to be ? that a teacher told my dd (6yrs) to wear cycling shorts under her summer dress if she was going to be doing cartwheels?

(401 Posts)
mulranno Thu 09-May-13 17:07:10


Margetts Thu 09-May-13 17:09:42

That is utterly ridiculous!!

MorphandChas Thu 09-May-13 17:10:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fubbsy Thu 09-May-13 17:12:16

hmm What 6 yo has cycling shorts?

Sirzy Thu 09-May-13 17:13:22

We used to do that when I was at school. Shorts under summer dresses was pretty common.

phantomnamechanger Thu 09-May-13 17:14:29

all the girls at my DDs school wear tight shorts under their summer dresses for this purpose!

maybe the teacher was actullay trying to help, as someonme was teasing DD about seeing her knickers? Maybe teacher did not want the girls to stop having their fun because of silly comments and was trying to enable them to continue?

CashmereHoodlum Thu 09-May-13 17:15:04

Why is it sensible? Unless the 6 year old is wearing a thong?

AgentZigzag Thu 09-May-13 17:15:25

DD1 used to do the same at primary, not because anyone told her to but because she didn't want everyone to see her pants.

What's so bad about it?

outtolunchagain Thu 09-May-13 17:15:30

Very unhealthy on a warm day but seems to be the done thing now

We always used to wear shorts under our dresses at so that we could do handstands. Sounds fine to me.

Dahlialover Thu 09-May-13 17:17:04

knickers are not as substantial as they were when I was that age sad

ShatnersBassoon Thu 09-May-13 17:17:17

I can see both sides. The teacher is encouraging the children to be modest, but a young child's underwear isn't 'rude'. I'm not sure at what age modesty should be encouraged tbh.

Anyway, it's fairly common practice for primary school girls to put shorts on under summer dresses.

MyShoofly Thu 09-May-13 17:17:35

I also think its not such a bad idea? She is school aged so not a horrible suggestion that tight shorts under skirts would be more appropriate for running around and playing. Just my two cents.

Greythorne Thu 09-May-13 17:18:48

I have never in my life heard of shorts under summer dresses.

When it is warm, the point of a summer dress is that it is cool.

I utterly refute that little girls should get hot in order to save others from a potential glimpse of their knickers.


HumphreyCobbler Thu 09-May-13 17:18:51

knickers are covering her up and I see no need for extra covering.

This is silly

phantomnamechanger Thu 09-May-13 17:19:48

is the teacher male or female , and does it make a difference in your eyes OP?

I think it is perfectly reasonable for the school to suggest this. Cuts down on silly comments from some of the boys, prevents girls being so self conscious leaving them free to have their fun. Maybe the staff know something the parents don't about eg the man who lives opposite and likes to watch the little girls?

And I am sure there are schools who ban cartwheels and handstands for health and safety reasons, so at least yours is better than that!

NadiaWadia Thu 09-May-13 17:19:51

A 6 year old should not have to worry about this.

WilsonFrickett Thu 09-May-13 17:21:30

Teach the boys not to make silly comments then! Utterly ridiculous - knickers are coverings.

*Mother of a boy, btw.

This was made a rule when i was at primary - people were outraged - until the head disclosed that the reason it had been brought in was because a number of girls in y5 &6 had started their periods and had been teased by other children when doing handstands etc because they saw their sanitary wear - it was the most fair option and people just got on with it

heymammy Thu 09-May-13 17:23:55

My dd1 is nearly 10 and still doesn't give a shit if she shows her knickers in the playground. Her pants are covering her privates so why do we feel the need to cover her pants?

Margetts Thu 09-May-13 17:25:10

Smiling to myself as most girls in my DD school wear summer dresses with tights as it still so cold !!

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 09-May-13 17:26:09

I'm just grateful if dd remembers her knickers - at 6 she was spotted in the yard doing cartwheels without any.................

I still die a bit everytime I remember the conversation with her teacher on pick up from school she was trying very hard to keep a straight face!

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 17:26:31

Sounds crazy to me. Knickers cover what needs to be covered.

TheSmallClanger Thu 09-May-13 17:26:31

Why does she have to wear a summer dress at all if they are that problematic? Can she wear trousers or shorts on their own?

quoteunquote Thu 09-May-13 17:26:45

Would she be allowed to do a cartwheel in a swimming costume?

or does she have to wear shorts when she goes swimming?

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 17:27:10

Teach girls to be ashamed of their bodies.

HeffalumpTheFlump Thu 09-May-13 17:30:08

I personally think shorts wouldn't be a bad idea, but perhaps a lighter pair than cycle shorts. I wouldn't want a 6 year old girl to be walking around in her knickers, so if they are doing lots of handstands I can't see too much of a difference, they are still showing their underwear.

pigletmania Thu 09-May-13 17:33:01

Fine don't see anything wrong with it. My dd asvavhabt of stating with her legs splayed so everyone can see her knickers, I pop some shrts underneath to ensure her modesty

specialsubject Thu 09-May-13 17:33:12

and to think we used to do PE in t-shirts and knickers... admittedly in a girls-only school...

pigletmania Thu 09-May-13 17:33:21

Meant sittting

PrideOfChanur Thu 09-May-13 17:34:34

Silly.When I was at school,many years ago <creak,groan...>
we did both PE and what was called Music and Movement(sort of dance/drama type thing!) in our underwear.Admittedly it was very substantial and uniform underwear,but even so...

StuntGirl Thu 09-May-13 17:35:50

Utter bollocks.

I'd be talking to the teacher about it and suggesting that instead they teach the children not to tease others, rather than teach small children that girls must cover up the clothes have themselves been designed to cover them up...

cantspel Thu 09-May-13 17:36:48

Back in the dark ages we all did PE in our pants and vests at primary. Boys and girls together the world didn't come to an end at the signt on your children in their underwear.

I think there is something wrong with the world if a 6 year old has to be modest about showing her pants.

Khara Thu 09-May-13 17:37:24

We did pe in vests and knickers in the 70s and that was in a mixed primary school.

bollockstoit Thu 09-May-13 17:38:58

We used to tuck our skirts up the legs of our knickers when doing handstands and things

ifancyashandy Thu 09-May-13 17:39:52

Utter bollocks for the reasons all PP have said. I'd refuse if it were my daughter.

RiotsNotDiets Thu 09-May-13 17:40:05

We did this at school by choice, I don't see a problem. Why would you rather your DD has her underwear on display if it can be avoided?

WorraLiberty Thu 09-May-13 17:42:30

What we did in the 70's doesn't really compare to now.

We're living in a digital age and encouraging modesty in youngsters is probably a good idea, although it's sad that it's becoming necessary.

A couple of months ago my cousin emailed me a link to a Facebook page asking me to help report it and have it removed. There were 100s of pics of little girls 'upskirt' and the page was liked by about 375 people sad

Most of them were on climbing frames at the park and the pervy comments were disgusting.

BackforGood Thu 09-May-13 17:42:49

Absolutely ridiculous. She's 6! Why should she be worried about someone getting a quick flash of her pants as she cartwheels ?
I certainly wouldn't be happy that the teacher had put the question into the head of a 6 yr old.

TheseFoolishThings Thu 09-May-13 17:44:02

This problem wouldn't even arise if both girls and boys wore the same uniform. Something comfortable, practical and easy to wear. In other wordes Not A Bloody Dress. In my very humble opinion anyway.

TheseFoolishThings Thu 09-May-13 17:44:20

And yes I do know how to spell words blush

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 17:44:49

But what happens when the shorts over the knickers aren't 'modest' enough? Will they need to put a second pair of short over the first pair?


Feel like I've stumbled into a Mormon support group.

ChunkyPickle Thu 09-May-13 17:46:06

Don't they just tuck their skirts in the legs of their knickers like we did?

Don't see why she would have to wear shorts really.. if she doesn't care, why should she be made to wear shorts so others don't comment - the others should be taught not to comment instead.

CabbageLeaves Thu 09-May-13 17:46:47

All the girls do this at my DDs school..both primary and secondary. Gone are the days of knickers being big, navy and like shorts. It's often their choice and reflects the fact that they don't feel happy running around in their small knickers (anymore than a male child might?)

ipswitch Thu 09-May-13 17:47:20

I wear cycling shorts under my dresses and skirts as an adult.
Lovely and comfortable, no chaffing and I havent even tried cartwheels yet...but might tomorrow!!!

MrsHiddleston Thu 09-May-13 17:48:42

She's 6!?! Why on earth should she need to wear cycling shorts under her dress? I'm actually quite disturbed that this appears to be quite normal. I imagine it would be rather hot and sweaty... And I fail to see the necessity.

ChunkyPickle Thu 09-May-13 17:49:44

Ahem.. yes, well these days I might for chaffing reasons.. but then these days I wouldn't be cartwheeling or doing hand stands either.

I hope aged 6 my DS won't care much about how big his pants are still - they're children, and I would hope that he'll be confident about his body and not feel that he needs to hide more than absolutely necessary for the circumstances.

girliefriend Thu 09-May-13 17:49:45

I heard another mum moaning as she had been told the same thing, it was the school policy that if your dd is wearing a summer dress they have to have cycling shorts underneath.

I was shock and a bit angry

It seems so cynical and ott, another little bit of our childs innocence lost sad

StuntGirl Thu 09-May-13 17:53:09

I don't even care if people get a flash of my knickers now and I'm in my twenties. Maybe I'm just a shameless hussy?

hambo Thu 09-May-13 17:53:52

So, girls have to cover up because some (very very few) people might tease or like seeing their knickers? This is not the child's fault and she should not change her behaviour, the teasers or who ever else should change their behaviour. Infact the teacher may be the only person who sees a problem. YADNBU

meglet Thu 09-May-13 17:54:16

In my day we didn't have a uniform at primary school so I would often wear trousers. I remember how much we'd get teased for doing handstands in a skirt.

I've bought DD culottes as part of her uniform, they seem more practical for tearing around outside.

CrowsLanding Thu 09-May-13 17:55:13

I'm going against the grain here but I completely agree that yes if girls are going to be doing handstands cartwheels etc they should either be wearing shorts under their dress/skirt or should be wearing trousers.
I also agree with what worra said. This is no longer the 1970s.

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 09-May-13 17:56:16

Your dd isn't in ankle length bloomers!

Seriously. This is odd. Whose staring in the school?

Scruffey Thu 09-May-13 17:56:16

My dd wears shorts under her summer dress. I don't have any feelings either way about the modesty issue but I think that when little girls sit on the carpet or go down a slide, they don't smooth the skirt under their bum and legs like women do when they sit down. Given pants are pretty skimpy I think sitting with their bums directly on the carpet is uncomfortable and unhygienic. So shorts here!

Startail Thu 09-May-13 17:56:16

I'd have told her not to be ridiculous.

youmeatsix Thu 09-May-13 17:56:22

can the place where they play be seen from the road? maybe its because of anyone passing by (dont make me say it sad)

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 17:57:32

Who is staring in the playground??

ifancyashandy Thu 09-May-13 17:57:50

As other have said, I'd rather change attitudes than put shorts on a child under her uniform.

Way to teaching the female child it's her fault people may look at her.

Startail Thu 09-May-13 18:00:07

Seriously little girls don't need to be worrying about being modest and little boys need to learn it's not nice to stare or tease.

Anyhow, if we didn't have stupid school uniform the problem wouldn't arise. Most of the girls would wear cool summer trousers, leggings or shorts anyway.

WorraLiberty Thu 09-May-13 18:00:28

youme it's probably a general teaching of modesty...not necessarily just for school.

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 18:01:41

I do so hate the word 'modest' in this context.

WorraLiberty Thu 09-May-13 18:02:01

I don't know any schools here in London that doesn't allow trousers for girls as well as boys? Some girls have to keep their legs covered for religious reasons.

GladbagsGold Thu 09-May-13 18:03:17

Let kids be kids I say. My 6yo spent hours in her pants at the weekend playing in the garden with friends. No one was hurt.

MsHighwater Thu 09-May-13 18:03:40

There is nothing rude about a 6 year old's pants. It is very very wrong to teach a girl that she is responsible for ensuring her "modesty" to this extent. If she's wearing pants, her clothing is adequate. Imposing a rule is beyond ridiculous, imo.

Startail Thu 09-May-13 18:03:41

In any case anyone looking at a prepubescent child like that ought to be ashamed, not the child.

The same goes for secondary teachers obsessed with the girls skirt lengths, sooner or later one of the girls is going to make a formal complaint of harassment.

Machli Thu 09-May-13 18:05:58

They all wear leggings under dresses at dd's school and I think it's fine. Don't see a problem with it.

WorraLiberty Thu 09-May-13 18:07:00

The same goes for secondary teachers obsessed with the girls skirt lengths, sooner or later one of the girls is going to make a formal complaint of harassment.

Really? 'Harassed' for being made to stick to school rules regarding skirt length? confused

WilsonFrickett Thu 09-May-13 18:09:26

Boys and girls still get changed together for PE at my son's school, up to Primary 4 I think. Thus knickers are generally seen.

Nehru Thu 09-May-13 18:10:30

I do think the skirt length thing is odd. What is the problem with it.. Exactly?

sarahtigh Thu 09-May-13 18:10:35

the difference is when we did PE in vest and knickers we were wearing navy possibly bottle green big pants more like boy shorts or hot pants no legs but they came up to waist so almost like shorts

I do not think a 6 year old should worry about knickers on show it is a shame if girls can;t wear skirts or dresses without shorts/leggings trousers underneath it is just hot etc

ok by 10, 11 its a bit different, they can be told how to move without flashing knickers

whois Thu 09-May-13 18:12:18

Totally stupid. A flash of nickers or a 6 year old shouldn't be a big deal. Shorts under dress would be horrible in hot weather (and no 6 year old should need to wear them for 'chafing' reasons!).

Chavvytastic Thu 09-May-13 18:14:46

Hmmm nice lots of sweaty crotches on hot days!!! Very unpleasant and not healthy either.

Proper pants is what you need. FULL briefs is what you want - not cycling shorts.

FULL briefs are not the mainstream briefs found in most supermarkets etc these days though. There is a difference.

Buy proper pants for girls and let them play. My girls skipped with their dresses and skirts tucked into their knickers and did handstands. You can if you shop around still buy decent FULL briefs at a cheap price for your girls and infact if more mums stopped buying the skimpy shite that has become mainstream from the supermarkets etc then they would be forced to provide what the shopper demanded - but no lets buy some shite skimpy pants and then buy some nice nylony/plasticy non breathable cycling shorts as well that will give my daughter a sweaty crotch.

The last lot of FULL briefs I bought came from a cheapo shop - somewhere like Store 21 or similar.

