Erin Stewart: My young daughter asked if she could wear a bikini. Here’s how I responded

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When Elin Stewart’s daughter asked if she could wear a bikini, she knew she was at a critical parenting moment.
Sometimes I think that my youngest daughter was sent back to repay my karma because my parents refused. I think, “take the challenge.” For me, no suggestions and rules are obstacles to avoid, and my 8-year-old daughter Inherited this “I will do what I want” attitude.

So when this daughter came to me this week to ask if she could wear a bikini in a swimsuit, I immediately felt that this was a crucial moment. First of all, I kicked myself because she didn’t lose her tanky swimsuit as the choice of a small halter top. Then, I thought that the two directions of this conversation (and my relationship with her) might go.

On the one hand, I can say no. We don’t wear bikinis. I can make a family rule and be happy to believe that it will be followed just because it is a rule.

Or I can learn from the process of changing my vest to the school on the bus for many years, and admit that modesty is not enforceable, and, in fact, is not a rule in some respects.

Instead, I asked my daughter why she wore a bikini. She shrugged a little and replied: “I don’t know. I want to see how it feels.” She is only 8 years old, but I already know that for this special child, there are many things to see it. To do.

I am not going to change her personality by forbidding bikinis. So, instead, we talked about modesty. I have always believed that modesty is an intrinsic concept that cannot be imposed on others. Yes, dress code can be enforced, but modesty is about how we respect our bodies, how we see ourselves and how we want the world to look at us.

We talked about all these things, and finally, my daughter said she still wants to wear a bikini at least.

We also talked about how good I feel as a mother, how to give the world through my family dress, I think the younger children in dresses or suits are also very good.

So, we came up with various compromises. When we swim with our family, she can “try on” the bikini in my sister’s swimming pool. In order to prevent her from feeling uncomfortable, she also brought a spare item. However, at the public pool or at my discretion, she will continue to wear a more conservative suit.

Of course, as the age grows, the deal may change. To be honest, I hate to see her wearing a bikini. But I know that working together on a solution will go a long way in our relationship, rather than drawing a hard line that is not negotiable on some innocent things.

I also hope that the results will be good for my daughter, because she will handle this situation exactly as I hope she will. She came to me and told me how she felt. When I didn’t say it automatically, she didn’t complain or was upset. She told me again, carefully considering her choices and her feelings of modesty, and then made a mature decision. When we go to the public swimming pool next time, she can put on her regular swimsuit again.

There are a lot of heavier conversations with my daughter, many of whom have more bets than the mid-abdomen. Honestly, who knows that I did the right thing, but for my daughter’s character (and mine), I hope this conversation will be a decisive moment of relationship, she can always come to me – shameless and fearless – when she I want to “look at how it feels.” I think that my discussion with my daughter is always like this, this is naive. At some point, there will definitely be violent doors, rolling eyes and many changes that are “unfair!” because sometimes the answer is definitely not. But if the answer is never, she will eventually stop asking. In addition, a long list of denials does not mean that I will actually prevent her from wearing or trying or doing all the things I forbid. It just means she will cut me off from the conversation, I don’t know what she is doing or wanting.

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