney says

    This may sound EXTREME, but let me just tell you how LIBERATING it is concerning my choice of swimwear for myself & my 4 daughters. We go to a thrift store to find a good tank top and shirt to wear over it, plus some ” quick drying” water friendly Capri ‘s or longer shorts or skirt. With the right fabric(like sportswear items), things don’t CLING to your body and NOONE has to feel self conscious about anything, but just having fun SWIMMING! Another option is wearing a light sundress or shirt/skirt OVER your swimsuit . You may get odd looks from people, but it’s actually fun to go searching Goodwill for a fun “swim outfit”, not to mention the monetary savings of buying a new EXPENSIVE suit!

    • 54.1

      Jane says

      That IS extreme. Do you also wear a Burka and a veil? Do you think a woman in a swimsuit is a provocation for men? Do you think women should cover up and be locked away from view to be safe and modest? Does that apply to boys as well, or only to girls as they are responsible for all the world’s sins? A wonderful, empowering message you’re giving your daughters. A great self-image to grow up to.
      Do you know it’s unhealthy to have SO MUCH wet clothing on your stomach (same for people who buy one-piece swimsuits for their kids – mine went naked until they were 2 and then wore bottoms only until they were preteen. They’re kids. If you think there’s something sexual in a kid in bottoms you need to have yourself admitted somewhere.)

      • 54.1.1

        AES says

        What in the world? Jane, why did you launch an attack on this poor woman’s comment? Your reply barely has anything to do with her original comment. The reason Courtney gave for her swimming outfit was to not feel self conscious! She never said anything about being a provocation. Your argument is a straw man. YOUR reaction was extreme.
        And so much wet clothing on your stomach being unhealthy? What is your source for that? I have never heard of that. And you sound very defensive about putting your kids only in bottoms– I can imagine that you may have gotten flack about it before, but no one here has said anything about it.

  51. 55

    windsor says

    The conclusion of things we should tell daughters is lovely, but the nostalgic glorification of some good old days before women were objectified and when gender roles were clear is pretty disturbing. What is a “real lady” exactly? And child molestation and all forms of rape are about power more than sex. And why call the women in the porn industry “somebody’s daughters” as if they are forever children being taken advantage of? Objectification of women *is* a problem, but patriarchal values underlie it. You cant prop those up and then blame Victoria’s Secret. Kids can survive pop culture fine if they know their worth from home. Which is why her conclusions at least are cool.

  52. 56

    Rene Frye says

    I loved your article. While I do not have any girls of my own, I am bothered by what it for sell in the stores. My husband and I were at the mall this past summer on a Saturday and he very casually told me ” This must be short, shorts Saturday” because every where we turned there was a young lady or girl in very, very short shorts with very little on the top also. It is like they can’t wait to strip naked. Everyone must be on guard for their daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I am amazed that mothers let their daughters wear the things they do.

  53. 57

    says

    Thank you for sharing this. I grew up dressing beyond modest, to say the least. However, I also grew up feeling I had no value, was not remotely beautiful and without any clue of having worth as a girl or woman. It’s important to me to instill in my daughter a sense of confidence, security in the love & pride of her parents, and that she is beautiful from the inside out. I want to teach my son the same things, basically, but he’s still a baby and this was about girls. :)

  54. 58

    aSprinkling says

    I haven’t read all the comment here, but I did want to weigh in onVS thing. I stopped shopping there a long time ago because of their sexualization of everything. I don’t have a problem with women wanting to wear pretty things. However, the images splashed everywhere by VS has pushed the limits for years. Even my young son questions why malls have to have these sorts of pictures. It’s not just an issue for our girls but also temptation for our boys. And let’s not forget the tv commercials and “fashion show”. VS is just not a place for my money.

  55. 59

    Joni says

    I very much agree with this, and also would like to add that I will not shop at Victoria’s Secret not just because of what they are demonstrating to my daughter, but also because it sickens me that as I walk down the mall hallways, my 6 year old and 4 year old sons see GIANT pictures of mostly nude women on the walls. HUGE pictures. Thankfully, my boys know to look immediately away from any pictures or people that are not dressed modestly. But, unfortunately they 1st see it to know that they must look away. I also dislike standing in the check out aisle at the grocery store, because of all of the horribly dressed women on the magazines right at my son’s level of view. They turn away from that too. My daughter is not quite 3, but I have already noticed at Target that the majority of their clothes for school age girls will not be worn by my daughter.

