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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 12/27/08

How can I persuade my teen to change her mode of dress?

Like generations before them, today's teens see the way they dress as an expression of their personality and identity. For many parents whose teens are expressing themselves with too revealing, too casual or otherwise inappropriate clothing, it is a big and stressful issue.

There are many very questionable role models out there for young people, especially when it comes to teen clothing. If your child is dressing inappropriately, it is important not to be afraid of having a serious talk about self-respect and earning the respect of others. That way, teen clothing problems will not escalate into academic problems or workplace problems somewhere down the road.

In the Jewish Community

Arguments about dress between parents and teens in the Jewish community are on an entirely different level than in any other culture. Traditionally, Jews have a high standard of modesty and many laws that concern dress. When teenagers refuse to dress in a manner that their parents and the laws of the Torah deem appropriate, it can lead to friction and discord in the household.

From an early age, parents should teach and model for their children that it is possible to be fashionable and modest at the same time. Teens should be given firm guidelines rather than vague suggestions about appropriate dress.

If a Jewish teen dresses inappropriately, it is usually a warning sign of a deeper problem, such as a low self-esteem. Rather than attack the child for dressing inappropriately, parents should talk to their children and try to figure out the reason for the displayed immodesty.

Use the following links to learn what to do if your child dresses inappropriately. Find out how to talk to your teen without arguing and learn the valuable art of compromising.

Frequently Asked Links

How can I influence the way my teen dresses?

What steps can I take to deal with my teen’s choice of dress?

What should I do about my teen’s unconventional way of dress?

How can I speak to my teen about her style of dress?

What can I do to avoid arguments about dress?

How can I effectively compromise with my teen about fashion?

How can I help my kids make smart clothing choices?

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Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages., developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.

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