Roll on a few years and will we be discussing who lets their daughter take canesten at school???

Sokmonsta Thu 09-May-13 18:15:30

What about the old thick gym knickers we used to wear under netball skirts <possibly shows age>. Or skorts? Dd has a skort for pe as I couldn't find unisex proper shorts at the time and she didn't want to wear cycling shorts.

frogwatcher42 Thu 09-May-13 18:15:59

The first time I heard of primary aged children wearing shorts under dresses was last year on here!

I just asked my 11 year old if she would like to wear shorts to protect her modesty as she spends most of break time upside down in handstands. She said a definate NO and that people would laugh at her. I asked if any of the girls wear them at her school and apparently they don't. Its not a large school - about 250-300 pupils.

I wonder if once somebody wears them the 'trend' would move through the school. I remember that happening with crop tops where girls with nothing to hide wearing them to make them feel as though they were developing along with those in bras.

M&S do pretty substantial girls pants - my 11 year old has moved into those from some pathetic flimsy things - maybe that is why she is so comfortable flashing her knickers.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 18:16:16

All the parents I know do this out of choice, so many schools now specify that cycling/pe shorts may be worn under summer uniform dresses as long as the hem isn't lower than the skirt.

DD (12) still can't do handstands successfully, let alone cartwheels, but she was smart enough to realise that dresses were (a) bloody uncomfortable when they all had to sit on the floor and (b) useless for playing in, especially on the "bars" (c) had a tendency to lift up unexpectedly in the wind, sending the boys into fits of giggles about knickers.

I did buy her a couple of summer dresses in year R but she didn't like them and has always worn trousers ever since - for her they're more comfortable and practical.

It sounds to me as if the teacher was being kind. Your DD was probably the only one not wearing shorts under her dress.

CabbageLeaves Thu 09-May-13 18:20:09

These threads always go the same way
Protection from passing paedophiles
Protecting the rights of a child to flash their underwear (even though the child is oblivious of this 'right')
Ignoring the fact that clothes are worn for a variety of reasons and when doing cartwheels in a skirt...sitting cross legged etc. ...a skirt fails at most of them

If it was about boys taking off their trousers because they were hot people would answer differently. Skirts are just a ridiculous item for small children. The only part of the body they guarantee to cover is the waist band. Why wear clothes at all?

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 18:21:31

I might add that you can get very nice shorts-style knickers in M&S. They are lovely and soft and last as long as they need to - unlike the cheapo briefs you get in Asda etc. These are the plain ones but you can get colours/patterns too in that style.

KansasCityOctopus Thu 09-May-13 18:24:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EldritchCleavage Thu 09-May-13 18:24:55

Well, if seeing little girls' knickers is so terrible, they should go to school in shorts. And if school uniform rules don't allow that, why the hell not?

Once again, rather than other people changing their (yucky) attitudes, girls are being made to feel self-conscious, inhibited and 'wrong' somehow. Makes me cross.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 18:25:06

In the 70s our headmaster asked the girls to wear shorts under their dresses (if they chose to wear dresses, we had no uniform) because he didnt want a "knicker show" when we were doing cartwheels on the field. grin

honeytea Thu 09-May-13 18:28:28

If the girls are going to wear shorts under their dresses why don't they just wear shorts and no dress?

dimdommilpot Thu 09-May-13 18:28:31

We used to have to wear shorts under our dresses if we want to do hand stands and the like. I had illuminous pink cycling shorts. My best friend had the same in orange.

KitchenandJumble Thu 09-May-13 18:28:37

Absolutely ridiculous. Don't give it a second thought. The teacher's request is just puritanical nonsense.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 09-May-13 18:31:17

YANBU to be ? At all. I would hope the teacher just meant well, and didn't want dd to be teased or something, but didn't think it through properly.

If the desired outcome is to stop boys making silly comments, the answer is to tell the boys off if they do: not to make the girls moderate their dress.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 09-May-13 18:33:52

I agree with TheOriginal.

But it's a shame girls' clothes restrict their movement. That is sending them a message in itself. I see it with shoes as well. Silly ballerina pumps they can't run in

daftdame Thu 09-May-13 18:34:28

I seem to remember 'school knickers' which were navy blue and a bit like shorts. We wore white vests also. I don't know whether this was because my mum thought it looked better for PE, (as we did PE in pants and vests) our uniform policy was not strict, but lots of people had the 'school pants' and vests. My granny also laughed at her 'school' knickers', in the 1920's they had pockets for your handkerchief!

We also did handstands, all the girls upside down for the whole playtime (2nd yr juniors), we didn't tuck in either.

Goldmandra Thu 09-May-13 18:34:30

We were told to do this by the nuns who taught us in the seventies. I thought the world had moved on a little since then. Clearly not.

If they are all wearing knickers I cannot understand what needs to be covered up.

Some people see paedophilia everywhere they look!

hugoagogo Thu 09-May-13 18:39:04

dd used to wear cycling shorts under her dresses, her knickers were gaping and it was not her knickers she was flashing. Could this be the problem? Some short style knickers are really bad for it.

After that summer I didn't get dresses just 'city shorts' or culottes in stead- much more practical.

Those m&s knickers are a brilliant compromise btw, but be worned they are so comfy your dd might refuse to wear any other kind. hmm

phantomnamechanger Thu 09-May-13 18:42:57

I think some of you are being naive - as has already been pointed out on here, pictures of little girls at play, accidentally and innocently exposing their knicks, DO make it onto the internet and DO attract the wrong sort of comments. As do pictures of kids on the beach running about starkers.

I am also of the generation where we had to do cross country runs, at secondary school, in navy blue knickers. It was humiliating. I am not aware of any cases of girls being perved at but it MUST have happened. Yes, its the perv's fault not the childs but an easy compromise is wearing shorts as an extra layer - and they dont have to be worn all day, can easily be popped on for lunch/play times as my DD does

i can see the reverse thread "IABU, school will not let DD wear shorts under her dress and I dont want the world seeing her knicks"

the comparison with length of school skirts does not work - if parents sign up to a school, they agree to stick to the rules. In many JOBS you can get disciplined for breaking a dress code, school is no different. I saw one girl in the dentists the other day, her skirt did not even cover her bum when she sat down.

honeytea Thu 09-May-13 18:45:36

I think some of you are being naive - as has already been pointed out on here, pictures of little girls at play, accidentally and innocently exposing their knicks, DO make it onto the internet and DO attract the wrong sort of comments. As do pictures of kids on the beach running about starkers.

But the child will not know and nothing bad will happen to them. I am not saying that it is right that images like that end up being abused but it is the image that is being abused not the child in my opinion.

hugoagogo Thu 09-May-13 18:45:39

I assumed that that these were the knickers linked to above btw.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 09-May-13 18:51:26

I think it does my dd greater harm to be taught that her body is so shameful it requires a double layer of covering and if people make comments about her underwear then it is her job to stop it by covering it up than some strangers getting off on an upskirt photo of her pants that se has no awareness off. It would be nice not to have to think about things like that at all though.

I am startled when the girls at the swing park flash their knickers on climbing frames, slides, parallel bars etc. <sheltered mother of boys>

Substantial "boy short" knickers or just wearing shorts and polo shirt like the boys would seem to be the pragmatic solution. Plenty of girls at DS1's school wear shorts (all winter, with tights, brrrrrrr).

Boomba Thu 09-May-13 18:53:11

My dd just wears shorts in the need for q dress over the top. Uniform compliant shorts! Sold in supermarkets

Troubledjo Thu 09-May-13 18:53:51

My dd's school has the same rule but because they have a climbing frame with bars, and the girls have been told they're not allowed to hang upside down on the bars unless they are wearing shorts or leggings under their dresses. This is specific to the year 5/6 playground so I can see the reasoning. The odd thing is though, for PE the boys and girls are still expected to get changed into their PE kit together in the class-room so it all seems a bit confused.
I have been struggling to find thin white cycling shorts which won't be too hot to wear - anyone have any ideas?

Machli Thu 09-May-13 18:54:52

Asda for cycling shorts, nice light ones. Or H&M or Primark, though likely to be white leggings rather than shorts there.

Anthracite Thu 09-May-13 18:56:29

My DD wears her cycling shorts under her dress. They are part of the school uniform.

mymatemax Thu 09-May-13 18:57:01

never heard anything so silly, shes 6 yrs old. Surely shes wearing proper big knickers FGS

Troubledjo Thu 09-May-13 18:57:44

Thanks Machli will try Asda. Have plenty of H&M leggings which are great, but she wants shorts and haven't been able to find any which aren't too baggy.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 19:00:19

Yes hugo that's them, sorry if there was a problem with the link.

The M&S ones are really good and don't gape at all. DD loves them, they are really soft (but still wears trousers because they're more comfortable).

Much better than the teenyweeny boyshorts in the supermarkets.

Frankly I just don't understand why girls and women continue to wear dresses and skirts - so impractical! But that's just me (and DD). I would have loved to be able to wear trousers to school back in the day...

Troubledjo Thu 09-May-13 19:01:53

It's complicated. I agree that it seems mad for a 6 year old, but then when you see some of the older 10/11 year old girls it does seem sensible for them to be aware of the need for modesty. I suppose it's just easier for the school to have one rule for all rather than suddenly introducing it as they get older, which might cause them to be more self-conscious.

stealthsquiggle Thu 09-May-13 19:02:04

DD (6) gets changed into PE kit at lunchtime anyway, as they do some sort of activity every afternoon, so not an issue, even though they do have to wear dresses. Interestingly when they graduate to "proper" games kit (in Y4, as opposed to the t shirt and shorts they have until then) the girls have skorts rather than the stupid pleated skirt that I had.

OP - I agree with the principle that they shouldn't have to, but I guess it makes sense to have an option (of cotton rather than nylon/lycra) shorts if they want them. My DD quite often chooses to wear cropped leggings under pretty dressed for general tree climbing and mucking around at home because that is what she likes.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 19:02:45

I think the problem is too that even if you have substantial knickers/boyshorts when seen under a dress they are still underwear.

Boys at DDs primary and secondary schools were not allowed to wear low-slung trousers for the same reason.

Underwear. The clue's in the name.

OnTheNingNangNong Thu 09-May-13 19:03:38

I wore shorts under my summer dresses, as the dresses ended up tucked into my shorts so I could run easily.

My senior school had a thing about kilts being the right length- mine was about 3 inches beneath my bum. That never went down well, but I was a lot older...

bulby Thu 09-May-13 19:07:40

Good grief- the teacher would have a dicky fit if she worked at DDs school. I frequently turn up to after school club to find her wandering around in nothing more than her knickers as she changes from one fancy dress outfit into another. She's only in reception but I've seen some of the older boys and girls in varying states of undress- how lovely that no one things anything about it.
Knickers are a cover up in themselves and it makes me so sad that people suggest its somehow wrong if they get flashed.

SoupDragon Thu 09-May-13 19:10:30

What, exactly, is the problem with seeing a 6 year old's knickers?

complexnumber Thu 09-May-13 19:12:42

Our DD2 (aged about 4) was asked to put some knickers on (by us) before we went out.

Her response:
"Why? Are we going some where special?"

ryanboy Thu 09-May-13 19:14:02

I am wondering how knickers expose more than leotards.gymnastics competitions are open to the public, the girls are not allowed to wear shorts over and particularly on bars you can get girls in some pretty undignified positions!!

BadRoly Thu 09-May-13 19:19:34

Dd1 didn't like wearing summer dresses in yrs 5&6 and CHOSE to wear the boys summer uniform of shorts and polo shirt. No one ever said anything and dd2 now does the same.

That said, ds2 went to the school nursery wearing a pair of his dusters pink leggings this morning as he dressed himself. So I may not be the best person to give school uniform advice wink

BigBlockSingsong Thu 09-May-13 19:19:35

I'm going against the grain here, I really don't like children doing cartwheels flashing their knickers, I think modesty is an important lesson.

When I was a child all the kids had these baggy knickers that often showed more than they covered.

BadRoly Thu 09-May-13 19:22:10

*sister's pink leggings, not dusters.

Well wouldn't it be lovely to live in a world where people bought their children sensible pants.

I've seen two extra vaginas this week because people don't. Children footer about with their underwear and genitals and playground games consist of doing handstands for as long as possible. And it's the 'in thing' to wear pants as close to thongs as possible.

The above is 7 year olds.

At dd's school they have the short skirt problem and the girls wear thongs or no knickers (thanks Kim Kardashian). We live on a hill - do you know how many photos of naked bums have made it to Facebook this year? (4 so far)

This isn't about paedophiles or about 'modesty' but is instead about self esteem and appropriate dress.

And yes, of course I think girls should wear the same shorts as boys and Polos in primary and compulsory trousers in secondary.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 19:26:14

I agree that at 6 there is little self-awareness amongst girls and boys, but it does develop.

I just think it's about development and learning about what is normal and what isn't.

School is a day-to-day activity. It's not like swimming or gymnastics or ballet. Dancers, swimmers and gymnasts don't prance around in underwear for their day-to-day activities, they wear the clothing because it's practical for that activity, and expected. Just as shorts under a dress is practical where underwear isn't expected to be seen.

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 19:27:58

Modesty, modesty, modesty. hmm

There's nothing 'immodest' about a 6 year old girl doing a cartwheel without a pair of shorts under her skirt!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 09-May-13 19:30:38

Will little girls wearing cycling shorts stop paedophiles? and is it their job to do so?

That is what this boils down to.


StuntGirl Thu 09-May-13 19:36:35

Exactly squoosh

RubyGates Thu 09-May-13 19:39:15

Knickers are underwear. The clue's in the name, Under something. If you are upside -down, and your dress is over your head then your pants are not under anything. A pair of shorts is therefore a good idea. Or just wear the boy's summer uniform.

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 19:42:04

Good grief.

Goldmandra Thu 09-May-13 19:46:59

And it's the 'in thing' to wear pants as close to thongs as possible

So perhaps the school needs to remind parents that appropriate underwear must be worn if their child would like to practise hand stands at school.

I still don't see any need for shorts on top of knickers as they aren't needed on top of swimming costumes or leotards.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 19:47:06

It's not about paedophiles, it's about learning!

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 19:50:52

they aren't needed on top of swimming costumes or leotards

School playgrounds aren't swimming pools, dance halls or gymnasiums.

It's about learning. Seems very kind of the teacher to guide this DD if the parents don't understand the concept of appropriate dress.

As other posters have pointed out, it's not exactly a new phenomenon.

In Canada and the US "skorts" are quite common in school uniforms.

It's about dignity, not modesty.

