One of the things that we have to teach our children is to dress appropriately.  This is often a subject for pre-schoolers; they get taught ‘today is sunny we wear a hat’, or ‘today is rainy we wear a raincoat’ but I think that is only the beginning.   Our children need to grow up knowing that there is appropriate dress even in the adult world.    Our son Joshua would prefer to live by the idea that it is what is in the heart that counts but the truth of the matter is our clothes do reflect our heart.  When we interact with people how we dress gives them a message.

Wearing appropriate clothes used to be so much easier defined.  My mum has a photo of her and her sisters dressed for the Easter Show – they are in their Sunday bests.  These days we go to the Show in very comfortable summer clothes – we dress to have a fun family time.  In days gone by you wouldn’t go to church without a hat – it was appropriate.  These days some churches are formal (but no hats!) and some are casual.   I think if we did a general ask around the general idea today would be anything goes.  Even though society doesn’t define what is ‘proper’ I still believe there are issues of appropriateness that we can teach our children to guide them in knowing what to wear today.

1.        Is it functional for the activities for the day

2.       Is it respectful of the people you are going to be with

There is a fine line between being respectful and living to please other people.  My teenagers need to know what is appropriate so that they can stand on values rather than dress according to the whims of fashion and peers.  This helps too in finding that line between old fashioned ideas mum and dad may have and what is right for young people today.

Our children have to understand that how we dress, how we carry ourselves, and how we conduct ourselves tells people what is going on in the inside.  The people we meet have no other barometer.  We need to give them a correct reading.

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