What Not to Wear for Halloween
One of the local radio stations I listen to from time to time, has a segment that deals with relationship issues. They feature one listener each morning that gets an opportunity to state his or her case during the live broadcast of the show. Listeners of the station are asked to call in and voice their opinions.
Yesterday, the mother of a 7 year old little girl called in. Mom wants to dress her daughter up as a sexy nurse for Halloween. The costume would include fishnet stockings, a short dress, lots of make-up and big hair. Her husband was completely opposed to the costume. The listeners voted unanimously on the side of the dad.
In our country, Halloween is generally thought of as time to have fun. We can dress up in a costume that is funny, sexy, scary or anything else our imagination allows. It’s a time to be creative and participate in a little friendly competition by trying to outdo the costumes of our friends or co-workers. As adults, we are free to dress as we choose because it is assumed that we are aware of and prepared to handle the consequences of our attire.
What children wear for Halloween or any other event however, is a completely different issue. Children should never be dressed or allowed to dress themselves in sexy clothing. Pre-teen and teen girls’ shirts and tops should cover their developing cleavage. Shorts and skirts should be long enough to allow girls to bend, sit or walk without concern that their garments will ride up too high. Boys’ underwear should never show. If we want our children to have healthy self-esteem, it is important that our children learn to showcase their amazing personalities, their beautiful smiles, their creativity and their intelligence. It is great for children to have a healthy appreciation for their bodies, but it should not be where they get their sense of self-worth.
Conscientious parents understand that their children are not aware of the people in the world who could harm them or the messages that might be sent by the clothing they are wearing. A provocatively dressed pre-teen or young teenage girl may not only attract the attention of boys her age and send them inappropriate signals, but may also attract attention from individuals who prey on children. Our sons are not immune to these predators either.
Out of curiosity, I visited the Family Watchdog website. I was not surprised to find that there are 158 registered sex offenders living near my home. I can only imagine how many sex offenders are out there who are not registered because they have never been caught. Is dressing your child or allowing your child to dress in a sexy outfit for Halloween or any other event worth the risk to your child’s safety and innocence?
It’s not easy to be a parent; many of our decisions are not popular with our children. We must remember that it is not our job to be our children’s friend; it is our job to guide them through and protect them from a world that they do not yet understand. It takes courage and strength to be a responsible parent.
Which brings me to another “what not to wear” tip for Halloween…
Adults, choose your Halloween costume consciously. With over a billion people on Facebook and other social media, a photo of your Halloween costume could potentially be viewed by your employer, your family, members of your church, business associates and by people you don’t even know. If you’re a teacher, a nurse or someone who works in a church or other conservative organization, you may be risking your job.
If you are a parent, be aware that you are a role model for your children. If you would not be comfortable with your daughter or son wearing the same Halloween outfit you are wearing, then I suggest you keep your costume hidden from them so you are not put in the position of having to explain why it’s okay for you to dress that way, but not appropriate for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-expression and being creative. I do not believe we should be overly concerned with what other people think. No one else’s opinion should be more important than our own. Our concern should be whether or not we are ready to accept the consequences of our choices. At Halloween and all year through, we can dress as we please, but it is naïve to be surprised when we are judged based on the clothes we choose to wear.
I would like to encourage you to use your imagination to create Halloween costumes that are fun, innovative and unique as well as age and situation appropriate for yourself and/or your children.