Modesty is more than dressing appropriately for the situation whether going to school or shopping for groceries. It is showing respect for those around you by the way you speak and act around them. It means showing respect and empathy for the situation or place you are in. It is not an easy road to follow and the world needs more of it. However, modesty can be a problem for many children and teens if they do not defend or stand up for themselves. This can lead to bullying. It is hard to define modesty accurately.
Modesty is a trait that can be positive or negative in that it sometimes lowers a child’s self esteem. This leads to the child not be able to stand up against those that bully them in person or online. They take it not knowing that they can tell an adult or a teacher about the problem. They learn to be helpless and passive. This leads to depression and sometimes suicide. Many children or teens that are accomplished are modest and do not brag about their achievement. This is the positive definition of modesty.
There are many quotes on the positive benefits of modesty. Ralph Waldo Emerson says a great man is always willing to be little. Harry S. Truman is quoted as saying that it is amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit. Margery Thomas of the Velveteen Rabbit says, “He didn’t care how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him real. Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.” These are a few examples of modesty as positive trait.
Other people have ridiculed modesty in sarcastic terms. False modesty can be worse than arrogance say David Mitchell. Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise say John Kenneth Galbraith. Edith Sitwell says she wishes she had time to cultivate modesty but I am too busy thinking about myself. Thus you see the different meaning modesty take on.
Modesty can have various meaning to different people. Deine means yours in German and has other meanings like your people or you do your part or role. This is the same as different meanings for modesty. It can be defined by a person’s background, nationality, social class, religion and other factors. There might be those with false modesty that pretend to have the trait to get something from others. One can only learn from experience how to gauge the meaning of modesty.
Modesty and Social Media Use
When children use social media modesty and good manners should be taught in posting and dealing with other children. Parents should monitor the content of teens and limit the amount of time younger kids are on the Internet. Social media can have positive benefits if used appropriately.
Children under 13 years of age should not be posting on Facebook. Many children set up accounts that their parents do not know about. If they monitored their computer use they would know what they were up to. This puts some kids at risk for being taken advantage of by adults or other children.
They don’t know the rules of posting so they may post inappropriate comments and pictures. This often leads to bullying or negative situations. Make sure when your kids post they learn to respect their own privacy as well as others. Keep the privacy levels high on your system allowing only family and friends access. Put the computers or laptops in a central location at home where you can watch the use. Only allow children and teens a few hours a day on the computer.
Watch the photos children and teens post. Girls love to post pictures of themselves and boys too. Are they appropriate for an online social network? Talk with kids about the consequences of posting inappropriate photos and videos. Limit cell phone use at home and when they go out. In fact, unless absolutely necessary don’t let children or teens have their own cell phones.
Social media should be positive so modesty in posting often paves the way for this experience. When someone posts something hundreds of people can view this and it is hard to take it back. That is why talking with your children and teaching them the proper way to post and communicate with others is important part of social networking.
Teen Girl Launches Modesty Club
Saige Hatch a 15 year old teen started a Modesty Club at her high school. She attends South Pasadena High in California. She wants to see fellow teens dress more modestly. She became tired of seeing too many teens dressed in inappropriate dress for school. Her website and club have 17 members and the idea has gotten her attention in the United States and around the world.
Paige is a teen that wants to send a message to teen girls and boys to dress with more modesty and have respect for their bodies and the situation they are in. She was inspired by her brother McKay who started a club in 2009 called The No Cussing Club. Today this club has over 10,000 members across the world. This club received plenty of support and also hate mail that stated it was against freedom of speech.
Both children have endured threats and even had eggs thrown at the van the family owns and graffiti written on it. She plans to write to fashion companies and manufacturers to try to influence them to try promoting modest attire in entertainment and fashion magazines. Her Modesty Club has been recognized by the mayor of South Pasadena. Both teens are good role models. They have been harassed for their beliefs just for wanting to make the world a better and safer place for other teens.
Teaching Children and Teens Modesty
Teach your kids what you mean by modesty. As stated before it means something different to everyone. You will have to decide and discuss with your daughter or son what appropriate dress for school vs. after school is. Some parents may not mind sexy for the beach or casual wear but have problems with it at school.
Tell them no when you mean no and explain the decision. Be prepared for kids to rebel and try to change your mind. They might say all the other kids are wearing tank tops to school why can’t I? Perhaps defining the difference between what you wear to school and when you’re out with friends hanging out is where to begin. Your son might say why can’t I wear tight jeans all the other boys in school do? Be prepared to discuss this with a good answer.
When teaching modesty in dressing it doesn’t hurt to set a good example. Go shopping with younger girls and boys. Help them pick out a dress or casual wear that looks good without being overly revealing. Teach them some tips about dressing and choosing what to wear. Don’t underestimate the father’s input for either the son or daughter when shopping. Their interest can pave the way for good clothing choices.
When the father goes with the mother and daughter or son this gives the child input from both parents. It sets a standard that both parents are interested in what their children wear to school and elsewhere.
Don’t embarrass or shame your child into wearing the right clothing. Sometimes this causes more problems than it helps. Always compliment them when they dress well and put effort into looking good. Try to teach your children the value of their character is more important than what they look like. When children are cared for by parents they often will confide in them when there is a problem.
Bullying often happens and causes terrible consequences when children cannot talk to their parents. They cannot tell them something is terribly wrong and they need help with it. When teaching modesty learn how to open the door to talk about problems with your kids. Teach them to stand up for themselves.
Modesty is a good quality to teach in children but building confidence and self esteem is just as important. Being able to discuss clothing and modesty in real terms goes a long way to helping children learn. Leave out the shame and religious reasons when discussing modesty in dress and behavior. Talk about the consequences and what can happen when they don’t follow common sense rules.