  56. 60

    Emily says

    This is an excellent article! As a mom with a now 7 year old it is hard to find clothes that don’t show off her body. She’s seven, she doesn’t need to show anything but her smile with missing teeth! As a high school teacher science I share these same things with my students. All of our girls need to hear that they are valued beyond their looks and that they need to treasure themselves!

  57. 61

    Gregg says

    I agree with a LOT of the points in your article, have issue with a couple of them.
    First, girls clothes. We live in SoCal so like you, most days are short weather. It’s to the point where our 16 year old daughter won’t wear shorts because she doesn’t feel comfortable in the short-shorts and you can hardly find any others. So I agree there.
    I disagree with your point about Pornography being mentioned in the same section as sex trafficking, prostitution, gendercide and rape. It’s simply not the same thing. You may think that’s just me speaking as a guy and not a Dad, and you are likely right. Would I like my daughter to go into porn, absolutely not. But unless there are statistics that most girls are being forced into the industry or forced into making amateur videos then the point isn’t valid.
    As far as girls getting their self worth from guys, TV, Movies, Books, etc … it is absolutely up to us as parents to control what information our children are getting. My daughter loves many of the TV shows and movies that I do. Doctor Who, Avengers, Star Wars, Star Trek, Sherlock, etc. Many of these shows and movies have very positive portrayals of women in prominent important roles. While I do think that some things go too far, there are positives out there as well.
    Lastly, I agree with your 7 points and wish you would have just had the introductory paragraph and then gone into your list. Would have had more of an impact that way.

    Overall a very good article.

    • 61.1

      Melissa says

      Gregg:

      Check out iamatreasure.com to get a real understanding of the damage the porn industry has on women.

  58. 62

    says

    I enjoyed reading this as a 20somthing who looks forward to one day hopefully parenting. Son’s or daughters. Boys can benefit from being taught to value girls also.
    I also thought I’d mention that Bath & Body Works is owned by the same company as Victoria Secret.

    I recently started a daily outfit type blog and work pretty intentionally to dress modestly daily because I spend a lot of time with high school girls from a local high school, and I know they look at me as an example.

    patternedlove.blogspot.com

  59. 63

    says

    If I screamed “Amen” any louder, the neighbors might complain. Thank you for speaking out on this hushed issue. I’m planning to share a link to this on my blog.

  60. 64

    Ashley says

    Thank you for writing this! I have two boys are I pray EVERY SINGLE DAY that someone out there is raising their daughters to be young ladies, because I am certainly raising my sons to be respectful young men. My oldest son is in elementary school and I see 4th and 5th grade girls wearing heavy eye make up, short shorts, and short tops and I think to myself…this is what my son will have to deal with in just a few years. Wishing more parents felt the way you do! Thanks!

  61. 66

    Torie says

    Thank you for standing for truth. Your honesty and courage are refreshing. May God Bless you and your family!

  62. 67

    says

    Such a great post, Kristen! I grew up an introverted, very modest tomboy and dressed accordingly. Now I refer to myself as an “LL Bean Mom” and continue to dress in a very conservative manner.

    The Lord had a sense of humor by giving me the only daughter in our entire family. She is 11 and we talk all the time about appropriate choices in clothing. Living in a university town sure makes the conversations easy and almost daily. I do not force my overly conservative clothing choices on her and she likes a little more flair than dear old Mom and that’s fine by me. Right now, she makes good choices in her clothing, although it is sometimes quite difficult to find age appropriate clothing. My husband and I joke about giving her the Lands End catalog for all wardrobe choices.

    It certainly isn’t easy raising a daughter in today’s society, but with God’s help I pray she will become a wonderful godly young woman!

  63. 68

    Felicia says

    Don’t forget the NFL and NBA cheerleaders and sexy commercials.
    In America certain types of sexiness is accepted such as these even by Christians, along with cheerleading in junior high and high school and pee wee. The skirts and dances are sexy yet sought after for many daughters and mothers of these daughters want these activities. If Christians are really serious shouldn’t we look at these areas.