LtEveDallas Thu 09-May-13 19:52:07

DD asked me to buy her some red shorts to wear under her summer dress because even though I bought them 3 years above her age, they are still ridiculously short (she's 8, the dresses are age 10-11 but they are an inch above her kneecap). She said she didn't like 'circle time' (sitting on the floor) because her knickers showed.

Her choice, no-one else's. I bought them for her comfort and because she asked. I really don't see the issue here. If your DD wants to wear them, buy them. If she doesn't, don't.

The thing is that telling parents to buy appropriate underwear leads to defensiveness and argument about whether they're appropriate or not. Which is why some schools say about wearing shorts.

I don't think people should be forced to wear shorts under dresses but lots of modern girls pants are high leg/see through/too much like sexy adult underwear.

This problem is far more linked to the influence of media images and modern culture. Perhaps we should be campaigning for girls to be able to wear the same as boys ?

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 19:54:10

'Seems very kind of the teacher to guide this DD if the parents don't understand the concept of appropriate dress.'

Wow, that's unnecessarily bitchy of you.

At the junior school I work at it's a school rule that you must wear shorts, trousers or tights over your pants if doing handstands, cartwheels or playing on the roll over bars. We have girls of 11, taller than me, who have hit puberty but the rule is general as that's the only way to enforce it. Shorts, skirts, summer dresses, trousers or pinafores are all acceptable school uniform for girls. Most girls just put on their PE shorts for playtime.

Gone are the days of PE in school over-knickers. I was in school in the 70s and I hated doing PE and games in navy blue knickers, especially during my period.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 20:01:15

I don't really see the problem. No one (men, women, boys, girls) walks around in public in a t shirt and a pair of pants because it's not the done thing. In our culture people cover their pants with other clothes. So why not when doing cartwheels? Either by wearing shorts under a dress if the child wants to wear a dress, or by wearing shorts on their own if they prefer this?

MorphandChas Thu 09-May-13 20:01:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theas18 Thu 09-May-13 20:02:36

I think it's time to adopt a summer uniform of shorts. Dd2 and several mates, wore boys Bermuda shorts in year 6. Smart enough and perfectly comfy and appropriate. Interestingly no one above year 5 wore dresses really (though 6yrs before whn the eldest was there, all the year 6gurks did!). The school did make the odd "girls shouldn't wear shorts ,only boys" noises but it came to nothing.

Or a skort? We have a lovely gym skort for secondary my neice in Spain has a skort as summer uniform (all be it bottle green!). Mind you she also has culottes for the winter (she's just 13) - puts paid to all that rolling up and general skirt related teenage shenanigans too.

Maybe do away with summer dresses (I loved them as a parent,so easy care). Ever seen a front row of nursery /reception kids in assembly sitting cross legged in dresses? All knickers on display!

LouiseSmith Thu 09-May-13 20:06:09

I would rather have DD wear shorts under a dress. Children get up to all sorts and there not as conscious as we would be. I would worry who was watching if it was me

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 20:06:11

No it wasn't bitchy. It was in response to the inappropriate comparison between what's appropriate for school wear and what's appropriate for swimming or gym.

If you follow that analogy, you would have to say it should be fine for children to go to school in swimsuits and leotards.

Appropriate dress means appropriate for the circumstances.

Even 6 year olds are entitled to their dignity, whether the OP or other parents think that's important or not.

I think the teacher was quite right in giving guidance to the DD when she clearly wasn't getting it at home.

ravenAK Thu 09-May-13 20:10:24

It seems quite sensible to me. Shorts, or substantial old fashioned pants.

Dd1 has the world's tiniest bum (sadly, not an inherited trait) & pants do tend to gape somewhat. She does have some nice snug ones, but is the sort of child who would prefer not to be laughed at for showing her knickers anyway, so she chooses to wear cotton cycling shorts if she's wearing a summer frock.

She asked me to buy them for her - her best mate wears leggings, & we compromised on the shorts as I thought leggings would be too hot.

Dd2 could not give a monkey's. If people want to admire her pants, she thinks this is hilarious. So I just check she wears reasonably sturdy ones!

I must admit I've never thought much about it beyond ensuring that they're wearing something they are comfortable in & which covers the essentials...

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 20:14:52

'I think the teacher was quite right in giving guidance to the DD when she clearly wasn't getting it at home'

Why don't you try and get a few more digs in about the OP's parenting. Oh please do, it's clearly your special talent.

toffeelolly Thu 09-May-13 20:27:35

Wearing short's under dress's , whatever next.

WorraLiberty Thu 09-May-13 20:47:11

Where is the OP anyway?

She started 2 threads about this and then didn't return?

HintofBream Thu 09-May-13 20:53:21

Yes, teach 6 year olds modesty. Make them wear shorts. Hair is attractive to men, so make the kids cover that up too. While we are at it let's make it Burkas all round. That will sort the army of paedos out.

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 20:57:50

This thread reminds me of the bloody awful massive navy blue knickers my mum used to make us wear under skirts and dresses at all times. Wearing two pairs of knickers on a stifling hot day is just not good for the nether regions!

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 20:58:39

But it isn't part of our culture to cover our hair, as it is to cover our pants.

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 21:10:11

I don't think it is part of our culture to cover your pants when you are six.

Would you wear cycling shorts on a hot day?!

HintofBream Thu 09-May-13 21:13:45

But, Lemon, t with this extra pants edict, we are teaching girls that they carry the responsibility for arousing men's lust, which is very much a part, and an undesirable part, of other cultures. Better surely to concentrate on educating the boys.

Blu Thu 09-May-13 21:22:16

Most of the girls in DS's primary wore cotton cropped trousers in summer. The benefits of no uniform.

If a child WANTS to wear shorts under a dress, or her parents feel it best, then fin, but I think an adult drawing attention to it is a strong implication that it is WRONG if your pants are seen during cartwheels, and i think that is an outrageous message to give to a child,

DS has never bothered about girls knickers and I never heard any boy at his primary commenting or laughing.

But then most of the girls wore shorts in summer and jeans in winter. Just like the boys.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 21:27:28

I wouldn't inflict me in cycling shorts on people on any day, not with my huge butt!

But it is part of our culture to cover our pants when we are six. We don't dress our sons and daughters in just underpants and a t shirt to go out. Obviously they wear as little as they want in our homes and friends' homes, but no one dresses their kids in just pants and t shirt to go to the supermarket do they? I don't see kids just in pants in the supermarket.

No, if a child wore non-sexy pants which actually covered their vulvas and bum and wasn't see through then boys would have nothing to look at.

But they don't and of course everyone comments on the pretty pink ribbons, slogans, Hello Kitty underwear because they are different

Boys pants cover everything and are mostly dull and uninteresting to look at. Added to which when they do handstands they're wearing shorts so you don't see their underwear.

What's all this about double pants confused

That's exactly what boys are wearing when they wear pants and shorts.

The only extra for girls is a skirt which is completely A line and not touching their body as they stick out from the waist. And when they're hand standing they're just in their pants.

Boys are never in only their pants.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 21:34:01

Of course these girls' school shorts would be another alternative.

thebody Thu 09-May-13 21:35:38

I have never ever heard or seen any little girl with cycling shorts under a dress.

I am late 40s with 4 kids so seen decades of little girls doing handstands.


frogwatcher42 Thu 09-May-13 21:42:08

'But it isn't part of our culture to cover our hair, as it is to cover our pants.'

I don't think it is our culture to cover young childrens' pants necessarily. Even my mother who is in her 60s seemed to run around with very little on as a child as I have seen photos of her in her knickers and no top on, on the beach in public.

Even worse there are photos of me in a park stark naked in the 70s, in a public paddling pool. I must have been at least 7. There is a particularly tasteful one of my sister bending over and me doing a handstand with nothing on!

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 21:43:51

Its such a non issue.

My DD is 6 and has developed the lovely habit of taking her nappy or pants off in house and was trying to stand at window.

I just laughed and ushered her away.Am I too laid back?

frogwatcher42 Thu 09-May-13 21:53:46

I dont think you are too laid back fanjo. It is each parents choice.

My dc play in the front yard in very little, and sometimes nothing on, running around under garden hoses. The eldest is over 10 (she doesnt strip off completely but will be in bra and knickers).

They are just children after all. They will get a sense of modesty when the time is right imo - probably as puberty hits. I see it in my eldest now where only a year ago she would go naked.

PoppyField Thu 09-May-13 22:02:16

YANBU. The fact that this discussion even needs to be had makes me angry. How come we northern European liberals advocating shorts under skirts on top of pants, are agreeing with the Taliban on the subject and mechanism of female 'modesty'. Modesty is the aim here is it? Or just that it is the responsibility of every girl/woman to protect the wider world from thinking unclean sexual thoughts about her.

Like a previous poster says, what happens when the shorts are not enough to extinguish every possible dirty thought from any possible onlooker? Why not a second pair just to make sure? No, to really be sure we could just make sure they don't go outside at all. That would sort it. Lock up your daughters. No nasty thoughts now. Thank God we have cleansed our whole community with such an easily implemented and practical idea.

Yup, as always, we'll blame the girls. And the solution is to make the girls 'modest'. It's their 'modesty' we are protecting - not harming them at all - that's what we're doing, not making them ashamed, or making them responsible for being abused or responsible for the potential filthy thoughts of men over which they have absolutely no control.

Good grief. It is nothing and everything you ever wanted to know about the culture we live in. A misogynistic one.

shallweshop Thu 09-May-13 22:03:37

Fucking ridiculous for a teacher to suggest this! My DD did start to keep her PE shorts on under her summer dress when she was in the infants as it seemed to be a bit of a trend amongst her peers. I told her not to as she was getting too hot but when I realised it was an issue I started buying her shorts style undies as a compromise.

Lovecat Thu 09-May-13 22:10:08

Where is the OP?

And what Poppyfield said. Boils my piss, this talk of 'modesty' for children <shudder>.

As a matter of interest, DD goes to a school where the uniform for girls and boys is strictly separate (used to be a girls-only school so the boys are a recent addition). Girls wear summer dresses.

A letter was sent home at Easter (when Summer uniform comes in) asking parents NOT to put leggings or shorts under their daughter's summer dresses, as it was inappropriate to cover children up in the hot weather. Thank God for commonsense.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 22:10:41

But everyone has used examples of kids playing in pants in paddling pools, or on the beach or under the garden hose pipe. The OP is talking about the school playground. People don't send their 6 year olds to school in just pants do they?

It would be misogynistic if men and boys were seen on the playground in just their pants and only women and girls couldn't wear them, but that isn't the case. It's the same for everyone

wizzler Thu 09-May-13 22:15:02

Lovecat I agree with you entirely.

My DD is 6. I don't even want to start explaining such nonsense to her

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 22:15:53

I have never ever heard of this shorts under skirts thing, my girls wear dresses (about knee length) precisely to be cool, wearing horrible shorts with even 2% nylon in them would make them sweat and defeat the whole point of keeping them cool.

I don't wear cycling shorts under my skirts in summer (what if I fell over and accidentally exposed my pants, omg) so I'm not putting my girls in tight not completely cotton shorts to cover up things already covered up.

I am not often amazed by something but I am amazed at this (and not in a good way).

Greythorne Thu 09-May-13 22:16:04

Is there a difference between saying that little girls should modify their clothing to avoid offending one one and grown up women modifying their clothing to avoid sexual attacks?

I can't see a difference and I am against both.

Women and girls should not be responsible for modifying their own behavior in case someone gets a flash of their age 6 hello kitty knickers or sees them wearing high heels.

MorphandChas Thu 09-May-13 22:20:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 22:21:39

Lemons, but noone is suggesting girls go to school in just their pants! Just that, if, during the course of normal, innocent play their pants are unwittingly on display, this is not a big deal.

In DD's school playground I often see young boys hanging upside down on the climbing frame, exposing <gasp> their midriff. Should I insist they wear a skintight vest underneath their shirts at all times? No different to my DD exposing some leg by doing a cartwheel.

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 22:24:51

'AIBU to be furious with DD's teacher for not punishing harshly enough the girls and boys who are laughing at my DD because her pants were on show when she cartwheeled in the playground?'

Ummmm, no. All a normal person would expect is that other children be told not to laugh and how silly it is of them to laugh at someone's pants.

How long does the knicker flashing last, three cartwheeels long?

SirChenjin Thu 09-May-13 22:26:08

Bonkers. There is no need for 6 year old girls to be made to feel self conscious by a teacher at that age, and no need to wear shorts. If I were a teacher then I'd be more concerned with telling off the pupils who made fun of her than worrying about a pair of knickers on show.

ravenAK Thu 09-May-13 22:27:25

My dds' school dresses are above the knee.

I don't think frock + shorts (if that's what they want to wear) is any different from long top + shorts.

To be fair, the only one of my dc I've ever discussed Immodest Pantage with was 8 yo ds - I suggested last summer that he'd probably be better wearing briefs rather than boxers with his shorts, as he was giving the world a lovely view of his balls as he sprawled on the grass...

MorphandChas Thu 09-May-13 22:34:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 22:36:27

A boy's midriff isn't the equivalent to a girl's pants though. A boy's pants are the equiv to a girl's pants.

Actually I should probably admit at this point that my 6 year old dd doesn't wear shorts under her dress and that she was hanging upside down on the trim trail after school and showing her pants and i barely registered this. I only thought of it because of this convo.

I don't plan to make her wear shorts or tell her to stop hanging upside down, but was thinking about this discussion from a "but we require boys to cover their pants with shorts, so why not girls?" point of view, rather than a "stop inciting men's lust" point of view.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 22:44:06

It isn't the teachers that make girls feel self-conscious. It's the other kids, and eventually, their own sense of what's appropriate.

All those saying "I've never heard of such a thing" - well now you have. Where have you all been? Shorts under dresses has been around for many years - at least since my niece was at primary school, and she's now 25. I'm older than you, the body - it's definitely not a new thing.

squoosh Why don't you try and get a few more digs in about the OP's parenting. Oh please do, it's clearly your special talent.

Unfortunately the OP seems to have flounced, but I'll see what I can do.

Fanjo My DD is 6 and has developed the lovely habit of taking her nappy or pants off in house

Your 6yo is still in nappies?

squoosh - how's that? grin

thebody Thu 09-May-13 22:44:15

Agree entirely poppyfield and greythorne.

If you can see anything remotely disturbing in the flashing of pants of a little girl doing cartwheels then I suggest you are quite bonkers.

Women and girls DO NOT have to dress modestly in our culture.

We fought our battles for equality. Others are yet to do so.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Thu 09-May-13 22:44:56

We ask kids at our school to wear shorts under dresses for handstands because our school field is overlooked by blocks of flats and a residential home... not saying they are full of pervs, but we have to be aware that is not just other kids getting a flash of knicker!

