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Parenting, Teens

Take That Skirt Off!

Now, we’ve all said that before to someone, somewhere, for some reason or another. But if you have a teenageimage daughter who is about to walk out the door to school and find yourself uttering these words, you are one unhappy person.

The age-old tug-of-war between parent and child over what to wear to school doesn’t begin when the girl enters school. Her first day of kindergarten, we have her dressed like our own life-sized doll, projecting to the world our ideals, status and motherly oversight. She is perfect. But somewhere between kindergarten and 6th grade a transition subtly emerges where our precious little angel wants to dress herself. Or not dress at all. Depends upon your perspective.

Now some of you have enrolled your angels in private school which has effectively waged this battle for you. For you, thank your lucky stars that are able to remain blissfully unaware of one of the greatest battles a daughter and her parents will ever wage in their lifetime. The school day attire.

For those of you waging this daily war, I have good news. You can stop. And you can win. Permanently.

Here’s what you do. First, review the school’s dress code policy. They all have one these days. Find out what will happen when your daughter violates the dress code policy vis a vis skirt too short, shirt over belly button, etc.

Next, go to a local Goodwill or consignment shop. Put together the most outrageous, hideous, humiliating outfit you can imagine and immediately purchase it for your little darling.

That afternoon, sit your daughter down, outfit placed in a bag next to you, and tell her this: “Sweetheart, I will never again question what you wear to school. It will be up to you, and you alone, to decide if you are following the guidelines of your school’s dress code. However, if I ever get called to your school to bring you clothes because you choose to wear something inappropriate, THIS is what I will be bringing for you to wear.”

Pull the nasty, leopard print, gold-buttoned, shoulder-padded, velveteen and suede pant suit you procured out for her take in. Let it really sink in.

I promise you. You will never have to worry about what your daughter wears to school from that day forward. She could care less about arguing with you daily but she would rather move to Zimbabwe than end up wearing that hideous outfit at school. Now you get to sit back and relax. Because instead of fighting with you, she will now be panicking over every outfit choice she makes, hoping that it meets the grade, and hoping she never, ever, has to face the humiliation of the “outfit in the bag”. Guess what, Mom? You just made her the responsible one AND stopped fighting with her. Well done.


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