“Modesty: More Than a Dress Code,” Ensign, July 2017
Many of us explain modesty to our children as a dress code. Pants must be this long, shirts must be this loose, and so on. But we sometimes forget to explain why we dress this way and that modesty is about so much more than what we wear. Modesty is a mind-set. It includes a realization that our bodies are precious gifts from our Heavenly Father. When we realize this, we want to respect and protect our bodies, not just in how we dress but in how we think, speak, and act.
“Modesty Means …” (page 8) in this month’s Friend can help you talk with your children about modesty. Here are a few points you might include in your discussion:
Our bodies are sacred and special gifts from Heavenly Father. He gave us our bodies so we could become like our Heavenly Parents.
Making modest choices helps us show respect for our bodies.
Modesty includes speaking respectfully, not boasting or showing off, and thanking Heavenly Father for our blessings and talents.
It isn’t our job to criticize or condemn another person’s choices. As Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, has said, “We exemplify compassion and Christlike love for the individual while we remain loyal to the standards the Lord has set” (“Courage to Choose Modesty,” Ensign, Oct. 2014, 41).
By teaching important doctrines and setting a good example, we can help our children want to be modest in everything they do.
Write different situations on slips of paper and have children take turns deciding if a situation is modest or immodest. If it’s immodest, discuss as a family how to make it modest. For example, if choosing to swear is immodest, then choosing good language is modest. Scenarios might include bragging, dressing for various activities, viewing different kinds of media, and so on.
Remind children that the Holy Ghost can help them recognize the difference between a modest and an immodest choice. What do promptings from the Holy Ghost feel like to them?