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 22:45:37

I was comparing a flash of midriff on a boy to a flash of leg on a girl, as I presumed the issue was showing too much skin. So, skin is ok, it's just the actual pants <ie clothing designed to cover skin> that are the problem?

Still failing to understand what is wrong with pants.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 22:46:23

Once again, DDs primary and secondary schools both had a uniform rule about boys not being allowed to wear low-slung trousers which displayed their underwear.

Is that outrageous too?

It's about dignity, not "modesty".

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 22:48:21

By the way, I am fully in favour of girls being allowed to wear school shorts instead of dresses (and boys being allowed to wear dresses if they want!) Perhaps that would solve the 'fairness' issue.

thebody Thu 09-May-13 22:48:37

Olgaga in addition I am a TA and have never ever seen this at my first school either. Or know anyone who puts hot shorts on a child in summer under a dress.

I am also a qualified nurse and can say this will encourage both thrush and cystitis in girls. Very insanitary.

Are you British?

As for appropriate?? What the actual fuck!! It's a child playing?

Not a woman doing cartwheels.

ScienceReallyRocks Thu 09-May-13 22:49:12

Where are you all getting these shorts? What type and colour?

I've only seen cycling shorts in black lycra in sports shops, is there something I don't know? My DD will be in yellow summer dresses next year and they'd look daft with black lycra underneath.

When I was at school, girls used to put black ones on under their school skirts so they could wear them shorter, it was all the rage but they were black ones to go under the black skirts.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 22:58:01

There was that fab boy who wore a skirt to school in protest at boys not being allowed to wear shorts in hot weather.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 09-May-13 23:00:49

Boy's cover their pant with shorts. Girls cover their pants with dresses. Girls have worn gingham school dresses in the summer for decades, it is a cultural norm. If girls want to wear shorts and it's part of the uniform then fair enough but not all girls want to be shoehorned into the boy's uniform and they shouldn't have to wear shorts and a dress. People don't wear shorts and a dress. Shorts - yes, dress - yes but they shouldn't be told they have to wear both anymore than the boy's should be told to wear dresses on top of their shorts as shorts are considered immodest in some cultures as they show the shape of the body.

Olgaga, surely you are aware that MN has a lot of parents with DC with SN? In the grand scheme of things, when your DD is 6, has SN and innocently strips off her nappy, getting upset over DC wearing shorts to do cartwheels seems a minor problem, indeed. smile

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 23:02:05

Yes I am British! What a weird question. Are you saying you have to be a "forriner" or maybe a Muslim to want to dress in a dignified way?

I have a 12yo DD and a 25yo niece. Both have worn shorts under dresses in (different) infant schools, both both preferred trousers by Y4.

Many schools' uniform policies now specifically mention and permit the wearing of shorts under dresses.

Where are you all getting these shorts? What type and colour?

They are just bog standard cycling-style PE shorts! You can buy them in Asda - two for £5.

They don't have to wear them all day - DD would often take hers off after lunch when she no longer needed them for playing in, but she usually left them on unless it was hot because she also liked to wear them when they all had to sit on the (scratchy) carpet.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 23:04:01

Olgaga, surely you are aware that MN has a lot of parents with DC with SN?

<Slaps forehead> Damn! Clairvoyance fail.

BTW, I'm a TA as well, and my school insists on shorts for cartwheels and rollover bars. A bit OTT, IMO, except for the Y6s.

How long have you been on MN, olgaga? grin

Any 6 yo who strips off her nappy isn't going to be NT!

BeQuicksieorBeDead Thu 09-May-13 23:05:44

Our kids put their shorts on for playtime, like they would for pe. I agree that little girls should be able to do anything they want to, wearing whatever they want to, but look at it from schools perspective. If you girl ended up in facebook, skirt over head, being commented on by idiots, and that photo had been taken by someone passing the school fence or overlooking the grounds, dont you think school would be partly responsible for not recognising this risk? the local authority would go to town on the head and governors for not spotting this. this is the sort of shite we have to risk assess on a daily basis. Imagine the risk assessment we have to do to take kids out in public places! Trips you should be excited about, you spend hours writing down what you will do about paedophiles, child snatchers, terrorists... The teacher in question probably agrees with you entirely.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 23:12:10

Any 6 yo who strips off her nappy isn't going to be NT!

You reckon? In fact some of the kids in my DDs YrR were still wearing pull-ups. They weren't SN.

LemonsLimes Thu 09-May-13 23:12:17

It doesn't really ask what you will do about paedophiles, child snatchers, terrorists on the risk assessmnet form does it BeQuick? (Serious question, I'm not being sarcastic!)

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:13:21

Olgaga, she has severe autism and developmental delay, operating at 18 months to 2 years, she is toilet training though and getting there <go DD> grin

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:14:44

I was secretly pleased as she kept saying 'bum' when she took nappy off..I said 'good speaking' grin

Fanjo, good speaking! grin

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:17:27

blush I thought everyone knew my Dd was very SNtastic

Do 6yos honestly get made to wear shorts under skirts at school? Does that not kind of defeat the point of a skirt? confused

Have never heard of anyone doing this before!

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 23:21:18

I think it is really unhealthy to wear tight cycling shorts with nylon in all day, I find wearing tights in winter with the school heating on can cause problems as well and always breathe a sign of relief when 100% cotton dresses can be worn. Pants are cotton, tight cycling shorts are not, and much tighter than nylon trousers (which are ghastly). People keep saying 'oh children do smell you know after running around even in primary' - no wonder, if they are encased head to toe in nylon.

Who do you think you are, Fanjo, MN royalty? wink

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:23:51

Yes, don't you know who I am? grin

Goldmandra Thu 09-May-13 23:27:48

Who do you think you are, Fanjo, MN royalty?

She most definitely is grin

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 23:29:54

Fanjo do you know how many people use this site? No I don't actually know them all - or their family circumstances. Do you?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:30:42

Yes, a royal pain in the arse grin

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:31:24

Olgaga. My bad.

Oh, olgaga, sorry to wind you up! smile

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 09-May-13 23:32:32

I mostly just did t think as dD in nappy is just normal to me, don't have other kids

FreyaSnow Thu 09-May-13 23:46:46

I have never heard of girls wearing shorts under school uniform. I have never seen any 'sexy' underwear for children. I don't believe primary school children are wearing thongs because thongs have been out of fashion for at least a decade. I do not understand why anybody would think having a picture of Hello Kitty on your underwear was sexy or attention seeking.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 23:56:10

Why Ellen please don't worry on my account! And Fanjo no offence intended - or taken.

The fact that a growing number of children (not necessarily SN) are starting school without being adequately toilet trained has been an issue in schools for quite a while, so obviously your DD is doing well.

Still, as long as they wear shorts over their nappies! grin

StuntGirl Fri 10-May-13 00:00:14

Everything poppyfield said.

toffeelolly Fri 10-May-13 00:32:37

If you want your dd'd to wear short's under skirt's why bother wearing skirt's at all.

mulranno Fri 10-May-13 00:57:40

OP here - flippin' eck - didn't realize this would cause such debate.....I can assure you all, my 6 year old's pants are approriately big and snug fitting -- as there was some discussion a few posts back about whether gaping knickers might have elicited the comment from the teacher. My daughter did not ask for shorts - just told me what the the teacher said to her. My gut reaction was that it was ridiculous for the teacher to say this to my daughter - but if my daughter wanted to wear shorts I would nt say no either.....have an older daughter and between them they have been to 4 different schools and I have never come across this before - but obviously from the posts here it is a common enough practice - either dictated by the school or as the individual choice/request of the parent or child.

CheerfulYank Fri 10-May-13 01:03:04

I'd probably put my DD in boy-short type underwear under a dress, or actual shorts. I see so many little girls standing still on the playground because they're wearing dresses and don't want to show their knickers.

nailak Fri 10-May-13 01:30:59

I don't think it is about being ashamed of your body, I think it is about teaching kids that private parts are special and private. DId the teacher say "you should be ashamed of your knickers?" or is that people projecting?

I think this is important. Children need to know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. If they think it is normal to show people their pants, then how would they beable to determine in what situations it would be wrong of someone to ask them to show their pants etc?

nailak Fri 10-May-13 01:34:08

it is not about modifying behaviour, a woman can wear what she wants and should not be attacked, the same way a child can wear what he/she wants and should not be abused.

The difference is a woman would know if someone came up to her and said do a handstand, oh what nice underwear you have, that it was inaapropriate, where as if for a child this is normal behaviour and a grown up asked them to do this then they wouldnt see anything wrong with it and see it as normal behaviour.

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 02:07:06

Have you actually asked the teacher why they have suggested wearing the bike pants? We suggest it to parents at our school for several reasons:

1) There's a big variation in what some people consider underwear. When you've seen six year olds being sent to school in g-strings, then you understand.
2) It actually allows the girls to relax a bit more, regardless of their underwear as they aren't worrying about their underwear on show. They don't worry about rearranging skirts when sitting on the floor or moving about for activities. Yes, even young children are quite aware of this. We actually want them doing cartwheels!
3) There are girls that menstruate quite early. It gives them an additional degree of privacy and less worry about sanitary items being dislodged whilst being active while they are still trying to learn.
4) In the hot summer, girls do get burns on the back of their legs from things like going down the slides.

It has nothing to do with avoiding pedophiles or stopping boys from laughing (well perhaps point 1 slightly, but if everyone would send their girls in appropriate underwear then it would be negated).

nooka Fri 10-May-13 03:04:49

Well here is yet another reason to think that school uniform is a really really bad idea. If my dd's teacher had told my dd at six that she had to wear shorts underneath her school dress I would have been very angry and told her that she had absolutely no right to say such a thing.

The OP's dd was not wearing a thong, but ordinary six year old pants, which are hardly 'immodest'. If she had been wearing a thong then fair enough for the teacher to have a quiet word with a parent (not the child). Allowing girls who wish to wear shorts or trousers is one thing, but forcing them to cover up because of a teacher's sensibilities is really outrageous.

The only time my dd has worn shorts under a skirt is when the skirt was very short and it was a part of the design of the outfit.

Also whoever said that in the US and Canada school have skorts as a part of their uniform, very very schools out here have uniforms at all because teachers trust children to wear appropriate enough clothes to get by just fine without excessive 'guidance'. Some girls wear very short skirts and some boys wear low slung trousers, and it really really doesn't matter.

nooka Fri 10-May-13 03:06:06

Midnight isn't the appropriate suggestion in your circumstance to suggest that the girls wear shorts? Not dresses with shorts. Or are shorts only allowed for boys at your school?

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 06:27:37

We're not asking them to cover up for any teachers sensibilities, but for several other reasons that I outlined above. And I guarantee you that the type of parent who lets their six year old wear a g-string to school is also the type to respond to a polite request of wearing more appropriate underwear with "whatcha doin' lookin' ya perv". Easier to not have that discussion lol!

When I say "shorts" I am referring to what we call "bike shorts" in Australia. A fairly form fitting pair of short legged pants like these: in school colours. More liked boy legged underpants, rather than traditional looser fitting shorts.

I would LOVE our school to incorporate a casual short for the girls with our day uniform like the boys do. We've finally got it approved for them to wear them as part of the sports uniform (as opposed to the former netball skirt requirement. We're a church based school, so the powers that be are still quite traditional, but we'll get there eventually. Most of us teachers are firmly in the shorts/pants for all camp!

SoupDragon Fri 10-May-13 07:09:34

Burkas. Its the only way.

WhatKindofFool Fri 10-May-13 07:50:58

In the 70s we did PE in knickers and vests. We always had to wear huge, thick navy blue knickers at school. Maybe some "uniform" type knickers would be the answer.

DoeEyedBeauties Fri 10-May-13 07:58:10

I can't remember little boys flashing me their knickers (or boxers/briefs) on the playground. Ever. Why? Because they are covered up!

Since when does women's equality come in to play with little girls dressing inappropriately?? Women don't have to dress so modestly anymore, but little girls do. We wonder why our children grow up beyond their years? Get a grip people. Oh, and yes, paedophiles are everywhere. Reality check. Just look at the news. Everyday. You want to bait the lion with fresh meat? Sick thought, but we can't be so trusting.

My daughter, if she chooses to wear dresses or skirts, (remember, there is always the option of trousers you know that gender equal item of clothing?)will instead be wearing the pantalones/short/skirt/jumper things. Where it looks like a skirt but is really hidden shorts to make sure she is dressed appropriately, no matter how she plays. Problem solved.

cory Fri 10-May-13 08:20:03

If anyone is naive, I think it is the people who think you can deter paedophiles by changing the dress code for 6yos. Once all little girls wear shorts, I'd bet you anything there will be pervy photos of little girls' shorts on the internet. In Victorian days, people used to perv over the sight of an ankle. Paedophiles don't stop being paedophiles because the dress code changes.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 08:28:04

Baiting the lion with fresh meat is a) an OTT phrase and b) an extremely distasteful one

fromparistoberlin Fri 10-May-13 08:35:52

this reminds me of when we went to a kids party and a little girl (aged 6) decided to go naked, she just stripped off!!!!

everyone was very uncomfortable and her mum said airily "oh she loves to be naked"

I was somewhat conflicted
(a) so what, she is only 6
(b) her mum should avoid making everyone feel uncomfortable tell her to put clothes on

I still dont know, its a weird one

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-May-13 08:50:02

Good luck with the 'pantalone' shopping then, Doe-eyed!

You think a paedophile is going to be watching little girls doing handstands, see that they're wearing shorts under their skirts and then shuffle off harmlessly? You think it's that simple?

Agree with fanjo - a very unpleasant metaphor re. lions.

ryanboy Fri 10-May-13 08:58:44

It's not skimpy underwear it's more those looser shorts type pants that reveal more than they sgould.I guess it's just not a matter of the girls dignity, others should not either have to be exposed to glimpses of girls genitals.I don't think parents would be very happy if boys were flashing their genitals in front of girls

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 09:04:28

Frankly I think it's sad that this has been derailed by the "paedo-perv" stuff, when the issue is actually about practicality, comfort and dignity.

The real problem is those absurd gingham school dresses which girls are expected to wear. If we could ditch the dresses altogether and simply have a uniform of trousers and shorts for boys and girls there would be no problem.

DottyboutDots Fri 10-May-13 09:22:13

My swedish friend goes naked very airily too, and she's a grown up!

Extra 'modesty' in 6 year olds. What a bunch of pearl clutchers.

This is the thin end of the wedge.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 09:34:18

As longs as she is wearing knickers that cover her up then I wouldn't want to my DD to wear cycling shorts. Some of the knickers are pretty skimpy for young girls now and don't actually cover anything up.

