There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

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OK, I admit it. I’m officially old and crotchety. I feel like screaming when I see what I think of as little girls–preteens and younger–dressed like performers in an X-rated video. (See ParenTip: SEXUALIZATION OF YOUNG GIRLS)

I shudder when I see girls who cannot be more than 12 or 13 in full makeup. Just the other day I saw a little girl who could not have been more than 6 or 7 tottering along in three-inch platform clogs. Her mother was asking her to hurry up so the child not only looked ridiculous but was in danger of falling on her you-know-what.

How can parents allow their kids to look so depraved? What has happened to our culture? Why do we encourage young girls to look like rock performers or members of the oldest profession?

I remember, back in the dark ages, asking my mother when I could wear lipstick. She gave me an old lipstick of hers and said, “You can wear lipstick when you think you don’t look foolish wearing it.” I practiced a long time with the old lipstick before I didn’t think I looked foolish wearing it.

My mother taught me an important lesson. The difference between our APPEARANCE—our outward aspect, what we wear, how we do our hair, how we walk and talk—and APPEARANCES—an indication of what we are and how we behave, how others perceive us.

When I was young “keeping up appearances” and “paying attention to what other people think” were virtues. Yes, I am old enough to remember that my mother and grandmother never left the house without a hat and gloves, but this was not putting on airs. It was a matter of self-respect and respect for others in our community.

I am not advocating going back to the hat-and-gloves era, but self-respect and respect for others are still virtues.

What is on the inside is still more important than how we look but if the way we look repels others they’ll never get beyond our appearance.

Parents: Your child’s appearance is important. Clean, kempt, and not outrageous is not too much to ask of them (or you). Or of you when you shop for and with your child. Don’t let your child be tsk’ed-tsk’ed over or stereotyped. Don’t let your child be swayed by advertising or peers whose families don’t keep up appearances. Encourage your child to be his or her own person. Keep up appearances in your family. Make it a family value.