Gransnet forums


what would you have done?

(36 Posts)
TriciaF Fri 12-Aug-16 14:13:48

We've just had a lovely week with eldest son, wife and children, boy 14, girl 12. And eldest daughter, her partner couldn't come.
On the whole it went well, but I'm feeling a bit guilty about one thing. 12 yr old girl is very energetic, dashes round in a pair of tiny shorts which look more like knickers, so I asked her Mum to get her to put jeans on to go to the market, which she did. People around here dress quite modestly.
I thought afterwards maybe I was too "Mary Whitehouse" - what do you think?
There were a few other girls of her age there in shorts, but not as skimpy as hers.

Anya Fri 12-Aug-16 14:24:42

Just agree with her.

obieone Fri 12-Aug-16 14:31:39

Was she showing her bottom?

dustyangel Fri 12-Aug-16 14:36:00

I doubt if the locals would have minded TriciaF they would probably just put it down to 'foreigner's strange ways'. grin
On the other hand I don't think it does any harm for children to learn that different things are acceptable in different environments and also different generations.

gettingonabit Fri 12-Aug-16 14:51:38

Why does it bother you, do you think?

Shorts are VERY short, at the moment.

M0nica Fri 12-Aug-16 15:24:22

My mother was always a bit of a stickler over clothes so when we visited we dressed to please her. DD & DS happily accepted how their grandmother felt, and DD actually suggested I buy her one garment 'because I can wear it when I visit grandma.'

It never hurts children or adults to do as dustyangel suggests and learn that different things are acceptable in different environments and also different generations.

I would have acted as you did TriciaF.

TriciaF Fri 12-Aug-16 15:59:09

Thanks for the replies.
The strange thing is that they live and work in Kuwait, where women and girls are expected to dress modestly. Maybe she feels she can let her hair down when she comes back for the summer.
gettingonabit - a few years ago I was in the market cafe (in France) and a family came in with a teenager in very skimpy outfit, obviously holidaymakers. All local eyes were on her, and I didn't want my DGD to be looked at like that.
I do think, though,that I'm rather oldfashioned about how girls dress, especially when they reach puberty. She'll be there soon.

TriciaF Fri 12-Aug-16 16:02:19

dusty angel - yes, I hope that she and her Mum saw it that way. I think they did.

Pamaga Sat 13-Aug-16 09:05:17

I think it is fair enough for you to ask for a change in attire to suit the environment if the child is going out with you. You know your own home town and what is acceptable to the locals. If she'd been going to the beach it would have been fair enough and ok for playing in the garden but probably less suitable in a market place.

BlueBelle Sat 13-Aug-16 09:07:03

I ve got five granddaughters who all wear short shorts wouldn't expect them to change its summer they ve got lovely figures and legs why not as long as they cover what's needed to be covered I love to see them wish I could still wear them ...when I look back on my mini skirts the shorts are not much shorter and at least the knickers are covered
Probably because she lives in Kuwait she was so responsive to your request I can't imagine many teens would rush to change to be honest it's a fashion fad it will change

harrysgran Sat 13-Aug-16 09:09:38

I agree with you it's good for youngsters to know how to dress appropriately and what is acceptable where .

Cerasus Sat 13-Aug-16 09:11:55

I think there is every reason to feel naturally protective towards our grandchildren and sometimes we will doubt ourselves for our gut feelings. My grandchildren are younger but I know I would have had the same reaction as you. I guess all we can wish for is to be able to talk honestly to our children about what we think and feel though I appreciate this may well be easier with daughters rather than sons and daughters- in- law (I have no sons).

Barmyoldbat Sat 13-Aug-16 10:13:48

Yes you did the right thing. I took my two young teenage GD to a country where they dress in a modest manner and showed great respect to their elders and I told them I expected them to blend in rather than be stared at and in some cases laughed at. They took to the different cultural like a duck to water. So yes I believe that you should respect the country you are visiting and Young people need guidance in this.

AnnieGran Sat 13-Aug-16 10:57:14

You are right, Barmyoldbat. Once, in the 80s, when I had the legs for it, I wore shorts on a visit to Alicante city centre. An old man spat at me.
My shorts weren't as short as the ones footballers were wearing in those days but they certainly upset that elderly Spaniard. It was a horrible experience.
Since then I have always tried to dress suitably for where I am going.

dorsetpennt Sat 13-Aug-16 11:02:20

I know shorts are short at the moment, but the child is only 12 years old. Bit young to be dressed in somewhat provocative gear , what is her mother thinking buying them in the first place.

townie Sat 13-Aug-16 11:04:11

If you live in UK, I wouldn't personally have intervened like that.these shorts are just fashionable with the young now and I doubt anyone would be offended.