I had various problems as a child to do with my kidneys and problems associated and it would have been unsuitable for me to have worn shorts over knickers (don't want to give too much information!). This is fairly common and not good for girls to be having lots of tight layers in that way.

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 09:35:56

ryanboy- girl's genitals? My 7 and 9 year old wear nice M&S cotton pants and are as active as the next child, wear skirts and dresses all summer (as pure cotton better for eczema, nylon trousers evil) you can not see their bits! Ever! The problems is in your mind- what are these looser pants of which you speak?

My girls wear cotton pants and cotton dresses as these are the healthiest for their skin and minimize any chance of infections (nylon encased bits on a hot day running around really does increase them as we have found out the hard way). The idea that it is better to preserve modesty than keep children healthy.

As for the fresh meat remark, that is actually disgusting and shows a complete inability to understand predatory paedophile behaviour about which a lot of studies have been done. Better not take them on the beach in their 'skimpy' swimwear, then eh?

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 09:37:29

Sorry- the idea that it is better to preserve modesty than to keep children's skin healthy is bizarre, I don't let them wear nylon trousers/nylon jumpers for the same reason, cotton all the way (and I don't care we are breaking the school dress code).

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 09:39:06

Some of the knickers are pretty skimpy for young girls now and don't actually cover anything up.

And I guess that is part of the reason that schools put in a rule about this as they can hardly say to a girl "your knickers are too small get some bigger ones or wear shorts" its much easier to ask for shorts all round if parents choose to send them in a dress

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 09:43:45

Parents can choose to buy decent underwear though. I don't buy my boys loose boxer shorts as its not very nice for people to see their 'bits' if they are wearing shorts with loose pants.

I can see it would be difficult for the school to stipulate the 'size' of a girls knickers but its a shame people don't use more common sense. Homestly, when my friends DD stays over some of her knickers are as skimpy as mine - very bizarre.

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 09:44:16

But shorts are not fully cotton!!!! You shouldn't encase your privates in tight part-nylon pants over shorts unless you want to have the kind of problems MrsMelons is talking about, ask any GP about how common these kinds of infections are in young girls. Tights with lots of nylon in are equally problematic.

But it's not about health, skirts do not require shorts as well to make them acceptable. Pants are not offensive, not to me at least.

And, by the time they start wearing skimpy knickers (say secondary) they are not cartwheeling anyway! I don't have to wear shorts under my skirts, why should my young pre-pubescent children 'in case anyone sees anything'? I have two girls at home all the time, the only time we see 'anything' except knickers is in the bath not routinely in playing/climbing trees/normal child activities.

SoupDragon Fri 10-May-13 09:54:47

If we could ditch the dresses altogether and simply have a uniform of trousers and shorts for boys and girls there would be no problem.

Or, "we" could just get a grip.

LtEveDallas Fri 10-May-13 09:55:43

Sorry- the idea that it is better to preserve modesty than to keep children's skin healthy is bizarre

Cotton shorts aren't going to do anything to damage a childs skin. I found it very easy to buy my DD red cotton shorts for under her uniform, so I don't see why you are getting hung up on the 'nylon' issue.

I think young girls knickers (if you buy them cheap as I did) are generally very 'skimpy' - I found I was always buying them a couple of sizes up until I discovered the 'boy shorts' type that DD now prefers. I think the M&S ones are the best, but Peacocks do a good, cheaper version.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 09:57:03

Quite a few of my friends DDs have had these sorts of infections even without having the additional medical issues I had. It is really upsetting for the girls (and mums) as is so so painful and uncomfortable and unfortunately if they are prone to it unless you are careful it will continue.

It is sad that these things are an issue these days, I feel sad we cannot video our DCs in the school play, take photos of them in public and let them just be children, TBH the list is endless - everything seems to be linked in with something sinister when 20 years ago it was just kids stuff.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 09:58:45

LtEveDallas - you are meaning shorts instead of knickers that are actually made as underwear? that is different. I think the issue is children being asked to wear tight shorts over their knickers.

Tight fitting proper full knickers are as sufficient as shorts IMO.

sashh Fri 10-May-13 10:00:53

I think some of you are being naive - as has already been pointed out on here, pictures of little girls at play, accidentally and innocently exposing their knicks, DO make it onto the internet and DO attract the wrong sort of comments. As do pictures of kids on the beach running about starkers.

There is a particular still from the first Harry Potter film that is popular on the internet because Emma Watson's pants are on show. How old was she then?

larrygrylls Fri 10-May-13 10:02:53

Not sure about this one.

My son (age nearly four) loves to take all his clothes off at home and run around naked but he would know not to do it at (pre)school. I try not to make any negative judgments about children's bodies as they are essentially innocent until puberty but, at some point, you do need to have some kind of "privacy" discussion with them. I don't think even his pre school would allow him to run around in just pants.

I assume that a good school would weigh up all the issues (and I can see both sides to this) and come up with a sensible position. If it is an issue, I would e mail the school and ask for the official policy and an explanation behind it.

I am not sure what is really "right". I think it is so culturally driven that there is no right or wrong answer. Girls don't have to do cart wheels, in the same sense as boys don't have to strip. It is not a fundamental right. So, I don't think it ridiculous to ask them to cover up or cease from doing cartwheels. After all, it is not like the boys are showing their underwear and the girls are not allowed to.

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 10:04:30

But shorts are not fully cotton!!!! You shouldn't encase your privates in tight part-nylon pants over shorts unless you want to have the kind of problems MrsMelons is talking about, ask any GP about how common these kinds of infections are in young girls. Tights with lots of nylon in are equally problematic.

Every shop I go to has them in cotton or stretch cotton. I wear them myself for my own sport, and they're readily available. No lycra required.

I think people are getting hung up on the "bike short" part of the discussion and envisioning little girls in cycling costumes. You can buy basic sports pants in cotton which are like boy leg underwear. They cheap, safe to wear all day, and very comfortable.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 10-May-13 10:10:34

It doesn't matter what type of underwear my dd wear or what she wears on top of it, she can't disguise the fact that she is a 7yo girl, and nor should she have to. If someone is sexually attracted to 7yo girls then no amount of layers or shorts is going to stop that.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 10:14:06

I am with soupdragon on this one.

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 10:15:28

I am a bit hmm about the comment from the school tbh.

At 6yo, I wouldn't see an issue with a girl doing cartwheels and 'showing' their knickers. Lots of girls are doing exactly that at my dcs school and none bats an eye lid. mainly because there ins't a lot to see anyway. It doesn't take them that long to do a cartwheel!
Also it increases the sexualisation of children, which, tbh, we should try and avoid rather than insist on.

As to the reasons that MidniteScribbler school is giving...
1) Tong: school policy can instead precise that thing aren't allowed at school
2) Allowing girls to relax more. Well actually, teaching children to behave in an decent manner might be a better way. Girls might need to learn how to sit wo showing knickers and boys might have to learn not to play with their willies during carpet time (and let it stick out).... Incidentally, if you go to other countries, you will see that girls can learn to both sit in a way that doesn't show their knickers and do cartwheels at play time. This isn't mutually exclusive.
3) Menstruation: we are talking about a 6yo here! And, it will be up to the parents of menstruating girls to teach them what they can do to 'hold everything in place so it isn't stopping them to play. This can happen to an 8yo but some girls won't be menstruating until they are 14yo.
4) As for the burning... again, I remember clearly to learn as a child to put my dress/skirt correctly under me before down a slide to avoid exactly that.

Maybe maybe we should learn to relax more and at the same time give children a bit more credit as to their own ability to learn how to behave/make do with the constrains of their environment.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 10:15:42

You are spot on too, IThinkOfHappy

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 10:16:47

And LadyIn..voices of reason. Phew.

While I completely agree with not imposing strict modesty standards on 6 year olds I disagree that these kids are going to melt in British summer weather. I live in California and it was 92 deg (33oC) last week during some odd weather and I survived just fine in one of my summer dresses and a pair of bamboo cycle shorts underneath (which I wear so I don't have to be quite so careful). We don't have air conditioning and it wasn't bad at all. I doubt it gets that hot most days in Britain, especially lately.

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 10:17:30

YY IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou

Fakebook Fri 10-May-13 10:19:17

My dd wears shorts under her dresses, or even leggings. She asks to wear them herself, and I've never forced anything upon her. I think it's because she's worn trousers all her life and rarely wears dresses. She must like the closeness of the shorts/leggings under the dress that gives her the feeling of wearing trousers.

I don't really see the problem with teaching children modesty at an early age. The earlier the better. It's the same as teaching manners.

ryanboy Fri 10-May-13 10:19:53

my nearly 7 yo wears
these she is skinny and they are quite loose around the gusset I could imagine if she was doing a qood carwheel with a wide split, onlookers might get more than they bargained for.She always wears shorts ( the ones like cutdown leggings) though- I never told her to she just puts them on

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 10:20:10

Everyone saying, oh you can buy cotton shorts easily, yes, of the baggy variety. And I love boy short pants which give good coverage. But cotton only gets stretch in it and fits tightly to the body if you have either lycra or elastine or some such thing, and the majority of people will go out and buy the cheap cycling shorts from the main supermarkets which are not cotton (I spend a lot of money sourcing pure cotton things, they are not easily found everywhere in the right colours, such as red or green). Cheap cycling shorts on top of pants are NOT suitable wear for a lot of girls and will increase infections- go and ask a doctor how to prevent them, they will say wear cotton knickers and a loose cotton skirt or trousers!

I am hung up on nylon, I hate the fact that in the UK, cheap school uniforms are all made with synthetic fabrics which are not healthy and we have very high eczema rates, lots of kids with bits infections and people wonder why they smell aged 8 after running around in school (earlier pre-puberty accounts for some of it, but synthetic shirts, trousers and sweatshirts on 9 year olds don't help).

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 10:21:03

It's ridiculous. Once again, it's all about the female having to modify her behaviour. The trouble is, if there is a potential child abuser peering at her, he will give not a shit what she is wearing. Even a sumo wrestler fat suit wouldn't put him off.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 10:21:44

Selfconfessed its not about melting in our pathetic excuse for a summer, too many layers covering a girl can cause infections, it is very common.

Eskino Fri 10-May-13 10:23:39

What on earth are 6yo girls knickers like these days??

I have boys and a 3mo dd so I haven't bought girls underwear yet.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 10:23:40

I agree Peppermint (and others who have said the same) the potential child abuser is a loose arguement IMO. I don't think we should be plastering naked photos of our DCs online of course!

MrsMelons, I often only wear the shorts, I wear them instead of undies.

Some people were saying about the girls getting hot.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 10:25:29

Eskino - they are just much lower cut than they used to be (more like briefs ITSWIM) also I don't find they fit round them so are a bit baggy which may mean they move around. When I was little they were fully round your bum and fitted nicely.

I think this is probably the cheaper ones. Boys cheap pants seem to be the same whether they are expensive or cheap though.

larrygrylls Fri 10-May-13 10:25:55

All this "girls should wear what they want and not be exposed to paedos!!" is a bit extreme. I think that most people would find it a bit bizarre if, for instance, girls and/or boys were allowed to wear only underwear throughout the day (although, according to the same argument, it would be quite a sensible dress code on a hot summer day). There are cultures where children have to completely cover up and others where children are normally naked, at least on top. Ours tends to be somewhere in between.

Schools have a uniform code and that includes how the uniform is worn. There are all sorts of reasons for this. It is a bit of a non issue.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 10:26:41

That is different, I think the issue is more about wearing lycra shorts over knickers, lycra is not great for some girls (even on its own) nor are the extra layers.

Cotton shorts instead would be a good solution if it really was an issue.

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 10:31:26

I think part of the problem is that this is a "thin end of the wedge" argument. There are certainly loads of issues about the way society expects and encourages a girl to dress, and rightly there is concern about sexualising them with all that vile playboy bunny shit et al.

But this is about a girl potentially playing at school, doing cartwheeels in her knickers <states the obvious> FGS, it's just too much, IMO, to be obsessing about this aspect of female dress. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 10:32:12

Shouting has made you all agree with me, right? wink

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 10:33:13

MrsMelonds I agree with this, I always get my children the bigger style pants that cover everything in cotton, and would have no objection to a boy-style 100% cotton short type pant as a recommended summer item.

It's the layers that are unpleasant, the nylon (most of the children in my children's school do not wear nice cotton shorts (very MN) but hideous football style 100% synthetic shorts for PE, fine for an hour, not fine for all day), it's also the idea that seeing a girl's knickers is so taboo that you ought to try to prevent it, when you can go into WH Smiths or click on the sidebar of shame and see 'glamour models' with pants/swimwear/nothing on as if it was perfectly normal to prance around with just your knickers on. Even little children know you don't go out with just your knickers on!

WilsonFrickett Fri 10-May-13 10:36:33

I really hope all these 'modesty teachers' are teaching their boys to be modest too...

larrygrylls Fri 10-May-13 10:41:12

Well, most boys don't wear dresses or do cartwheels! One uniform for all would seem to avoid this issue. Do girls have to wear dresses rather than shorts and a t shirt as summer uniform?

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 10:45:19

You will rarely find shorts for girls tbh. It's not the done thing at all. Shorts are for boys didn't you know...

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 10:47:49

Or, "we" could just get a grip.

It's not about "getting a grip" or imagining a world full paedos or putting girls in burkhas.

It's simply as the fact that dresses are no more suitable for young girls as they would be for young boys. Both have to spend a lot of the school day sat on scratchy, heavy-duty carpets, and are encouraged to do physical activity in break times.

The only thing we should "get a grip" about is this absurd insistence on putting our girls in dresses, and while our boys get to wear practical, comfortable clothing.

I notice no-one on here has had a moan about their children - both boys and girls - being expected to change into shorts and trackie bottoms for PE. No-one has said girls should be allowed to do PE in dresses - for obvious reasons.

Those same reasons of practicality and comfort apply throughout the school day as far as I'm concerned.

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 10:53:31

Shorts are for boys didn't you know...

That's the problem! If schools could ditch the silly gingham dresses and make the uniform shorts and trousers for both boys and girls, then girls would be free to wear them without being accused of "dressing like a boy".

I know - I've been there. DD wouldn't wear "city shorts" for that very reason, she saw the stick other girls got for doing so.

So she stuck to trousers from Y4.

At DD's school, girls can't wear dresses except on special days (usually last day of term). The reason being that if they are wearing skirts it would be more difficult to climb trees, use the outdoor climbing frames, slides, swings, monkey bars or climbing poles. Long trousers are preferred to shorts as they offer more protection.

