Saturday, May 16, 2009

Instilling Modesty in Little Girls

In a family where the females wear dresses only, it’s doubly important to instill modesty in our daughters. Modesty encompasses a lot of things other than just the clothes that we wear, but for the most part, that’s what I want to focus on with this article.

When my daughter was just a small infant, I sewed most of her clothes. I made her dresses extra long before she could crawl. The hemline went to her feet, or even beyond. This did two things, it kept her legs warm, and it kept them covered. I thought it looked very pretty and feminine, too. I usually put tights on under the dress, and then put baby socks on her feet. I felt good about keeping her covered this way.

As my daughter grew, and later, as we added a two and a half year old foster daughter (who became our adopted daughter 20 months later) to our family, I continued to keep the dresses long. I always made them well below the knees. This kept them covered well, and it also made the dresses last longer during growth spurts.

I made bloomers for the girls to wear under their dresses for a long time, but in the last few years, I had found leggings to be really nice. They are easy to find in many colors and even different lengths, from ankle length, to knee length to just above the knee. I keep a lot of these around. Some match my daughters dresses, and some are just colors that go with anything. I’ve been pleased with the results using these. They don’t stick out so obviously as underwear if you do catch a glimpse of them. They keep my daughters (and my own) legs warmer than bloomers did.

There is a little more training involved in keeping a child who wears dresses only modest. There are some things they can’t do, like hanging upside down on the monkey bars, but that isn’t going to harm them. There have been times when my daughters, especially my youngest one, does things like going down a slide, that I have had to tell her if she can’t do it modestly, she will have to quit playing on the slide. It’s amazing how modest she will suddenly become when faced with not getting to slide anymore. And if she doesn’t, then she isn’t allowed to use the slide anymore that day. Once again, this isn’t going to harm the child. It is good for them to learn self control, and not just be allowed to indulge in anything they feel like, or to act anyway they want too.

If my daughter is having trouble sitting nicely in a chair, or is rolling around on the floor, then I stop her and we talk about it. I remind her that she needs to act like a lady. Can she imagine mommy sitting or rolling around like that? How about some other lady she admires (and we name a couple of people). Right away she usually sees how it must look for her to be doing it, too. If you have a good relationship with your little girl, then she usually wants to imitate you and be a lady. The way to win your daughters heart and to teach her how to behave is to keep her with you most of the time. Let her have more time with you than with other little girls who might not have the same values you do.

Don’t think your daughter is deprived. There are many, many things a female can do in a skirt that is long enough and full enough. Living on a small farm, I have climbed and fixed fences, worked in gardens and flower beds, cared for goats and calves and many other farm animals. I’ve mucked out barns and helped deliver animal babies. I can’t even think of all I do, because it’s just my life.

Teaching modesty to your daughter is a very important part of raising her. Don’t neglect it. A modest, well trained daughter is a delight!


  1. I now this is old bit itn8ntrigurd me. What is your thoughts on friends who do not dress the same. We only do dresses too but we want to have a kids bible club here 2 day a month and many girls are not very modest that woukd like to come , what is your oppinion. I was thinking we could live and except them and hope our life ministers to them but yet I fear my daughters changing in their hearts .

  2. It's a fine line, and I guess I would suggest you go ahead and host the other girls, but make sure your own daughters understand that you are ministering to them, and not allow them to have a lot of down time with the other who don't share your values.


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