  64. 69

    Krysti says

    I’m slightly disturbed about your point for a positive father figure. You sound like you have a whole family. I did not. While I agree that women should not think men complete them, they should not concentrate on having a father figure or a Dad. It’s impossible. All the men in my life have left my family broken in some way with the exception of two or three. And those men are not emotionally available to be that father figure. I say that as a young single woman in graduate school, 2200 miles from everyone I know. While here, I have come across every type of man imaginable, and I realize that if I had not realized that, despite the hole in my heart because I never had that daddy or father figure, I have no need for men in my life to fulfill anything, I would be in a different place. I have realized that I’m in control of my life, my choices, my actions. No one else is. Not even God. That’s why he gave us free will.

    I’m also disturbed that you would substitute God as a father figure as well. This emotional badgering for girls to cling on to a patriarchal construction of a being that is, literally, defined as having no gender, is wrong and misleading. Train women to accept they are responsible for their own choices and let them go. It’s all you can do. You cannot protect them from pain or the fact that everything is temporary. You can only look them in the face and say, “I want this for you, but it’s only up to you to live your own life.”

    • 69.1

      says

      There is a reason God is the Father, son, and holy spirit. You said you have a hole in your heart because of the lack of a father, and God is the only thing that should fill that hole. Just because God(“defined as having no gender”) can fill the hole left by a father, doesn’t mean we are misleading girls. My mother was a drug addict who was emotionally abusive, or emotionally absent, and God has filled that hole in me. He also fills the hole left by my father, who removed himself from the situation. I have to disagree with you. The point isn’t that God is some male figure women should feel dominated by. The point is that this world leaves a lot of holes, a lot of scars, and a lot of pain on our spiritual bodies, and God is the only one who can fill the holes, remove the scars and soothe our wounds. If, and only if, we raise our daughters up to follow God, will they find a fulfilling life. Drop the feminist agenda and humble yourself. You said it yourself that the lack of a male figure left you with a hole. That proves that there is good in a positive male figure.

  65. 70

    says

    As a mom of two baby girls, this was a great perspective check for me. I definitely want to incorporate these principles into the road map for raising our girls. I have Proverbs 31:30 in our house for all the girls (including myself) to see. It’s really all that matters. Thanks again for sharing!!

  66. 71

    Leslie says

    I agree with all of what you have said here — but have this to add: Moms should be modeling that they value THEMSELVES (and why) so that their daughters learn from example what that looks like. I am a very confident woman — I don’t wear makeup, I don’t color my hair, etc (not that I think there is anything wrong with doing so) and my girls have never heard me say anything negative about myself or my body. I love who God has created me to be — and it’s Him who has given me that confidence. Moms who are constantly dieting, obsessing over calories, or talking down their bodies are going to – by example – create those same tendencies in their daughters.

  67. 72

    Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing this and writing this!
    I 100% agree with you!
    We live in texas too and I havea 2nd grade and she is tall too.
    She does not liek the short shorts never had so Im thankful for that and I have to be careful with the dresses and skirts too! They keep getting shorter and shorte too! It is really a shame about all the clothes they have out there even for a 2nd grader. I pray that these young girls will find Jesus at a young life so they don’t get sucked into how this world is dressing and encouraging young gitls to live today!
    thanks again for sharing this!!
    Blessings
    Michelle

  68. 74

    abigail says

    I totally get this post. But I have only one daughter and four young boys. I will tell you now, that we teach our daughter what God expects of her. The importance of modesty not only for her but for others around. We teach her how important her role as a girl is. she is made to Glorify God, Her body is precious and one day it will belong to her husband God willing. But us moms with boys have to teach them as well, to be kind to girls, to respect them. to act like the men God expects them to be. That a womans body is not his to look at, unless it is his wife. We need to be teaching them too. I know my husband and I are.

  69. 75

    abigail says

    Oh and because i read part of a previous post, i just want to say that God is clearafied as a male. he is refered to all through out the bible as a HE, Father, King and so on.

  70. 76

    says

    “her worth is not found in her appearance, the opinions of others or herself. She is beautiful because she was created in the image of God.”

    Thank you for this excellent post. As a Mom to a little girl & a youth pastor’s wife, my heart is extremely grieved to read of the results of sin happening around our country and the world. We are not on a playground – this is certainly a battlefield. And we are fighting for our purity as well as the purity of our daughters. Certainly prayer is our best weapon. For when man works, man works. But when man prays, God works. Oh, how desperately we need Him!

