One mom was concerned about her kids not having what they needed for school. She had just gotten a job, and wouldn’t get paid until the first day of school. She was planning on shopping for them as soon as she got paid, but was worried that her kids would go to school the first day without uniforms or supplies. Thanks to the ARDC, the girls have the supplies they need but clothes for the first day of school was still a concern. We told her that we would try to find something that the girls could wear and for her not to worry.
We was really looking forward to taking the girls shopping because one of the things we have always stressed with our older girls is wardrobe and modesty. It isn’t uncommon to see bare stomachs or exposed body parts. We saw this as a great opportunity to show the girls how clothes are supposed to fit.
We took them to Wal-Mart, which surprised them because they were expecting me to take them to Goodwill or Savers because that’s where their mom buys most of their clothes. The younger girl picked out a skirt, tried it on and put it in the buggy. I asked the older girl what size she usually wears and she had no idea. We started in the Juniors section, she tried on a few things and every thing was either too tight or too short. She was getting very frustrated, so we talked about how clothes in the Women’s department have more room around the hips and the shirts are longer. She asked me how a shirt was supposed to fit, and I explained that she should be able to raise her hands without her stomach showing. Her response was “Oh!”
We found a pair of Capri pants, did the sit check to make sure they came up high enough. She started to brighten up a little bit. She tried on a size small shirt, raised her hands up and sure enough the belly button made an appearance. Then she put on a medium, raised her hands, and when her stomach didn’t show she danced around in a circle.
We told her how nice she looked, realizing that this is probably the first time in a very long time she had on clothes that were the correct size.
She twirled around in a circle with the biggest smile on her face and said, “I look rich!”
She was wearing a shirt that was on sale for $5 and a pair of pants that cost $7.
We made the mistake of thinking that she walked around with her stomach showing, in shorts that are too short and shirts that are cut too low, because she wanted to. I had spent so much time trying to get her to change something that on her own she could not change. We had made the mistake of thinking that she needed proper instruction, when all she really needed was just a little dignity.