Michelle Duggar on Teaching Her Daughters About Modest Dress
Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan on Facebook: How have you taught your daughters about modesty?
My daughters are the second generation of modest dressing in this family. They’ve grown up being dressed modestly, and in clothes that are definitely more feminine apparel. I’ve told my daughters this has been a joyful journey for me to learn what my Lord has called me to. This is the direction that God has led me as your mother, and you’re in the family. My girls and their future spouses are going to have that journey in their lives, too. Because my girls are working with the Lord, they have a relationship with God and they will determine what that means for them. And it may be a different journey than mine and that’s okay.
When the girls are little, they’re jumping and playing and not even thinking about modesty. It’s good because that’s the way children should be. As a parent I would have to remind them, let’s not stand upside down on your head in that chair because you want to practice being ladylike. And they look at me with this puzzled looked like, what does that mean? I’ll explain, well, it means that you sit up, put your knees together and pull your skirt down over your knees.
Even though they have on pantaloons or leggings, I’m teaching them that it’s not very polite to sit on your head with your legs scattered all over the place. It’s not like, shame on you, it’s more like, we’re going to learn to be proper and be a little lady instead of a tomboy that climbs in the tree all day long. There’s a time and a place for all of that. I definitely give them the freedom to go catch tadpoles and climb trees because I love doing that, too, but I want them to be ladylike and modest when we’re doing it.
The challenge we have found as they get a little older is they grow from one size to the next, but they don’t realize they’ve grown. Most of the time the girls do a good job of picking appropriate clothes. Occasionally, they’ll wear something that might not fit right and I’ll let them know. It’s not an argument, it’s more like, "Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that."
My daughters are also very into fashion; they are the cosmetologists and the beauty consultants for the family and they love it. They enjoy it. They call their style "modern modest."