  71. 77

    says

    I don’t believe in god or jesus or whatever. I do, however, have a baby girl and I think about these things pretty often. When I look at her, I wonder if she knows just how loved she is exactly how she is. I think a point that you missed here is not something we can “tell our daughters” its what we can show them- through example. Most of us grew up watching mommy suck her stomach in in front of the mirror saying, “ugh… I need to lose 10 lbs”- we watched our aunts, sisters, moms, grandmothers never be satisfied with how they look and who they are. I think the best thing we can do for our daughters is to love ourselves exactly how we are and for who we are- we should lead by example. The kid who bullies on the playground learned it from someone ;) So did the girl who wants to grow up really fast… Victoria’s secret is going to try to sell things, young males are going to whistle & say inappropriate things- I wish I could but I know I cannot control large corporations or other people’s children – I can only equip her with how to handle these things and stay true to who she is. I’ve made a vow to look myself in mirror naked every day and smile and think about how amazing my body is. Every stretch mark, roll, hair, scar- it’s all me and my body is capable of amazing things (I gave birth for god’s sake!) just my two cents ;)

  72. 78

    says

    Being a godly parent is the most difficult task on the planet, unless you don’t care, then it is easy. I am thankful to read words from a parent who cares. I will share these wise words with whomever I can.
    Thank you. Godspeed and God bless.

  73. 79

    says

    I don’t have girls but, I am sharing this with everyone I know. We just talked about this today in my bible study and I will be sharing this with them as well. Wonderfully written. Kudos

  74. 80

    Gerri McHale says

    Honesty is hard. When you see your niece, granddaughter, girlfriend’s daughter in inappropriate, immodest clothing, please advise them, tell them in love and sweetness simply that the outfit is not appropriate for them, that they are far too important and precious to expose themselves to gwackers who only want a “cheap thrill” by staring at them with lustful eyes. They are way too special as their bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit.

  75. 81

    Deloris St. Clare says

    This is absolutely ridiculous. God is about as real as santa. The way you are raising your children is through force-feeding them religious lies. If only they had the opportunity to choose their own religious beliefs. Please, raise your children with love and acceptance… but don’t deprive your daughters of science-based education and truth.

    • 81.1

      Mother Mary says

      This.

      The problem is not young girls or over-sexualization. But this article is certainly part of the problem. And the comments? Well, aside from this singular one I’m replying to, the comments illustrate the ignorance.

      I am not, nor is my daughter, responsible for the lust of men. I would go on, but really why bother? Willful ignorance seems to be the prevailing theme, as does displaced anger and lack of general logical reasoning.

      • 81.1.1

        RSG says

        You do realize women are the gatekeepers to sex, right? For example – any woman can walk into a bar, announce she’s open for business, and there will be *someone* who takes her up on her offer, no matter how unattractive she might be. If any man – barring someone with Brad Pitt’s looks – tried that, they’d be laughed out of the place.

        With the exception of rape, women control when sex happens, end of story. So stating that women are not responsible for the lust of men is willfull ignorance at best.

      • 81.1.2

        ana says

        Thank you! I’m tired of the boo hoo-ing over men being sick perverts! Since Christians love to talk about the country being a Christian country THEY should accept the responsibility of the increase in child sex slavery.

        • 81.1.2.1

          says

          SOME Christians are like that :) Most of us have the common sense to understand that men are, in fact, able to control themselves. Truth be told, as a Christian I’ve been pretty disheartened by reading some of these comments. Girls are to be controlled by the parents until they get married? Music is inherently sinful because it cuts off the blood flow to the brain? It’s a woman’s responsibility to make sure no man lusts after her?

          It’s sad, and frustrating. Science and God are not mutually exclusive – I have never, ever heard any scientific concept that would lead me to believe God doesn’t exist, but I’ve read a lot of scientific evidence that confirms His existence, to me.

    • 81.2

      Cheyenne says

      God is as real as santa? Science-based truth? Scientists are, in my opinion, people who are totally ignoring the Bible and all it’s truth. I am a child, one who knows her own mind, and I see enough to know that I am NOT being force-fed anything! Clearly you are just as ignorant of God in all His mercy and truth as these so-called scientists, who desecrate the meaning of truth by attempting make a “how” or a “why” for everything God, in all his wisdom, has created.
      I am thankful for the article, and I just want to say, thanks for writing it.

