Childhood innocence lost or a mum behind the times 15

A tweet and a blog post by Sandy Calico of Baby Baby Fame about shag bands today really got me enraged and started me thinking – not a good thing.
I read about these horrendous things a while back, but thought that they hadn’t reached the UK yet and I have to say they really upset me, there is a post in The Times about them.  I know that we can not shield our children from sexulisation, but we can hold it back for as long as possible.

I have long been a mum who doesn’t like slogan tshirts and tops, especially ones that sexualise children or even say things like “here comes trouble”.  Now my boys are not angels, but I dont want them wearing a top letting people know that they are little monkeys  or here comes trouble and also would hate to see it becoming a self fulfilling prophesy.

Why would you want to put a child in a tshirt stying that there job is to create mayhem, or lock up your daughters, or god forbid a girl in a playboy tshirt.  They are not clever and they are not funny.
But it often seems that I am in the minority these days and I am seeing more and more children wearing these terrible tops. I have even seen ones that say “I have done F*** all today”, “They Beat Me”, “ASBO” and “Botch job” what message is this passing to our children? 
Now I will admit that I am an older mum and that my idea of a funky tea shirt is one with bungle from rainbow on it and the thankful thing is the the mini’s wont wear anything that they can not read.
I Think that children should be children for as long as possible and it is our jobs as parents to protect, shield and discuss these things with our children when necessary.  We should dress out children like children, leave the knee high boots, spaghetti straps and mini adult clothes for the older children, what is wrong with the more traditional wear.  Well for one thing the shops which sock the style of clothes I want the boys and my nieces to wear are expensive.
GAP, Boden, Fatface, MiniMode have lots of age appropriate and lovely clothing, but it is often three times more expensive if not more than, George, Tesco and Primark.  This is the first year in four that I have been able to find good value plain tops in Marks and Spencer for the boys.  I can not be the only mum who is facing this dilemma.
I think that sadly it is a symptom of today’s shock media and also the fact that parenting has changed dramatically since I was younger.  I didn’t even get my ears pierced until I was 13.
So what can I do to change or affect this, well it has made me very aware of my responsibility as a mother of two boys to do my job correctly and raise my boys to respect woman and girls.  To teach them that sex is not a cheap object to take from someone just because you can.  To help them put a real value on girls.
I hope that the fact that MadDad truly respects me that they have a good role model.

15 thoughts on “Childhood innocence lost or a mum behind the times

  • Karen

    Those bracelets are truly horrendous, I've never heard of them. I agree with you entirely on those dreadful T-Shirts.

  • bad penny

    I don't know about these bands …I'll ask Jess when she gets home from College !

    I do find some slogans offensive though

  • mutteringsfromthemoor

    I agree with you on every point you make. As a mum of two small girls and stepmum to a teenage boy I get a view of both worlds. I will never buy those sorts of clothes for my girls, and I do explain to them why. I don't like skirts too short, knee length is preferable, and they never wear cut-off tiny tops which show any midriff. I am on income support due to my husbands illness so we can't afford the decent expensive clothes, so I look on ebay and get them secondhand. They're often is such good condition that my two can wear them, and then I can still sell them on again!

    Thankfully the shag bands haven't reached our village school yet. But just in case they do, I have already been talking with my nine year old and making sure she realises that no one should ever force her to do anything she doesn't want to.

    The world that I've brought my kids into makes me very sad some days. thanks for this post, I'm glad it's not just me who feels this way! xxx

  • dottycookie

    Hear hear. I agree with every word. Having two little girls I am painfully aware of the tendency towards "tiny tart" clothes in most High St stores and it makes me furious.

  • The Dotterel

    You said it, MHM. Having taught at all-boys schools for many years, I've got a whole heap of anecdotal evidence about boys' attitudes to women. It's never too early to teach respect.

  • Jude

    I hadn't even heard, let alone seen those shag bands! However, I do agree with you about the sexualisation of children. It makes me thankful I have 2 boys, because I think there is much more pressure on girls (even children) to look 'sexy'. I don't have a problem with the slogan t-shirts though in principle – it really depends upon what they say, and I found myself not putting my younger child into some of his older brother's t-shirts simply because what they said on them was I felt inaproppriate to his nature! I'm an older mum too, so I don't think it's just an age thing.

  • Littlemummy

    Well I'm a 'younger' mum and I hate those t-shirts with awful slogans too. I particularly hate the jog pants with provocative words across the bum…

  • Dan

    We have a ban on slogan T shirts too, not only the girls sexualised ones, but the boys "here comes trouble" ones.

    It really is a battle to keep our kids still kids.

  • Floss

    Ohh, I really find all the things you've mentioned distressing, and also the ones that call your children 'little devils' – what a nasty message. My eldest son has made his own decision about slogans and logos, and has refused to wear any at all!

  • rosiescribble

    I agree with you completely. You are bringing your boys up with the right attitude. All mums should be like you. Great post!

  • Slugs

    Ita about the "here come trouble" shirts for boys. I can not stand them! Major pet peeve and you are right, v difficult to find cheaper clothes without that rubbish on them.

  • Noble Savage

    I remember buying a t-shirt at a fair with friends when I was about 12 that said "Unbutton my fly" as a spinoff of the Levi's ad for 'Button Fly' jeans. My mom absolutely would not let me wear it and I could not for the life of me understand why. Now I not only get it but have to marvel at how naive I was. I remember being so angry at the time though, thinking she was implying I would turn into a slut just because of a t-shirt I was wearing.

  • Geriatric Mummy

    Totally agree with everything you've said here…I think many of the childrens clothes, and particularly slogan t-shirts are in such bad taste they are plainly offensive

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