Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Raising Girls--The Future Is Now

At our house our interests are not divided. We are raising 2 girls. If we were raising some girls and some boys then our parenting would differ for each gender. They would not be treated the same. However, mindful that every decision we make for 7 year old Sweetheart is setting a precedent for 3 year old Little Bit, (of course taking into account their different personalities) we have to really think things through. But the fact of the matter is we only have around 8 years of parenting experience. I often look around at families whose children are older in order to think through some decisions long before we have to make them.

Families come up with all kinds of rules, just as they did in my family growing up. There was a certain age when we were allowed to shave our legs. There was a certain age when we were allowed to date. When to begin wearing hose and heels had to be thought through. (To think I ever looked forward to that!) You better believe if I got to do something early--my 2 older sisters would point that right out! We watch the parents in our youth group make decisions about when their children can date. Can they hold hands at church? Is her outfit appropriate? Will he be allowed to go see this movie or that concert?

As I've said before, looking around at other families kind of helps you make some decisions. Either about how you want to do things--or about how you will NOT do things. I have to be very careful with this method, however, because I want to be sure to base our decisions not on those around us, but on God's word. Yesterday I stumbled on another example of that.

I was looking at The Modesty Survey. This was a very interesting survey to me because it took specific examples from today's styles and made statements about them. Respondents were Christian males of all ages and varied backgrounds. Statements such as: It is immodest for a girl to expose her legs up to mid-thigh. (64.5% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed.) I think every young teenage Christian girl should sit down and go over the results of this survey with her parents. It is very eye-opening to know what things are stumbling blocks for guys. Honestly when I was younger half of this stuff would not have even occurred to me. It is a very interesting survey.

However, I cannot make decisions about my modesty or my daughters' modesty based on this survey without holding it up against God's word. These are things I cannot hold off on thinking about. Teaching my girls now what's appropriate, when they are much more willing to listen, will really help things later. So I have to decide: if shorts a certain length will not be OK when they are teenagers or older, should they really be wearing them that short now? (They aren't, but that was a recent development.) The point is, these "future decisions" that we face making really can't wait. Even if we change our minds later, we need to have thought out and studied on these matters long before our daughters get to the age when we have to proclaim our decisions.

So I can no longer sit around saying, "Boy! I'm glad I have X amount of years until our kids are ready for _________." We need to know now how we plan to raise them and how we plan to get them to where they need to be.

Oh, and by the way...Happy Independence Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)