  76. 82

    Shelly says

    Iam 35 and have never been married. My longest relationship was 7 yrs and I am very glad it ended 2 yrs ago. Girls my age have a tendency to either feel sorry for or think something is wrong with women who are not married yet. It is worse to get into a bad marriage just because you”need a man” than to keep searching for the right one. This may make me an old maid one day, but I have been lucky to gain a lot of confidence in myself through this whole matter. I remember much better choices in clothing when I was in high school. However ” daisy dukes” were very in then, and I recall a few of my friends being sent home from school for wearing them. I remember my friend’s mother throwing an R.Kelly cassette out of her car while they were riding down the road. Most of these problems aren’t new. 2 Live Crew was playing some raunchy lyrics in the late 80′s that I’m quite sure my parents didn’t know I heard. Some of these things that are happening are just a part of growing up. Your children are definitely going to have a chance to hear,see and participate in things you don’t agree with. Just do your best to preemptively help them make the right decisions when they are faced with these challenges.

  77. 83

    Marie says

    I recommend watching the documentary, Agenda Grinding America Down to get an idea why so many stores sell such immodest clothes for girls.

  78. 84

    Nikki says

    I so enjoy reading your blog! I agree with this post for the most part. In raising two young girls I struggle with teaching them breasts are normal creations by God to feed our children. So if they ever decide to breast-feed they will not feel that breasts are only a “sexual” body part. I have several friends who chose not to breast-feed because they felt ashamed to use a “sexual” part of their body to feed their baby. While we teach modesty we must also realize we are influencing our childrens (boys and girls) thoughts as to what parts of our bodies are deemed “sexual” parts.
    Thanks again for the great post!

  79. 85

    Nancy says

    I raised two children alone — without a father who abandoned. Hopefully, I did it in a way that pleased God. My parents gave me much support so my children (one boy and one girl) had a strong football coach grandfather for a male role model. Now, I have six granddaughters and three grand sons (I am remarried and six are step-grandchildren). It scares me for both my girls and my boys. But, with the ever encroaching religions and other cultures to the U.S. that torture, disfigure, and kill their girls (and potentially one day, ours), I am terrified for their futures. God made precious the helpmate he gave to man, and Jesus admonished men to love them like he loves his church. That is not the way most of the world sees girls (including our marketing idiots in the U.S. or Hollywood or the music industry). Prayer and education are the only ways to hopefully help them make good decisions and stay safe. Your article was well written and shared with my son and my daughter-in-law (who have most of my granddaughters).

  80. 86

    Leona says

    I am seeing that few that have commented have taken exception to #3.
    I am teaching my daughter that she does not need a guy to define herself.
    I see a lot of women and young girls that think that they need a man in their life and will latch on to anything that comes along.
    I want my daughter to be herself first, and that means learning how to be a woman that can make it on her own. I want her to go to college, and travel. And then when God does bring a loving man into her life, she will have something to contribute to a relationship other than just being a maid and bearing babies. I am not saying that’s how I describe all wives but if you really look around, you see a lot of what I am talking about. I see so many people that get married and 3 kids later divorced, and because the mother had little to no education, she has to depend upon her family or welfare. It’s a fact that men are more employable then women with children, so its better to teach our daughters that education and careers before marriage, will not only teach them self esteem but better prepare them for wherever life takes them.

  81. 88

    says

    My daughter and I just went through a great book called ‘Girl Talk’ by Carolyn Mahaney and one of her daughters. It was very refreshing considering all that is out there trying to pull our daughters away from all that God has created them to be.

  82. 89

    Lolly says

    I want to advertise the goodness of American Heritage Girls as an organization that teaches modesty and discernment in young girls. It’s an alternative path to Girl Scout age girls, and the funds don’t support pro-choice organizations. Also, the doll & clothing line, Girls ‘n Grace is an alternative to American Girl Dolls . . . there are other quality choices out there to encourage our young ones to grow in maturity in faith, avoiding the lures of this world.