The decision to create the rule is entirely one of practicality, comfort and common sense.

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 10:55:59

PS I did link to the M&S Unforms "city shorts" for girls further upthread, but here is is again.

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 10:59:44

I must tell my dd9 that you can't climb a tree in a loose cotton dress, she's done so every day in the summer term for the past two years (it's on the way home)! And, no-one has remarked on her pants in this time, just as I don't remark on boys pants when they show when their trousers are falling down/shirt untucked/climbing a tree.

mumsy I still climb trees, even at my ripe old age, and it is definitely easier to do it in jeans/trousers than a dress, just like it's easier to do it in proper trainers than it is in summer sandals. No one has said that you can't climb a tree in a dress, just that it's easier in trousers.

cantspel Fri 10-May-13 11:05:16

Maybe we should bring back bathing and nice little outfit like these

that should teach little girls to be modest

nailak Fri 10-May-13 11:11:05

Its not about stopping people about being sexually attracted to kids, or modesty, it is about helping kids realise what type of behaviours are inappropriate from adults. This applies to boys and girls.

Telling them your private parts, underwear etc are special and only certain people should see them, is not going to stop peadophiles but might help the kids realise something weird is going on if they are in that situation.

BigBlockSingsong Fri 10-May-13 11:18:59

It has nothing to do with paedophiles, underwear is not meant to be seen end of!

if this lesson was taught sooner maybe we would have less teen/adult women walking around with more crack than a Colombian drug lord.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 11:26:44

People who say 'end of' never say anything worth listening to.

My DD is only 2, but she has never worn dresses, OK she has to parties and stuff, but they are so inhibiting for her, she won't be wearing dresses for school. There are lovely girls uniform options at DS school, trousers, shorts, skorts, cullots (sp I know!)

For lots of practical reasons, I don't see the point in dresses for school.

grin squoosh

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 11:29:09

nailak I completely agree, and said as much upthread.

cantspel Another one missing the point entirely, and claiming that expecting girls to wear practical clothing is some kind of throwback to the pre-feminist Victorian era.

Practical clothing for active girls is hardly a retrograde step, far from it. It's actually the expectation that girls should wear impractical dresses which is a lingering pre-feminist tradition.

You may have noticed, cantspel, that swimwear for both sexes is now more practical. It is appropriate clothing when you are swimming.

School uniforms should also be equally practical for both boys and girls, when they are at school.

BigBlockSingsong Fri 10-May-13 11:41:56

So is underwear mean to be seen?

wonders why I've wasted so many years wearing clothes

Honestly I remember becoming self concious at that age, sitting in the circle worrying if you're knickers are showing, get some girls boxers and the job's a goodun' no more discomfort or paranoia.

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 11:42:55

School uniforms should also be equally practical for both boys and girls, when they are at school.

Why only when they are at school though?
If girls should wear trousers/shorts to go to school for practical reasons, then I would say they should also do so the rest of the time.

That means that dresses will be confined to 'special occasions' such as weddings and no woman will wear dresses anymore. Not the least because if girls are never wearing dresses, they are very unlikely to do so when they are getting older/woman. It will feel weird, uncomfortable and unpleasant as you have to be so careful about how you sit and so on. Which they will not know about as they have never/rarely wear a dress before.

All that because .... oh yes, someone has seen a 6yo pair of knickers (ie seeing just as much as if they have seen that child one the beach or at the swimming pool) hmm

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 11:48:09

I don't disagree with you olgaga, but dealing with the here and now, where girls are put in dresses by their parents when very young, or choose to wear them when given the "choice", I think the Head is ott. Of course wearing trousers is more practical, and I am well aware of the politics behind the way women and girls are expected and encouraged to dress.

The whole idea of modification of behaviour leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I can't escape the idea that we should all be good little girls, shut up and get out of sight. And we certainly shouldn't have our reviolting knickers on display!

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 11:48:47

revolting, obviously.

LtEveDallas Fri 10-May-13 11:53:25

All that because .... oh yes, someone has seen a 6yo pair of knickers (ie seeing just as much as if they have seen that child one the beach or at the swimming pool)

or equally:

All that because someone has taken offence to a simple and polite suggestion that their daughter may wish to wear a pair of shorts under her summer dress.

Really? Is it really worth getting that het up over something so ridiculously simple? Are people really going out of their way to be offended and up in arms over such a non-issue?

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 11:53:59

Girls should have the choice to wear shorts if they want to, boys should have the choice to wear dresses if they want to. Girls of six shouldn't really care or worry about showing their pants. A couple of cartwheels is not the same as walking round with just your pants on.

BigBlockSingsong Fri 10-May-13 11:56:04

Going on the beach example , women wear bikini's , would it be fine to have bra , kickers showing at work?

knickers should not be on display its underwear!

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 11:58:33

cantspel, at least in Australia, many children are now wearing bathing suits made of UV protective fabric, which covers them up a lot more. Nothing to do with modesty, but as a sensible, sunsmart protection in a country where 12500 new cases of melanoma a year a diagnosed. It is the norm now to see children in a minimum of a short sleeved shirt and often mid calf or knee length pants made out of this material. It's pretty rare to see children not wearing one these days, and even more and more adults are now wearing at least the t-shirt when out in the sun.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 11:59:09

They aren't on display, they're briefly flashed. A clear and obvious difference.

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 11:59:14

Perhaps we should say that teenagers who are walking with their pants on show and trousers mid bum.

But that doesn't seem to shock anyone. Why?

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 11:59:28

You wear a bikini on the beach to get a tan, because its hot and because you will probably be swimming or paddling at least. You will also be slathered in sun cream. I don't think anyone does these things in an office environment so it isn't a fair comparison.

meglet Fri 10-May-13 12:00:23

Sainsburys stock girls school uniform shorts. I think they had some culottes too.

DD has got culottes for school as she doesn't like skirts, I'm assuming the school won't complain.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 12:00:31

Of course girls should be allowed to wear shorts/trousers as their school uniform if they so choose but if they prefer to wear a skirt they shouldn't be made to feel ashamed at 6 years old for flashing a bit of knicker.

TheSmallClanger Fri 10-May-13 12:01:32

I still think that summer dresses for school are a stupid idea. They reinforce the difference between girls and boys, and can encourage girls to modify their behaviour in inhibiting ways, at a young age where they should be enjoying their physicality and working out for themselves which activities they like.

When DD was 5/6, she had various pairs of stretch cotton shorts that she wore outside school. They were comfortable and practical, came in different colours and did not require specific underwear. There is no need for little girls to be layering up for modesty - shorts are enough. (Having said that, she did go through a phase of enjoying wearing lots of clothes at the same time, ie trousers under dresses, with a cardi and a scarf, but that was mostly at home.)

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 12:02:47

And tbh, underwear is also on display on a regular basis just because in the summer women tend to wear clothes that are transparent.
or when they go out for the night and wear very transparent clothes etc. which allow anyone to see their bras for example.

If we all want to be chocked by a girl flashing very quickly their knickers doing a cartwheel, then I think we will have to make a lot change in the way girls/women/teenage boys are dressing.

olgaga Fri 10-May-13 12:10:28

The whole idea of modification of behaviour leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Well like it or not, that's part of the learning process!

It's not expected, or acceptable, for boys to display their underwear. Why should it be any different for girls?

If 6 year old boys started taking their trousers off to play at school in the because they were hot, would that be OK?

Or would it be better to tell them that when they're out and about they're not expected to have their underwear visible?

Would a mother complain if her 6yo son was told by a teacher not to display his underwear?

I doubt it. So why should it be any different for girls?

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 12:12:26

But that doesn't seem to shock anyone. Why?

It shocks me. Disgusting. And shows a complete lack of understanding of what the true meaning behind doing that actually is.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 12:12:48

This thread has left me utterly depressed.

WhatKindofFool Fri 10-May-13 12:30:48

I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s a group of us were doing handstands in the street. An old lady came out and told us off for showing our knickers. We thought it was hysterical and so did our parents! I am amazed that almost 40 years later, this eccentric behaviour seems to have turned mainstream. How things turn around!

WhatKindofFool Fri 10-May-13 12:31:18

I mean that the old lady was eccentric, not us.

Olgaga Because boys don't wear skirts and girls do. There's a fair few schools round here who demand a summer dress as the summer uniform and girls shouldn't be made to wear extra clothing because the school can't sort their uniform policy out.

We're talking about 6 year olds FGS, who cares if they flash a bit of knicker when doing a cartwheel.

Ridiculous. And yes, I think it is worth getting 'het up' about it.

Why should girls be made less comfortable to suit the teachers ideals. Most kids couldn't give a shit - particularly at age 6! Make it the child's choice.

Also, surely there is a much lower non-existent chance of someone taking an 'upskirt' picture in a school playground? Unless it was another child?

Although, thinking logically, if someone takes a pic and uploads it, I'd like to think they would be caught and logged as a sex offender (so they could be monitored), rather than just furiously wanking behind the bushes.

(Sorry, that's disgusting)

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 12:37:22

I always had my knickers out in primary school. No one cared at my school, we just played and enjoyed ourselves. In fact mine are on show right now because I'm upside down in a dressing gown. I am a vile heathen.

If the kids are all playing and having innocent fun with no bullying or whatever then I don't see the problem.

HOWEVER, if the schools playground was perhaps under threat as a "hotspot", if you like, for nasty dirty old men walking past taking pictures then I could completely understand it.

I think it's one of those things where it's quite dependent on the circumstances. There's also the preference of the child/parent etc. and the shorts themselves open up a whole can of worms. We were only allowed grey shorts/trousers. Not black. Not blue like the schools colours. Grey. hmm

Chubby How old are you? We all just played in school and had our knickers constantly on display. No one cared and it was fun.

randgirl Fri 10-May-13 12:40:58

Its normal in dd's school that they wear cycling shorts under their dresses. Its stated as part of the uniform required.

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 12:41:06

Schro I'm 21, so we're looking at the 90s when I was doing it.

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 12:45:16

Oh stop with the overexcited burkas are the next step comments.

It's about a simple generally acknowledged, albeit irrational, social norm that we all adhere to.

That is Underwear is not for public display.

It's nonsensical, as I would happily wear a bikini in front of friends on holiday by the pool but not my bra and pants in my kitchen with them at home.

Children can wear leotards to do gymnastics but not just their pants In The supermarkets.

Etc etc add your own example of our inconsistent, irrational but generally adhered to social norms regarding underwear.

One is : children should have their underwear covered when at school.

Not becuase it inspires lust in peados, not just because their girls, but just because its underwear which in that context is not socially acceptable, for girls or boys, and therefore makes people start to feel a bit uncomfortable. And even kids know this, that's why they snigger.

It's barmy but true. and Im sure most of you sad faced liberal hard liners on here adhere to this irrational inconsistent underwear norm most of the time.

If any of you are that naked walker guy I stand corrected and apologise.

Chubby I'm 22 and was one of the youngest in my year so it is maybe a generational thing?

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 12:47:36

DD always wears cycling shorts under her skirts and dresses - at school or not. It means she can be as boisterous in play as the likes while remaining modest and not feeling exposed - just like boys do in shorts!

I think it's really weird to just accept as the norm that small children should wear shorts under skirts. Particularly as you can get 'boy style' pants now.

I'd be really hacked off if someone decided to dictate to me what I wore under my clothes. Surely not every girl in a skirt does handstands?

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 12:58:00

Schro I was a summer baby too! I think it may have been our generation haha! IIRC the 90s was a fairly safe time for children, or it was at least round here. Problem is, with me still being only 5 minutes away from the school I want to send my children there, and they've knocked it down and moved it one street over, so the play area is now much further down the rapey dodgy cycle tracks so I will probably be sending my daughter if I have one with shorts just for that reason. It's not a nice place to have a playground looking onto, so much crime has been reported down there since they built over the old train track, DP won't even let me go jogging down there now.

So like I say, all depends on the circumstances. Had the school been in its old place then I would have just gone with a dress and nicely fitting pants if she even wanted dresses at all.

ryanboy Fri 10-May-13 12:58:49

euphemiaLennox They are not turning up for school in just their pants though are they? They are wearing something over them - dresses!! They are just briefly revealing them them as they engage in a normal play activity

Chubby I was a Feburary baby and just made it into the early school start. angry

That's awful. sad I understand in those circumstances. My school was knocked down too and I am not familliar with the schools in the area I now live in.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 13:08:46

I would have told the teacher not to be so ridiculous, fgs the child is six, what on earth is wrong with seeing her knickers? confused

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 13:11:01

Revealing underwear in most public situations can make people feel uncomfortable, as we understand it's not the social norm, as underwear is meant to remain covered.

This does generally apply to children as well as adults, although we tend to be more relaxed about children's unintentional underwear displays and enjoy their naïveté of the social norms which we increasingly adhere to as we become older.

I can understand however that a daily repeating of this underwear display in the summer playground can start to feel inappropriate against the social norm.

It's all about context, underwear and public situations.

desertgirl Fri 10-May-13 13:11:03

ah well we have it easy, (international school in the middle east) the school uniform is PE uniform (shorts) in kindergarten, and skorts further up the school.

However every time there is a dress up day of any sort, the notes say "don't forget to cover your knees and shoulders".

Which is anyway ridiculous, as half of them show their knees in normal school uniform (the shorts/skorts are long enough that not all do), but does really irritate me on the basis that it is, again, imposing adult 'modesty' (and 'don't offend anyone') standards on pre-pubescent children.

(I don't think it should be a problem showing pants under dresses but can see it's easier to ask for shorts on all than to tell some people to wear more suitable knickers)

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 13:12:07

Euphemia the girls are not hanging upside down all day like bats! They are dressed in conventional clothing that covers all required areas unless they do a handstand, which if you were crap at handstands like me, would be never.

These glimpses of pant material or a bra can also occur when adults move about- if someone bends down, if they are wearing a thong with jeans, sometimes if a man reaches up to get something you see their stomachs (nice if toned, not if beer belly), you can often see women's bra straps. For goodness sake, it is not normal to care about this stuff, and even less normal to see it as salacious when it is pants on a 6 year old girl. I'd also say that trousers on girls do not prevent pant exposure anyway, as little girls have no hips and a lot of them are cut very low, my dd's were always exposing their pants in their trousers (from a well-known store previously mentioned) and we used to laugh at this and wonder why they didn't make the waists higher! Pant exposure for a brief second is just a non-event.

StuntGirl Fri 10-May-13 13:15:04

"Pant exposure for a brief second is just a non-event."

This, this, a thousand times this.

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 13:15:10

It really was a silly idea to build the school there. I see secondary school girls walking on their own down there after school sometimes and I just think "ohhhhhhsad" because I don't want something else awful happening. Unfortunately it's a massive route through this whole side of the town so you can get to a wealth of places in half the time if you're willing to take the risk.

