Home Maryanne's Tales How you Dress is Your Child’s Business

How you Dress is Your Child’s Business

A beautiful, well-dressed woman.

While walking in town the other day, I bumped into an old high school friend of mine, Laura. The last time I saw Laura was about eighteen years ago and the one outstanding memory I have of her has everything to do with her mother. This is because each time Laura’s mum came to the school for visiting days or PTA meeting or on closing day, her choice of dressing would always stand out.

Laura’s mum was always dressed in beautiful, well-fitting clothes and cute ‘pumps’ that made her look elegant, smart and classy. Her hair would be well done, beautifully painted nails, and mild makeup. We always admired Laura’s mum and each time we heard she was around, we would dash to the windows to get a glimpse of her. And we would never be disappointed. She always looked the part. We always wanted to be like Laura’s mom when we grew up. Laura’s mom was the epitome of our dreams.

We referred to Laura as the girl with the funky mom. We loved Laura because we loved her mom. We kind of developed an attachment to her mom.

So when I bumped into Laura the other day, I found myself asking her how her mom was doing. I had always felt as though Laura’s mom was my friend too. I was very happy to hear that she was doing well and enjoying her life in retirement, and as a grandmom. I bet she’s a funky grandma.

The reason I talk about Laura’s mom today is because of a pal of mine who was recently ranting about the dressing choices of some parents. Apparently, in her child’s school, there are parents who come dressed in revealing clothes –blouses that expose their cleavages and part of their breasts, while others expose their mid-riff. Some moms wear skirts that expose their upper thighs, while others wear those pants that when they bend, you can see the Maasai beads around their waistline. She said that some parents wear their pants so low and don’t bother wearing belts, and so when they bend, they end up exposing the upper crack in their buttocks. Sha!

Will your child feel like hiding when they see you coming to pick them up from school?
Will your child feel like hiding when they see you coming to pick them up from school?

My pal argued that some manner of dressing is just mannerless and not acceptable with the norms and values of society. While the parents are adults who can dress as they desire, she wondered what kind of message they were sending out to their children about their dress choice.

“Are some choices even worth being proud of?” she wondered.

As I read my pal’s rant, thoughts of Laura’s mum immediately came to my mind. We loved Laura because we loved how her mother dressed. We were young then, and well, judging someone on the basis of someone else is not exactly the ideal situation but at that particular age, that is what we did. I dare say again: we loved Laura because we loved her mom. Remember, we are the same women who’ll shamelessly gossip the next woman in the presence of our kids. What we say, the kids absorb like sponge. We greatly influence our children by our words and actions, and what we think of one person, so will our children thinketh.

So when it comes to dressing, parents need to be aware that their choices could affect the child positively or negatively. While you undoubtedly have the freedom to dress as you please, remember that sometimes it’s not all about you, but about your children too. And that applies to many other things that we do as parents. Your child’s friends may judge them based on your own character. Just ask Laura.

Or what are your thoughts on this?

photos: africaknows.com



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.



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