  83. 90

    Kristy Jenkins says

    Thank you for this insightful article! I have 5 children, 4 of which are girls!

  84. 91

    Missy says

    Sorry I didn’t have time to read all the comments. I agree with the post, and am glad to see someone speaking out about this issue. I did have a knee-jerk reaction to the “you don’t need a guy” statement when I first read it, and I saw that some others did too from the few comments I scanned. I grew up hearing the message “you don’t need a man to take care of you because you can take care of yourself” and “be independent! never be dependent on a man”. This came from a women who was angry at men, and while she meant well she certainly didn’t help me to prepare for marriage the way that God intended it to be. That whole thought process may not have even been close to where you were going with that part of your post, but that was where I went when I read it. I’m trying to teach my girls to love God first, embrace the Biblical role of being a God-honoring woman and someday to be a God-honoring wife (but not yet; in God’s time:)

    I do want to comment on #7 too (“She needs to know she can dream big and can accomplish whatever she wishes.”). I think we sometimes have to be very careful to make clear that our lives are to be lived in accordance with God’s plan for them. Sometimes what our hearts want is not what God has planned for us, and to encourage our young daughters to reach for their dreams, be anything they want to be, or follow their hearts is a dangerous path. This is the message that the world gives them, but God doesn’t say follow your heart. He says “follow Me”. Our children’s hearts are not mature, nor do they have the insight and understanding that we hopefully do to see that the thing that they think is so grand is really full of pitfalls and cliffs that could send them on a path away from God. Seeking God’s plan for their lives and following that path in obedience is a better direction.

  85. 92

    Sue says

    Hi All,
    I wholeheartedly recommend a book called ‘Fashioned by Faith’ by Christian model: Rach..el Lee Carter

  86. 93

    Melissa says

    I really liked the article, but the happily married women disagreeing with the “you don’t need a guy” truism are frankly wrong. I’m glad that it’s working out okay for them, but I trusted a “good” man who did a lot of damage before he left. In fact, God has been teaching me lately that my dependence on man is the sin of idolatry, and He is showing me how to live by faith and depending on Him alone.
    Biblically, we have several examples of women who served the Lord either as single women or independently from their husbands. The prophetess Anna, the judge Deborah, the disciple Tabitha, Mary Magdelene, the four daughters of Philip the evangelist, Huldah, and Miriam are just a start.
    Teach your daughters to be dedicated to the Lord and whatever He has for them–whether that means being a marriage, motherhood, ministry, or some special combination of them. Don’t make them wait for the man that may never come before they start to change the world for Christ. Don’t let your brilliant or talented daughter waste her gifts because she is told that God has a plan for her husband and she is just his little helper. Every person has a calling, and those callings do not look alike, nor do they stay constant throughout a person’s life. Let your daughter know that you are proud of whatever path she has chosen.

  87. 94

    Susan says

    Thank you for writing such a meaningful article. It makes me want to go home right now, wake my daughter up, and give her a big hug. Thank you for extra inspiration to empower her! In your closing argument you said you can’t change the world, but by being outspoken for what’s good and important in this life, you are changing it. Your daughters’ lives are changed by your words. Change a daughter, change the world.

  88. 96

    anne says

    if your a christain man getting Sports Illustrated you are being a pornographer…their message is that women are a sport for sex with no mental value and only worth nudity makeup and sex. The sex trade industry is rampamt in third world nations, infant girls are being raped in Africa because men think it will stop aides to have sex with a virgin(most of these girls are being born with the aides virus, which tells you how ludicris this belief is)Thialand has thousands of infant and toddler girls sold into the sex trade industry.
    Christain families who receive playboy in the mail are NOT christains they are pornographers, the magazines is written at sixth grade level for reading.
    Stop buying this crap learn how to sew and make clothes for your girls that suit you, there are alternatives to selling our girls to the commercial sex trade industry and your dollars count

  89. 97

    anne says

    Books like ‘shades of grey’- which i don’t have to read to know are SMUT have been shoved down our throats as good liturature….what bogus lies they spread, if you bought and read that book you are a pornographer. Miriam from Magdalana was not a whore, she was an orphan,(therefore an orphan girl is equated to whoredom in the new testement) dig into history , find the truth stop allowing yourself to be lied to, get educated it takes daily viligence. In 20 years there will be 5 men to one woman on earth because of the female infanticide that is happening in third world nations. Think Dads, do you know five men together you would trust alone with your daughter?