But, if it was just that one thing, no one was upset at the time and you don't otherwise interfere/suggest DGD should be ashamed of her body, etc, most unlikely any harm was done and it's not worth worrying about.

BlueBelle Sat 13-Aug-16 11:15:21

Shorts are not provocative clothes for a 12 year old they are normal wear for running climbing jumping and yes walking in the sun all kids are wearing shorts this summer if she was going out in a low cut top and full make up and yay hi heels with the shorts that could have been deemed provocative Sexiness is in the minds of the beholder and for those that don't approve I totally agree in a modest country or visiting a church or maybe museum or theatre but just for a run/ walk in the countryside they should be ideal. The point is did her Mother mind you asking her to change I would if my mother had told me my kids were inappropriately dressed I d have thought it was a critism of my judgement

annodomini Sat 13-Aug-16 11:44:01

I wouldn't dream of suggesting that my 13-year-old DDG was inappropriately dressed - even if she was. It's none of my business. She was certainly wearing short shorts last time I was in France with the family, two years ago. I never saw anything wrong with them.

Candelle Sat 13-Aug-16 12:01:57

As others have said, short shorts are very 'in' at the moment. As long as the rest of her outfit was not 'tarty' (although, as Bluebelle says 'it's in the eye of the beholder') and you were not visiting a place of worship, the shorts were fine. There would be many points of view as to what is, and isn't 'short. Where should the line, or hem, be drawn?

Our bodies are never as beautiful as when young (I am being honest, here!) so they should be embraced - as long as clothing is not provocative.

I remember wearing mini-skirts in the 1960's and trying not to be embarrassed. Looking back, I vehemently wish I had embraced my lithe, long body and great legs and will encourage my granddaughters to love their bodies, whatever they look like.

mcculloch29 Sat 13-Aug-16 12:38:30

I can remember wearing a pair of Seventies hot pants into a major UK city centre, aged 13, and being shouted and jeered at with suggestive remarks by horrible older men. My friend and myself ducked in to a shopping arcade to escape, and were scared out of our wits when a policeman walking past looked up the arcade.

I thought I was going to get in to trouble for wearing them (and who knows, back then I may well have done although I now like to think the PC was keeping an eye on us in a good way.

Today any older men in the same city, leering in the same way, would probably be arrested on the spot.

However, the same rules don't apply globally. TriciaF knows her own area best. If it felt like the right decision at the time, it probably was.

Overall, the above experience excluded, I'm glad I wore what I did in the Seventies, when I had the body for it, but I wouldn't want my grand-daughter to go through anything similar. In the same situation as TriciaF, I would have requested jeans too, mindful of my own experiences at a similar age.

peaceatlast Sat 13-Aug-16 12:43:32

It can't be said that it is none of our business. We all have a responsibility to guide our youngsters in the right direction. If not us, then who?

There are ways of approaching such situations without being confrontational or offensive.

Twelve year olds are bombarded with clothing and lifestyle choices before they are really able to make an informed choice. All the adults in their lives have a part to play in this guidance and I wouldn't hesitate to do so myself.

When I was growing up, we were constantly steered in the right direction by parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I believe that is how it should be.

Welshwife Sat 13-Aug-16 13:24:15

In the area of France I live there are a good few Brits to be seen in shopping areas - and the dress for these people is much the same as any Uk high street - however when the summer arrives and Brits come on holiday their attire is often very different and in many cases much more suitable for a beach rather than an inland town. I think it has more to do with the idea of being on holiday and maybe buying clothes from departments in UK labelled as 'holiday shops' etc.

SwimHome Sat 13-Aug-16 13:51:38

I agree, Annodomini, sometime youngsters have to find things out by experimentation, being 'told' invites rebellion if it even gets through. And it is her business, rather than her Gran's. I remember my Grandmother objecting to me being allowed out after 9pm when I was 15, my Mother's response was, "There's nothing she might do after nine that she couldn't do before if she has a mind to". I was so shocked that I was more inclined to behave, not less!

EmilyHarburn Sat 13-Aug-16 14:52:44

When I go to Morocco I do not pack any short sleeved or strapped topped dresses. I wear 3/4 length sleves and wear leggings or berber trousers with any dress that finishes at the knee.

I am happy to dress modestly in a muslim country as my part in respecting their customs and being grateful for a lovely holiday environment.

I have a teen age granddaughter whose shorts look like my underwear. I say nothing in this country as it is a phase to be enjoyed whilst the weather allows.

Angela1961 Sat 13-Aug-16 16:33:08

I have told no-one about my thoughts including family. I worked in a male prison for nine years which also had a wing for sex offenders. Because of this I had to have sex offender treatment training. I'm sorry to say that it has changed my opinions in quite a few things. I do see children dressed in a way that gives me an ' Oh dear ' thought.