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Dear Webby


Dear Webby,

Our granddaughter is 14 and dresses inappropriately for her age. She is a fan of Britney Spears and mimics her clothes, including the bare midriff.

My daughter (her mother) seems to think this is fine and just a phase. We think it is a sign of trouble ahead. What can we do?

Trouble Ahead


Dear Trouble

Probably nothing.

But for conversation sake, just what is appropriate for her age? Are you taking into account that times and styles are constantly changing?

Inappropriate would also be if she dressed as you or your daughter did at fourteen. What did the parents of the Flapper generation or the Hippies feel?

The baggy pants that boys wear now were adapted (or so they tell me) from prisoner's loose clothing or the gangs that wore their pants low to impress other gangs that they were carrying guns. They were symbols of something not style.

But most children and teens, and probably your granddaughter, just want to look like everyone else their age.

How does your granddaughter behave? Are her clothes a symbol of something possibly dangerous or is she just a teenager who wants to look cool and in style with "her" times?

Fourteen year olds today are a lot older than then they used to be before television. Webby feels that's sad. Each age has it own perks and should be lived at the proper time.

To act and dress like twenty at fourteen misses a whole span of life. It's harder (if not impossible) to go back and dress and act like fourteen when you're twenty. Things must go in there proper order; there is a time for everything.

Cleanliness and modesty are issues her parents should deal with. Are her pants slung dangerously low? Is she exposing too much of her breasts? In Webby's book that's a no-no. Even at the Superbowl.

Is she wearing loud colors, boots and crazy hairdos? That would be ok.

It's natural for teens to look up to popular stars and try to mimic them. Even Webby may have done that a bit way back when, though she has always had her own style.

Unfortunately, some of the current stars are not as good a role model as we might hope they were. You might remind her that Britney Spears is in her twenties - that's a long way from fourteen.

All you can do is give her a good example, and compliment her when she does dress well. You can also expect her to dress and act properly when with you.

You can also make sure the gifts you give her are classy, more traditional garments - don't just hand her a check to pick out what she likes.

Let's hope the young men consider it just a phase, as does her mother, and not a come on or sign of low morals.

Love her and hope and pray she will grow out of it, in her own time, and become as charming and stylish a person as her grandmother.

Till then, there's probably nothing a grandmother can do.

Webby

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