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    karen b says

    First I want to say Thank you! To all you moms trying to find modest swiming wear do what we have done, shorts & a tshirt or modest tank. some of them are not the best but usually you can find something that works. Our daughter is now 15 & it doesn’t bother her to be “different” its just normal for her. I hope this will help someone:)

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    Kitty Brooke says

    So thankful for this post. I do think the media, and stores like VS promote the wrong message for daughters, However, I think many mothers influence their daughters by their own lack of modesty. I see it everywhere. As mothers staying true to the Scriptures, our dress should be the first witness to what we believe in regard to modesty. Mom’s are the first teachers our children have. The same goes for mothers dressing immodestly around their sons. What message are we putting forth. “Walk ” makes more of an impression that “talk”. If you want your daughters to carry through with God’s plan for our lives as caring, loving, Godly women, be that example to them. They will watch you and your walk….

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    Jessica says

    Thank you, thank you! I agree with 100% conviction and will be sharing this as much as I possibly can. This message is so very important!

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    Shula says

    Thank you for this article. I too have cringed as I saw was has been offered as “childrens clothing”. It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so scary. I applaud the way you are filling your daughters hearts with good things so they can so so accustomed to the good and beautiful and real that they don’t accept the unhealthy tacky and fake stuff this culture will try to sell them. Girls deserve the grace and space to be girls before they are women. I’m sending out my love and prayers over your precious daughters. And I wish I could offer you a rose snipped from my flowerbeds. You could put it in a little vase on your breakfast table as a tangible attagirl.

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    Lynne says

    As a mother of boys (not boys anymore, but 18 and 21), I appreciated the authors viewpoint on raising young men. The boys do see conflicting social practices with young women. In light of the world’s acceptable norms, I have raised my boys to respect themselves and any girl they date. Guess what? They have not dated much, due to what is expected from them from the girl. We have to pray all the time for our children and for their future spouse, both boys and girls. Thank you author for including the male counterpart to this increasingly difficult issue!

  95. 106

    Juan Heath says

    I was totally on board with your message until you started bring GOD into it …

    Really, REALLY?!

    Just look at all the issues inherent in Christianity – NO strong feminine aspects, obey the “Father” no balance.

    Be subservient to your man.

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Is there a problem with this country?

    YES!!!

    Will organized religion, particularly PATERNALLY dominated Christianity do anything to solve it?

    Absolutely not.

  96. 107

    Lori says

    #7 You can change the world

    followed in the very next paragraph with: “I can’t change this world.”

    Which is it?

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    says

    I believe a huge part of this growing problem is caused by moms and their own lack of self esteem. I believe so many moms hate their own bodies that they clothe their little ones like they wish they could dress. They see their cute little unscathed bodies and use their daughters to relive their youth. And their daughters see their mothers call themselves “fat” and point out all of their flaws while marveling at their daughters “perfection.” Or even worse, mothers draw attention to their daughters “imperfections” to try to “help” them from becoming like them.

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    Jennifer Cochrum says

    I have raised 2 beautiful daughters who are now in their early 20′s. Both have thanked me for how I raised them. Both are now working with pre-teens and teens/college students trying to help them see the things you mentioned above. But I am not in the midst of raising two teenaged sons. and I am appalled at how the girls are treating them. I never thought I would have to discuss with my son how he deserves to be treated by a girl. We are seeing a surge in boys questioning their sexual identity, struggling with homosexuality vs. heterosexuality in their own lives. I am truly more worried about my sons than I ever was about my daughters. Praying fervently that God will save this country from ourselves.

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    mom of 4 says

    I have raised 2 beautiful daughters who are now in their early 20′s. Both have thanked me for how I raised them. Both are now working with pre-teens and teens/college students trying to help them see the things you mentioned above. But I am now in the midst of raising two teenaged sons. and I am appalled at how the girls are treating them. I never thought I would have to discuss with my son how he deserves to be treated by a girl. We are seeing a surge in boys questioning their sexual identity, struggling with homosexuality vs. heterosexuality in their own lives. I am truly more worried about my sons than I ever was about my daughters. Praying fervently that God will save this country from ourselves.