Hopefully I will have a little tomboy and she will just want shorts anyway, and she won't want to wear the tiny skirts when she gets to secondary. Not that I'm paranoid about a child I don't have yetblush

I'm not even sure what the girls in this town wear in summer normally though. I never see my neice in school uniform and my little cousin lives about an hour away and I don't know any others(everyone else has boys). Might be worth asking SIL and friends what their DDs wear just to get a picture of whether I'd be the crazy overprotective mum.

What a complicated issue, I'd never even thought about it before!

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:16:16

Jackie maybe more girls in dresses would be doing handstands if they were well covered up below?

I'd love for my DD to wear school shorts as part of the uniform - but A its not an option and B I'd never get her in them if it was an option. She likes dresses and skirts. So wearing shorts underneath works.

She spends all day sitting on mat crossed legged, running, jumping, climbing, swinging, doing handstands and cartwheels. This morning in assembly she sat facing entire school with her legs wide apart wearing a skirt. She is 5. Would this be an issue if she was a boy in a skirt/dress and flimsy undies?

She also loves to strip off but we've taught her about 'privates' and that you don't see people in their undies or naked walking down the street & there are reasons for this and so we dress and behave appropriately in public. You know, put your rubbish in the bin, look both ways when crossing the road, keep your privates to yourself when not at home - it's all about keeping a child safe, knowing ones limits, treating the environment and each other respectfully. She also knows that other people aren't to touch her there - which is a good place to start for her with other people, as it sets out clear guidelines are to what and where is an acceptable touch.

We started doing the shorts thing when she was potty trained and would wear knickers and often be legs akimbo in the buggy like kids often are. The knickers just didn't seem enough and often gaped - I've seen other young girls completely exposing themselves to the wider world and wonder why their parents don't simply put shorts on them? Or do they think it's OK for their daughters to be put in this position? I don't. I wouldn't walk around in just a bra or with my knickers on show - why should we expect more vulnerable people like children to do this?

I'm not overly prudish at all - my main aim is that DD can feel OK doing anything she wants to do at all on a daily basis, without being teased, or exposed, or without giving anyone an eyeful. She is liberated from any clothing constraints simply by wearing cotton short shorts under her dresses. Seriously, what is the issue? It makes sense to me.

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:17:36

the girls are not hanging upside down all day like bats
Give DD a bar and she will be hanging upside down on it for as long as possible.

digerd Fri 10-May-13 13:18:57

I have a memory from my early primary school years, but think I was older than 6.
There was a very popular good-looking boy in the playground, who said " All you girls twirl around and the one that twirls out the most will be my favourite." We all twirled like mad and mine swung out the most, and declared his favourite. I was very shy and was over the moon.
Told mum as she had made my skirt, how proud I was, and she said " He only wanted to see which girl showed their knickers the most".

I was knocked down to earth, as I thought he really liked ME. sad

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 13:19:29

BeCool I think lots of people have already explained what they feel the issue to be.

I have a boy (and am expecting a second boy) so it is unlikely I will actually have to face this issue.

I'm sure when your DD comes along, as she gets older things will get easier as you will meet other parents of girls and just kind of slot into the norm IYKWIM.

If the area is that bad there is no way they should have built a school there. sad

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 13:20:34

This is slightly off the point and may be misunderstood by some, but this discussion has made made me recall, that I actually enjoyed revealing my knickers when doing cartwheels and handstands at some points as a child. Maybe I was about 10yrs at this memory?

But I do recall enjoying the frisson of excitement of a public display of what is usually covered and a group of us girls enjoying this display hoping boys would notice. I regard this as a totally natural and unconscious example an emerging sexuality (braces self for misunderstanding of use of sexuality and children in same sentence, but hopes some more considered posters will understand what I'm saying).

Not sure it's relevant here, as I think 6yrs is probably too young for these types of feelings and is more about a lack of adherence to social norms at this stage, and not sure how it would relate to schools and show of knickers anyway.

Just thought it was vaguely relevant and interesting.

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 13:22:01

I've seen other young girls completely exposing themselves to the wider world and wonder why their parents don't simply put shorts on them?

I have honestly never seen this.

OhMyFucksie Fri 10-May-13 13:22:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 13:24:12

I've seen other young girls completely exposing themselves to the wider world and wonder why their parents don't simply put shorts on them?

I've also never seen this.

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 13:26:02

It is overly prudish to introduce a new rule, which most of us growing up with didn't have imposed, that primary school girls knickers when doing handstands like at least two generations before us used to do, are so taboo, we have to remove the sight of them by making girl children wear an extra layer of clothing. This is a new modesty which didn't exist in the past, and we have to ask why it has come about; other aspects of this new modesty are discomfort at very little children running around naked and primary age girls wearing bikini tops instead of just shorts on the beach. I did both of these in my childhood, but would feel too self-conscious to do them now given the prevailing climate (which weirdly can tolerate the display of adult women's bodies in a state of undress almost constantly as a normal feature of the media).

timidviper Fri 10-May-13 13:26:55

Absolutely right Euphemia. Think this is a real first world problem

It is not awful to flash one's knickers at 6yrs old but there is not a defined line where it does become inappropriate. More people would agree covering more may be a good idea for a 10yr old with sanitary products visible than this example.

When my DD was at junior school the older girls all asked for shorts under their dresses and many of the younger ones did it because the "big girls" did. Two of the girls in DDs year started their periods at 9 so it was nicer for them that everybody wore them.

I'm afraid I'm in the get a grip camp on this.

Mumsyblouse Fri 10-May-13 13:28:48

I've seen other young girls completely exposing themselves to the wider world and wonder why their parents don't simply put shorts on them?

I have also never seen little girls exposed in this way, a few boys' willies when doing a wee in public (whole other issue), and sometimes girls pants exposed if a dress is pulled up, but not their bits, never in public not that I can think of -is this really a common problem?

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 13:31:11

I'm firmly in the 'get a grip' camp too smile

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:32:53

squoosh & soveryluck I've not made it up & I've seen it more than once.

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 13:34:46

I think it is an interesting point about age. I wouldn't want my ten year old showing her pants but I guess she wouldn't want to show them either - don't know for certain as my dd is not that old yet. My six year old couldn't give a stuff what others saw when she did a handstand so I equally do not care. Kids sort these things out for themselves.

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:34:50

I'm also in the get a grip camp grin
just on the other side of the river!

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 13:35:20

Don't believe you Becool.

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:37:24

yeah I come on MN to talk about my life and make up lies about little girls?

soverylucky Fri 10-May-13 13:38:36


EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 13:40:05

Some girls may be hanging upside like bats or holding handstands against walls with their skirts over their heads in endurance trials, and good on them. But it can result in knickers galore in a summer playground, which in a sane world where nakedness and underwear are not caught up in complex and irrational social rules would not be a problem.

But there are social rules for underwear exposure so people get twitchy.

To the example posed to me: an unintentional bra strap flash at work would be gracefully ignored without comment. A wearing of a dress revealing substantial proportions of my bra would make many feel uncomfortable in a meeting, and persistence of revealing more than the unspoken code deems appropriate could cause problems.

Of course it depends where you work.

It's madness of course, and complex to nagivate this socially constructed world we live in.

But to pretend underwear is not given this weirdy, covered in public status, is just trying to pretend the madness doesn't exist or that children are exempt from it. Sadly in public theyre not. They're given more leeway but thats all.

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 13:40:30

Amazingly this is the nicer end of the town!

I had a whole post lined up but it was completely off topic.

Future DD will be wearing either a)what she is happiest in or b)what makes her safe in her environment from shady characters. All somehow complying with school uniform policies.

cantspel Fri 10-May-13 13:45:36

I dont see why anyone says a skirt is restricting.
The Royal Highland Regiment all worn skirts to battle in WWI and it didn't seen to hinder them in the trenches.

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 13:51:38

I used to be an infant teacher, and in the summer with children sitting crossed legged on the carpet it was not unusual to get a sight of vulvas and vaginas that knickers couldn't cover in that position.

It was never a big issue for me, just one of those things, but I can understand why this and repeated, prolonged or mass exposures of underwear in the playground can start to make some people feel uncomfortable.

It's creating friction with the social norm and as I said people get twitchy and fuss about it.

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 13:55:05

soveryluck may I direct you to Euphemia's post ^
I'm not the only one, but the girls I have seen were in buggies.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 14:01:53

Reading a out wee girls flashing their bits makes me more uncomfortable than a 6 year old doing a cartwheel and showing her pants accidentally tbh.

This thread is a bit icky.

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 14:13:55

Exactly fanjo.

You find girls inadvertently flashing their vulvas icky.

Some finds girls hanging from bars with skirts over thier heads icky.

Some find a flashes of knickers doing a cartwheel when school at school icky.

Of course in a sane world none of this is icky. It's just clothing and bodies.

But in our mad world we have complex but inconsistent rules that are movable depending on context and age which makes this all difficult to predict and nagivate.

Some schools andmpeople will go with caution and the big pants, shorts solution and some will think the social norm is broader than this and girls pants are fine to display in school.

It's just the ridiculous arguments about burkas being next, ignoring the already existing norms we have about underwear that cause this confusion, really get on my nerves. Silly simplistic grandstanding. Again.

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 14:15:05

Euphemia, what about teaching girls to sit down in such a way that they don't show up their knickers instead of having their legs wide apart as another poster said?
What about getting some dresses/skirts that have the right shape so that they can cover themselves up instead of the the quite tight/straight shape that means they have no other choice that showing their knickers?

I agree that society dictates what we should be doing/wearing/what can be on show.
but society doesn't dictates that knickers should never be seen at all, by anyone, incl 6yo girls. It does so for teenage girls and women. It does so for teenage boys and men for that matter (even though the trend atm is to show off your pants in teenage boys).
It does so because knickers/pants are associated with sexuality and we want to keep sexuality private.
I have missed the time when it says that young girls aren't allowed to 'flash' their knickers doing cartwheels. It has nothing remotely sexual. It isn't even similar to staying in pant only all day long. It isn't done on purpose. Why why creating such a big issue about it?
You have to remember that children that age are getting change together for PE. They do see each other in their underwear. There isn't anything remotely wrong about that. So why is it if a girl does cartwheels on the playground?
I agree though that it changes when girls start puberty. But I am pretty confident that no girl, once they have started their periods, will want others to see their pants!

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 14:20:02

no..I wouldn't find a wee girl doing it icky.

I find a thread full of posts talking about it a bit icky and distasteful IYSWIM

FreyaSnow Fri 10-May-13 14:20:48

EL, that isn't what fanjo said. She said that she found reading about it icky, and this thread icky.

I think your posts are a bit creepy TBH. I would not be happy if a teacher was judging my child like that. It is quite normal in a KS1 class for children of both genders to not be that competent with sitting/toilet visits/changes for PE and teachers usually just accept that. They are small children.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 14:21:00

sorry, I clearly just love the word "icky".

I wouldn't bat an eyelid at a wee child showing anything accidentally.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-May-13 14:21:13

exactly Freya smile

LadyInDisguise Fri 10-May-13 14:25:47

But in our mad world we have complex but inconsistent rules that are movable depending on context and age which makes this all difficult to predict and nagivate.

And this is even made even more difficult by people being overzealous, creating new rules on what is acceptable or not. 10~20 years ago, it would have been OK to see a flashing image of a girl's knickers.
We need to wonder why some schools are taking that sort of approach. And it isn't that it is complex. It's because we have been going on so much about child protection that a small step aside from the line means the end of the world. So from 'women shouldn't be showing their pants' we have moved to 'girls aren't allowed to show their pants' because it might be a case where some people might take advantage of it.

I am truly wondering where that sort of attitude is going to take us.

Because we are the ones, by accepting or refusing these rules, who are making the society rules as a whole.
And I am not sure I want the society to teach girls that it's their responsibility to cover up for their own protection.

Booyhoo Fri 10-May-13 14:26:05

All this talk if putting shorts on under a dress to enable them to do handstand!! Just put bloody shorts on and forget about the dress. Or vice versa! The point if a dress or shorts is that they are cool in hot weather and allow mire freedom than trousers for running and jumping etc. doubling up defeats the purpose! Pants are perfectly sufficient fir covering a child under a dress if she doesn't want her pants being seen then dont put a dress on her. Put shorts on her.

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 14:29:57

Lady, I agree if one believes it's an issue the suggestions youve outlined would be possible solutions.

Personally it wasn't, and isn't, a big issue for me, nor are flashes of knickers doing cartwheels.

But I can see how for schools, and the complex and ambiguous rules about underwear that exist, creates situations where they introduce rules about shorts, or those you suggest.

I don't agree with it, it's just another example do the collective insanity, but I understand how given ambiguous norms, it comes about.

So I just found the predictable, girls are being made ashamed, subjugated again, and why not just make them wear burkas, type comments, to be missing the more nuanced debate which is related to our own mad inconsistent rules about bodies and underwear.

EuphemiaLennox Fri 10-May-13 14:32:04

Oh Christ. Here we go.

Why are my posts creepy, and where did I judge a child??

Mother2many Fri 10-May-13 15:08:16

Shorts under summer dresses. My 7 yr old daughter knows that's the rule!!!

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 16:06:33

If they are doing handstands at school who are we worried about seeing a quick flash of knickers? Teachers? Those 'horrible boys?' confused

larrygrylls Fri 10-May-13 16:14:39


And therein lies the problem. Some 9 year old boy makes an overly sexualised comment about a flash of a 6 year old's underwear, the 6 year old complains to the teacher or her parents, social workers are brought in etc etc.

We live in a strange society in many ways and schools have to manage their way through it somehow. And, of course, parents have zero respect for schools or teachers (hence this kind of thread). The school is caught between a rock and a hard place; not ticking off the "child protection" box by making sure children are dressed "appropriately" or not tolerating something which has been done harmlessly for decades (cartwheels). As I said upthread, just let both young girls and boys have the same summer uniform of shorts and a t shirt, comfortable and uncontroversial. Unfortunately, it is the mothers (I very rarely see dads giving a damn about children's clothes) who love pictures of their daughters in cute dresses and agitate for it.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 16:18:32

'parents have zero respect for schools or teachers (hence this kind of thread).'

Bit of a leap you've made there comparing 'disagreeing' with 'zero respect'.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 16:20:30

I don't think social workers would be brought in for a boy making a comment about seeing a girl's knickers tbh.

larrygrylls Fri 10-May-13 16:25:38


You are probably right on the detail but I am sure you can see why the school may be concerned. I am sure it is part of their "safeguarding" policy. A lot of it is probably based on unreasoned fear but that is the climate at the moment.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 16:26:46

Thank God my ds's school would not be concerned about something so normal and trivial. They would treat it for what it is - kids playing out in the sunshine.

