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Page 84 MARCH APRIL 2016 49 Are KidsClothesToo Provocative By Karyn Brodsky We see it every day. Sexuality glamorized in themediathemoviesinretailstoresandmore. What does this say to our kids Intheclothingdepartment there are many adult styles available to teens tweens and young children but dressing provocatively is only one facet of the issue. When you peel back the layers its about growing up too fast. Dean Beckloff PhD Licensed Professional Counselor of Beckloff Pediatric Behavioral Center in Dallas agrees. In our practice I see parents trying to help their kids be kids and also parents who push for them to grow up too quickly. Beckloff says in many cases adults live vicariously through their children transferring their own hopes dreams and self-esteem issues to their kids. Were driving the child into arenas that they cannot handle. Beckloff is the father of girls and knows many cultural pressures influence growing up too fast.In my practice I work on self-esteem and building kids up. Girls look at their bodies and ask if they are acceptable or too fat he says.This is something girls and women feel from an early age and it is disturbing on many levels. Boys are no different says Beckloff. Whether it involves athletics modes of dress or a standard of behavior parents should have conversations with theirchildrensetboundariesandguidethem.While parents cant always be present in every situation these discussions will eventually resonate with their teens and tweens. Parents sometimes dont give themselves enough credit he adds. They dont realize that kids pay attention to their ethics and actually do listen. development in important ways. At a time when they should be growing their skills at having healthy friendships learning the difference between a boy whos a friend and a boyfriend they may feel forced to take relationships toward sexual expression prematurely. Children learn to see that sex not affection or true emotional intimacy is the primary focus of relationships between adults. Just saying no in one household while it is your right as a parent doesnt help a child process what they see other kids doing. What if her friend offers to lend her a pair of skimpy shorts at camp Parents cant possibly monitor everything everywhere. What is a kid to do when stuck between the pull of peers and the pressure from parents Finally parents get worn down after the repeated pleas and whining of but all of the kids are wearing this. What to do Understand where your kids are coming from but not in the middle of shopping for a prom dress. Hear what she thinks about the dresses in the magazine rather than criticizing her friends choices. Ask your son right after the TV show what clothing styles he thinks are cool instead of going to battle about purchases at the mall. Set expectations about types of clothing that are acceptable. Explain your preferences but be open to compromises that still fit within your range of reasonable. If you have a firm boundary then keep to it at least on that shopping trip but allow conversation about a future purchase decision. Be compassionatetoward your kids as well as yourself. Its hard to be the only girl with the long dress on. Its hard to be the lone parent who says That dress is too short. Fortunately the great thing about our mixed-up fashion generation is that there are often compromises available. Work with your child to find at least part of what they want while respecting your reasonable limit. Use the power of your own peer community. Justaskidsmayrelyongroup trends to argue for a specific fashion request so can adults communicate with each other to set collaborative community standards. Lets learn to be okay with our children being beautiful and handsome. And lets save the sexy label for an appropriate age. Is 26 too old For more information visit Girls to Women Health Wellness at In our practice I see parents trying to help their kids be kids and also parents who push for them to grow up too quickly. - Dean Beckloff PhD Counselor Beckloff Pediatric Behavioral Center