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    Rita says

    We have 8 granddaughters from 16 to 2 1/2 We have a lot of influance in their lives. 3 of the girls live in a disfunctional family situation. We buy a lot of their clothes for them & it is hard to buy modest clothing for girls. I made a copy of your 7 things to teach your daughters (granddaughters). Thanks so much & May God bless your family

  101. 112

    says

    Agreed with all of it.

    So my question is, WHO ARE these people that are encouraging their children to wear these clothes? Since the majority on this post are in agreement, where are those who don’t agree and how do THEY feel about it? Was it the way THEY were raised and they want to continue it? Were they raised the exact OPPOSITE so they want to give their child complete freedom?

    I don’t get it. I’m raising 2 girls and HATE the fact that I can never find one piece bathing suits for 18 MONTH OLDS!

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    Marie says

    One solution to this problem – and a fun one, too – buy a sewing machine or two and learn to make your own clothes! I’m 59 and have been sewing since I was 6.

  103. 114

    says

    Kristen, thank you for writing this piece! The spirit with which it is written certainly reveals your heart for the hearts of girls. And for those of us who interact with girls on a daily basis, or are trying to raise one, or a few, of our own, this provides some much needed perspective and encouragement to stay vigilant. I’m bookmarking this post to read again and again as I attempt to raise my own daughter and continue to make efforts to reach her heart before the culture does.

  104. 115

    says

    Came across your post via Facebook- very well written, not too harsh. I have three daughters, one due in the next month and I’m not afraid to take a stand…the other side has so for far to long…read the book “Domestic Tranquility”, F. Graglia, wonderful book on the culture of feminism…

  105. 116

    Suzanne says

    This is a great article! I have 2 teenage girls and I think they hate clothes shopping as much as I do. I think the best thing we can do for them is model a healthy relationship with God, our husbands and dress modestly ourselves. Also, GET RID OF YOUR TELEVISION!!!!!!!!!!

  106. 117

    Evonne says

    Not just great advice for mothers but for fathers as well! Thanks so much for writting it! Blessings to you and your family.

  107. 118

    Jess says

    I did read your article and I think you’ve made a few good points that have started some great discussions here.

    I just have to mention, though, regarding your point #3 — that girls “don’t need a guy.” You’re right, they don’t. And a lot of our daughters are never going to want a guy. They are going to want to marry each other. And that is perfectly okay.

    I am not a Christian, but if I was I would believe in a God that blesses all unions. We teach our son thusly: do what you like, as long as it’s safe and consensual.

    As far as all the people in this comments thread saying that they need to “train up” their kids — thinking that you have any bearing on how your kids turn out is being very, very optimistic. Someone mentioned that all we can do is love and offer support, and I fully believe that. To try to mold your child’s belief and the way she or he sees the world is futile. Who they are, and who they will be, is beyond our control. For example, you may raise your kid vegetarian throughout their childhood, but if they have always had a strong desire for meat, they will abandon your vegeratian values as soon as they can.

  108. 119

    Lacy says

    I am concerned that by trying to protect children from immodesty, a whole other yoke could be being placed on them. For example, if a child is being told again and again as they grow up– “You don’t need a guy”, she could begin hiding her desire for just that, a guy. So shame and condemnation against this message in society becomes internalized and directed toward feelings and needs inside of your child, who then will likely decide to censor the parts of herself that this particular worldview condemns. She may then continue to seek to please and be good, or she may feel the need to ‘rebel’ so that these cut off parts can find expression and freedom.

    I’m not advocating against teaching children particular worldviews, or giving them a contrary message than society is giving them. But I do think we need to be careful in what spirit we are speaking. If we are constantly pointing out the wrongness of society, its only a matter of time before our messages are not cutting merely the outside world, but are slicing and dicing our families.

  109. 120

    says

    This is why I really do feel sorry for families whose girls/kids are in public school.I know there are multitudes of good, and well meaning teachers out in the world, but you have to live under a rock and disconnect from news to not hear what’s gradually being spewed in schools across our great fruited plain.
    It’s not just reading,writing etc anymore.
    It makes me so sad how stacked the odds are now against parents who wish to impart morality and values to their kids.
    Bless you for raising yours the way you are.
    I was beginning to think we were the only ones.

    Here’s to the counter-culture!