DadPad Quotes & Notes: My Little Girl is Growing Up!


A father is always making his baby into a little woman.  And when she is a woman he turns her back again.  ~Enid Bagnold

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It’s not a date on the Hallmark Calendar you got for Christmas but it is a date that every dad of a high school daughter is (or should be) keenly aware of–Prom night.  It’s the night where your little girl goes out to spend zillions of dollars on a dress with very little material.  Of course, being the involved dad means you tell her, “You need to get your money’s worth and buy more dress”.  And, in addition to the dress and all the extras, there’s usually one other item of interest to the dad…the Date!  Not the calendar kind of date but the young-guy-with-hormones-raging-gonna-be-with-my-precious-little-girl-all-night-without-my-supervision kind of date.

This is our last “Prom Night” (not the horror flick–hopefully :)).  Our “little girl” is graduating from high school and this is her final Prom.  So, of course, she’s been out picking a dress for the occasion.  It’s one time that I was thankful she had a cell phone with a camera.  I actually didn’t have to go to the store because she could send me a picture of the dress.  Of course, those dads who are better at this gig than I am would have taken the time to go with their little girl to help her buy the dress (sorry, my angel).  Now, let me share this with you after having gone through this a few times with our oldest daughter and again with our youngest daughter–this is not the time to make a stance for modesty if you’ve never done it before.  I’m not saying you should let her go out in a provocative, skimpy, revealing dress.  What I am saying is that you will have much more leverage with your girl when she is choosing a dress you wouldn’t let a mannequin wear if you have already laid the foundation of having “the modesty discussion” earlier in her life.

My wife and I have not always done this well but we tried to lay the foundation early on in “assisting” our girls choose clothes that would not be too revealing and demeaning.  We fought, I mean, discussed outfits with them from a pretty early age.  Instilling modest approaches to choosing clothes wisely has not been easy.  But, it certainly has helped as they’ve gotten older to have “the talk”.  Short shorts, bikinis, low dipping shirts, bra straps, tight t-shirts, etc.  We’ve talked about them all.  I know that in this day and age many of you reading this will look to see a picture of my wife and I and expect to see her wearing a habit of some sort and me holding a pitchfork.  Yet, this is one area that I wouldn’t let society talk me into its “norms”.  There’s too much at stake.

There’s an adage that “clothes” make the man”.  If that is anywhere close to being true, than, clothes can also destroy the man.  There are plenty of biblical verses to dressing modestly.  Additionally, it just makes sense.  I’m a guy.  I know what a 16-year-old boy is thinking about (and a 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, …. yr old is thinking about too).  And, though I want my daughters  to experience the joy of looking beautiful, we’ve been as diligent in helping them see that their beauty is much more about who they are internally than what they look like externally.  My daughters ARE beautiful externally (I know I’m biased but they ARE).  More importantly, they are beautiful internally, and I believe they believe that too.  Therefore, they don’t focus on the external as much as they could.

I could go on and on about this subject but it’s an important issue to discuss, especially during this time of year.  The sheer cost of the evening is a whole other discussion.  Tomorrow, I’m going to discuss the handling of the other part of this night…THE GUY.  Stay tuned.

For Discussion:  How have you handled dealing with your daughters dress?  What mistakes have you made that you can share so other dads (and moms) don’t make the same one?  What encouragement can you give as you’ve helped your daughters make a stand toward modesty?

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