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"Murphy was an optimist!"

They walk their own path December 15, 2006 8:04 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Of Being Dad, Sarah
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Choose your battles. Choose your battles. Why so many battles?! Today I gave in and let my 13 year old girl wear a piece of shrink wrap to school today. If she doesn’t tug at it a good 2.5 centimeters of belly and back show. The sleeves have got to chafe her armpits. The boys will certainly know she has breasts. I hope the school chooses to send her home.

Dad: "Did your mother approve your outfit?"
Sarah: "Uh. Yeah."
Dad: "That shirt does not fit."
Sarah: "Yes it does."
Dad: "[Where the sleeves meet the shirt] should be here on your shoulders."
Sarah:"They make them to fit this way!"

Me thinks my girls needs some debate lessons. Think I’ll write a book: "How to win friends and influence people even though I am a bullheaded, know-it-all teenager." I read someone yesterday that lamented that their teen "child" is a young adult trying to prepare to make it in the real world on their own and that we need to give them space to do so. We must let them make mistakes. She can walk her own path but that path will still have laws to be followed. Today she got off with a warning.

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1. Latte Man - December 15, 2006

Just another reason why I am trying to develop some sort of aerosol spray that will keep my little girl… er… little.

2. djuggler - December 16, 2006

Growth hormone neutralizer 🙂

3. Barry - December 17, 2006

This is what I was talking about a couple months ago about choosing your battles. In giving it and hoping the school does something about her dress, why is that not tacitly giving approval of it (to her?)

I’m sorry, letting her wear something unacceptable to school is not “letting her make her own mistakes” – that’s not helping her with her unfinished project that’s due tomorrow morning, or not driving back home to pick up something she left behind. It’s allowing the “authorities” to do the parenting for you. There’s a reason for teenage girls not to wear inappropriate clothing to school, it puts them in a bad light by exploiting sexuality at too young an age. Or put your own definition to it. Whatever you want to see, it’s not acceptable. But rather than sticking to your guns and making sure she understands 1) exactly why it’s inappropriate, and b) that as long as she’s under 18 and/or living under your roof, you as the parent have the right to tell her what she can and cannot wear – at least with regards to #1.

Yes, I know I don’t have a child that old. Tink still has 6 years till she’s a teen and BB has a little more than 2 till he is. But this seems to be such a basic cardinal rule of parenting – don’t let the authorities have to punish her for breaking the rules, stop it at the source by ensuring she knows the moral and ethical reasons behind the things you tell her are right and wrong. And then enforce the rules if they still try to break them.

No disrespect at all intended, truly. But I want to hear more of your side.

4. djuggler - December 17, 2006

No disrespect taken. I almost appended an update to the post because when she came home Mom gave her the once over and disagreed with me on every point. I’ll blame my harsh judgment on becoming on old fogy working on my curmudgeoness. Mom did agree the shirt was too small but she had Sarah raise arms and found no belly. She it didn’t show off her chest anymore than any of her other attire. She explained, “That’s just how Abercrombie & Fitch fit.”

I was questioning my own judgment that morning or I would not have given in. I thought there was a chance I was being too critical. Two things I don’t do well: boogers and dressing the kids. (When Amy was an infant I once put her clothes on backwards)

5. Cathy - December 17, 2006

Sweetie, you’ve dressed Amy and Evan backwards MANY times. Sarah’s shirt showed no armpit, belly, back or cleavage. You were just being a Dad and it was very cute.

6. Domestic Psychology - December 17, 2006

[…] Last week, I was downstairs with a sleeping Amy and Evan while there was a minor battle between Doug and Sarah. I know it was minor because I listen from downstairs and intervene if I hear raised voices. I wondered about this ‘outfit’ all day. When Sarah walked in, I gave it a visual and mentally looked for anything that could have been rolled down, unbuttoned or otherwise altered out of parents’ sight. I even asked her to raise her arms and touch her toes. There was absolutely nothing indecent about her jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. What was clearly obvious, was her well-developed curves. I know that some alarm went off in the back of Doug’s head when he saw her, even though he didn’t know exactly why that alarm was ringing. It’s a father alarm and when those of you with young daughters hear that alarm but don’t understand it, give me a call. No Comments so far Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> […]

7. Barry - December 17, 2006

…and thus, domestic life happily continues. 🙂