This is the harm you do by dressing your kids inappropriately…
Everyday across the world, there are new fashion trends that come and disappear, some within weeks ad others within months. Many people enjoy the thrill of obtaining the latest fashionable items including clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags and so forth with little regard for cost and comfort as long as they are “keeping up with”…Kardashians? Beyoncé? Mercy Kyallo?
While adult men and women can keep up with these runway and high street fashion, some of them – parents – tend to cross boundaries and dress their children in the same styles as well including high slits, low necklines, short shorts, miniskirts and dresses, midriff tops, overly tight clothing, fishnet stockings, skinny male jeans, overly lose vests, adult-toned evening gowns for teenagers and the like.
In parents’ quest to keep their children fashionable and good looking either as an expression of love, pride, reflection of personal styles or for ‘confidence building’ and photo opportunities, they forget that they are robbing their kids of their childhood innocence by sometimes dressing them inappropriately. How, you ask?
- Dressing them in age-inappropriate clothing oversexualizes them at an early age and without their consent. You expose your kids to manipulation and exploitation by older people who know how certain clothes make a person appear and why some people wear them in the first place. You expose your kids to sexual exploitation.
- In dressing them as such, you rob them of their innocence because you expose them to adult themes at such an early age. You force a child to be wary about the length of their skirts and shorts, about the tightness of their tops and pants and about the effect these clothes have on people watching them whether positive or negative. You make them begin worrying about decency and self awareness at such an early age.
- You ruin their carefree days of mobility and comfort by having them dress up for family gatherings and social events. You place them in a position where they have to be wary of everyone around them, wonder what people think about them, make them feel awkward and ultimately interfering with tier sense of self. Just because a certain fashionable item looked good on you, it does not mean it is also meant for your child just because you want to ‘twin.’
- If you are constantly dressing your child in age inappropriate clothing, eventually they will begin facing isolation and being shunned by their peers, especially if their friends’ parents warn them to stay away from your child because of how they perceive them. Stereotype has it that people who dress ‘indecently’ tend to be too forward in some matters of life such as hanging around boys, and this is not something many parents are comfortable having their children exposed to at an early age.
- You interfere with your kids’ view of body image. If you dress them in certain ways that highlight parts of their body they are not yet comfortable with, they will grow up having negative body image views. You place them in short shorts when they are yet to accept the look of their legs, you dress them in tight midriff tops when they are yet to be comfortable with their developing chest area.
At the end of the day, our primary role as parents is to protect children from everything that will harm them – even if it means protecting them from ourselves.
Wanting to become a dotcom parent and giving them everything that we never had while we were children could be the spark that ignites their downfall if we are not careful.
Let’s let children be children. They have no business wearing off shoulder tops paired with short shorts, they have no business wearing graphic t-shirts and tight skinny jeans and they have no business wearing make up to make them look prettier.