Rowgtfc72 Fri 10-May-13 19:12:34

DD is six and wears shorts under her dress. Shes big for her age (no, not obese before you ask) and is currently wearing age 11-12 knickers described as "briefs" on the packet. That they are, they cover bugger all.

motherinferior Fri 10-May-13 19:18:28

What are these weird revealing pants? I have two daughters and both of them wear pants and I've never been struck by some incapacity in their undergarments. Normal pants seem to cover their fanjos just fine, insofar as I've ever checked.

The idea that small girls should be anxiously disguising any possible hint of pudenda is distinctly disturbing IMO.

digerd Fri 10-May-13 19:28:00

When we were little, girls never wore trousers or shorts, always short full skirts.
SIS and I were very enthusiastic acrobats and loved our cartwheels and handstands. Never gave a thought to showing our knickers. Infact, we probably were out in the garden in the summer only in our knickers. But was only at home or in the garden, not in a public place.

Correction. We had bars at the bus stops and loved sitting on them and swinging upside down and in a circle.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Fri 10-May-13 19:41:14

This reminds me of being told off by pe teacher in the seventies for not wearing regulation grey pants under sports dress. My thought at the time was then don't look you old cow.

Catmint Fri 10-May-13 19:42:33

It would help if the school were more specific about why they expect the girls to do this. It is to protect from paedophiles or another reason?

If paedophiles, who exactly are they thinking of? Teachers? School visitors? Wouldn't these people be screened/ accompanied in the school?

StuntGirl Fri 10-May-13 19:54:07

I'm trying to imagine how a pair of knickers can be constructed so that while sitting it reveals to an onlooker a flash of vuvla - the only way I can imagine it is with crotchless panties and I'm assuming they don't make those for 6 year olds!

StuntGirl Fri 10-May-13 19:54:41

*vulva. I do know how to spell really, I promise blush

mizu Fri 10-May-13 20:00:04

I have two dds who are 7 and 8. Both are cartwheel crazy and both wear summer dresses to school some days.

Have never known any girls to wear shorts under school dresses and think that it would be ridiculous to do so. They both wear sensible pants that cover everything that should be covered.

RubyGates Fri 10-May-13 20:46:43

Have you read this?

'Tis the best book about underpants in the entire history of the universe.

And I was delighted to find out there's a sequel!

digerd Fri 10-May-13 20:56:00

I prefer the sound of vuvla . Think I'll call it that in future.

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 21:08:21

I just asked DP for his opinion and he said he can see the reasoning wrt peados etc, but at the same time he wouldn't want to send his daughter with shorts under her dress if she were the only one with them because there's a fair chance she'd be teased for it. I can see what he means (we went to the same secondary and I know exactly the attitude he is talking about - first hand experience!). But he also said if they were all wearing them either by chance or school policy then he would definitely go with the shorts.

Different primaries so no idea what his was like but mine was quite like this sometimes. One extreme being that I was deemed weird because I only had normal bobbles and not a freaking scrunchieangry

ravenAK Fri 10-May-13 21:39:41

My dd1 (7) has several pairs of knickers that are short, but relatively wide-legged -think boxers but shorter than boys' boxers - they gape on her because she has very skinny legs & bum.

So if she's sitting crosslegged in a skirt & these pants, yes, you'd probably get a flash of more than pants.

She is aware of this (because some of her classmates wear similar knicks & if she's sitting opposite them them she's the one getting the view up their knicker legs!) - so said last year: 'Can I have leggings to wear under my dress, like K? I don't want people seeing my minnie like I can see R's when she's sitting on the carpet.'

I said, why not just wear one of the many pairs of knickers she owns which are not cut like this, but she'd already made her mind up that she wanted leggings - mostly because she thinks her mate K looks cool in hers! We compromised on cotton shorts.

Meanwhile, ds doesn't wear boxers with shorts. Same reason - it's not because someone might see your pants. Pants are fine. It's genitals which probably shouldn't be on display in a school context.

MeSoFunny Fri 10-May-13 21:42:37

This thread is so depressing.

Pixel Fri 10-May-13 22:25:56

Even my mother who is in her 60s seemed to run around with very little on as a child as I have seen photos of her in her knickers and no top on, on the beach in public.

Sorry I'm a bit late catching up with this thread but had to comment on this. Did anyone see that documentary last year about the Royal family where they showed never-before-seen family photos and films? There was a cine film of Prince Charles and Princess Anne, not sure how old but not far off teens, larking about on a public beach just in their pants. Obviously it was seen as just normal fun, even for royalty, and no shock horror involved. Probably not really relevant to the thread but I thought it was interesting that they supposedly grew up in a more 'stuffy' environment yet had less inhibitions than some people today.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 10-May-13 22:33:57

I used to wear cycle shorts under my summer dress so I could do backflips in the playground...

So I automatically got them for DD. when she started a new school in Y2, it was unusual there. It started a trend!

Pixel Fri 10-May-13 22:39:00

Seems to me from comments here is that the main problem is people buying inappropriate pants for their children. Primary school girls should be wearing proper little girls' pants not scaled-down versions of teenage fashions, then there would be no 'gaping' and nothing to see.

And dd was adorable in her gingham dress. Leave gingham dresses alone wink.

ravenAK Sat 11-May-13 00:07:53

Heh, I knew someone would say that Pixel! grin

To be fair, the 'gaping' boxer-style pants were hand-me-downs which simply passed under my radar - I have a mate who is an inveterate catalogue queen & regularly passes on bags of barely worn stuff. Frankly, it never even occurred to me that little girls' knickers came in different styles/cuts - they certainly didn't when I was wearing them in the 70s...

My preferred solution to the teeny bopper knickers would definitely have been to ruthlessly bin 'em as soon as dd1 mentioned the gaping issue. But by that point, dd1 had already noticed other girls wearing leggings/shorts & decided that was what she'd feel comfortable in.

It's a non-problem to me. Short cotton frock + cotton shorts = entirely appropriate clothing for school. No different from long t-shirt/tunic + shorts out of school.

Equally, cotton frock + sensible pants would be fine. Dd2 chooses this option.

I suppose I could have said to dd1: no, you absolutely may NOT have shorts under your dress. But I do think that would've made it an issue where to my mind there isn't one. I also feel unhappy about not allowing her to choose the clothes she feels comfortable wearing - if she doesn't want her knickers on show, well, they're her knickers.

If either of them preferred uniform shorts, like the boys, that would be no problem from my POV either - some girls at their school do wear these. Both girls prefer their gingham frocks!

Pixel Sat 11-May-13 00:16:00

Yes, Miss Predictable, that's me grin.

ravenAK Sat 11-May-13 00:19:36

Not so much that, as I read my own post & thought: Yeah. Why did I ever let her have those ghastly saggy gapey fluorescent-coloured Sponge Bob boxers in the first place? I never liked them...grin.

<apologies to mate who passed them on if you're reading this - I've a horrible suspicion she's a MNer!>

MERLYPUSS Sat 11-May-13 09:05:29

Does she change for PE in the classroom along witht he boys in her class. I am guessing they will see her knickers? Get her the shorts style knickers if there is such a big hoo har. Presumably they will not show through the lightweight summer dresses as most cylcling shorts I have seen are dark coloured.
I agree. It's making the poor kid body concious already.

Rowgtfc72 Sat 11-May-13 09:27:23

DD would love a pair of pants with princesses on that she can get both her arse cheeks in and all her front bits at the same time when she sits cross legged. Shes six, its not much to ask. If any one spots these illusive pants let me know.Were in 11-12 supermarket cheapies and she can only just get all her bum in. I did look at boxer type shorts but shes six and I want her in knickers.She does incidentally streak through the house,as i do on occasions,no hang ups here !

Mumsyblouse Sat 11-May-13 11:03:48

Row- Sainsbury's pants have cute bears on and good coverage for a 6/7 year old! M&S are also substantial and either come in plain white or pretty colours.

Next pants are really skimpy and I don't get them anymore, I don't think anyone could see anything, it's more that they don't come up high enough to be comfortable on mine, they sit on the hips when little girls don't have hips!

We need to return to navy blue school knickers, with a pocket. That'd solve the problem. They were practically shorts anyway, I feel we need to start a campaign lol grin

Rowgtfc72 Sat 11-May-13 13:53:03

Thanks Mumsyblouse. Got to go in M and S to look for huge bra so will have a look at pants.

FreyaSnow Sat 11-May-13 14:10:00

DD has pants that are both from M&S and are boy style with fluorescent pictures of sponge bob on them. They fit her properly. I think it is more that different pants fit different kids, just like any other kind of clothing.

ChubbyKitty Sat 11-May-13 16:08:27

Freya I have adult versions of them!

Very good coverage. Even for someone as chubby as me.

mulranno Sun 12-May-13 12:33:10

OP here again - have since found out that it is NOT school policy to wear shorts under dresses at daughters school....and shorts for girls is not an option either. We are new to the school - joined mid year - so didn't have all the info on everything. I also asked my 6 year old if any of the other girls wore them - as it might just be the "done thing/fashion" at this school - she said no one did. Personally I don't mind if SHE wanted to wear shorts under her dress - but I am uncomfortable that the support teacher told her directly to wear shorts -- the support teacher is a female vicar - so maybe this might be where the "modesty" comes from. As I have said before - her pants a big and snug - so the issue wasn't one of seeing genitals - but one of seeing pants. I think that the support teacher should have come to me directly if it was an issue and not brought this to my 6 year old.

Branleuse Sun 12-May-13 12:54:22

ffs theyre little kids. who cares if someone sees their pants.


HairyLittleCarrot Sun 12-May-13 13:03:27

bloody hell. This rather makes the point that DRESSES ARE STUPID. Why have a school uniform that is perfectly practical for boys (no danger of them flashing their pants) and entirely impractical for girls, requiring a whole debate over extra coverage or modest (boak) behaviour.
About time the girls and boys had the same uniform as standard.
Why is it always the girls to have to make extra accommodations?

Boomba Sun 12-May-13 13:36:31

Shorts aren't an option for GIRLS?
are they a uniform option for boys???

If so, that is where I would be concentrating my fury

It won't be long before your dd herself doesn't want to flash her kecks. If dresses/skirts are the only option then she will end up spending less time upside down. Which is a disgrace

What kind of dark-ages school doesn't allow girls to wear trousers/shorts these days??

ryanboy Sun 12-May-13 14:02:55

ffs theyre little kids. who cares if someone sees their pants.

I don't think people are saying seeing flashes of pants are a problem.It is what lies within, revealed by ill-fitting knickers that is the problem!

my dd (8) wears cycling shorts under her dress...her own doing, she didnt like flashing her pants

MorphandChas Sun 12-May-13 14:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LemonsLimes Sun 12-May-13 16:06:49

Girls at my dds' school are allowed trousers or culottes. Shorts for girls aren't mentioned on the uniform list, although they might not say anything if someone wore them? I wouldn't send my dd to school in grey shorts in hot weather though, because if the girls don't wear a summer dress, they then have to wear a shirt and tie, which i think would be uncomfortable in hot weather. The poor boys have to wear a shirt and tie all year round.

blueberryupsidedown Sun 12-May-13 16:43:22

If it's a state school, the rules don't have to be followed to the letter. At our school lots of girls wear skorts, or little shorts under their summer dresses. Some wear nice shorts, like these: skirt. As long as they are the right colour and right top.

blueberryupsidedown Sun 12-May-13 16:43:50

I meant shorts!!

LemonsLimes Sun 12-May-13 16:53:38

Yes it's state. I think they'd be ok with those shorts, but it's the shirt and tie in hot weather that would put me off.

Pixel Sun 12-May-13 22:37:34

Rowgtfc72 these in BHS look as if they have good 'gusset coverage' (and debenhams have some with princesses on which might be ok wink).

chunkymonkeybaby Sun 12-May-13 23:29:54

I'm 25 and remember we were actually banned from doing cartwheels and handstands in the school playground, not sure if this was to avoid knicker flashing or because one of the girls broke her arm whilst doing them. Stupid thing to ban anyway....

But this thread has just made me think in general how stupid some schools are about uniform. Personally I think uniform is good, so kids don't get teased about what they're wearing and prevent school becoming a fashion parade, to make getting ready easier in the mornings etc, but I think it would be better to do away with summer dresses and have the same for boys and girls, they shouldn't be mad to be different. Trousers or shorts. No more bloody shirts and ties either, they're kids FFS. Just plain polo shirts and sweatshirts for when it's cold. More comfy and practical for everyone for playing an looks smarter anyway that shirts untucked and ties all over the place. And uniform should be cheap too, not stupid fucking prices in school shops.

motherinferior Mon 13-May-13 08:20:20

How many of you uniform-lovers do have kids at non uniform schools? U can assure you that my daughters' (quite ordinary state) primary is not a 'fashion parade'. Please don't generalise from wear-your-own-clothes one-offs.

LemonsLimes Mon 13-May-13 09:45:17

Non uniform primaries must be quite rare in the UK. I don't know of any round here. Is it more common in certain parts of the country?

motherinferior Mon 13-May-13 09:46:54

There are two in my south London local authority that I know of.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 09:50:06

I know of two in South London as well.

Blu Mon 13-May-13 11:39:37

DS was at a uniform free S London community primary - and I 'ditto' what MI said.

Idocrazythings Mon 13-May-13 12:16:51

Mine wear black boy leg style knickers over their normal knickers. I insist on it if they are wearing a dress without tights.

As adult women we (generally) cross our legs when we sit and don't go out of our way to show off our knickers. Why should it be different for little girls?- I am coming purely from a being respectful of yourself and others; not a sexualised point of view. If you were a dancer or gymnast you would have special underwear on.

And will someone think of the teachers who have to see maybe 15 girls sitting crossed legged on the mat! grin

motherinferior Mon 13-May-13 12:33:36

I will now add that in hot weather I don't wear any pants at all shock

motherinferior Mon 13-May-13 12:34:45

And the idea of double-panting my lovely daughters induces shudders.

Blu Mon 13-May-13 12:45:41

But MI, do you wear a frock and do cartwheels?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 13-May-13 12:45:45

ido A child doing a cartwheel in a skirt isn't 'going out of her way to show her knickers' confused

Dancers and gymnasts often don't wear any pants: to avoid VPLs!

Idocrazythings Mon 13-May-13 13:13:24

Of course not original and they shouldn't be discouraged from cartwheels either, but shouldn't we be teaching them to cover up, in a way that is not actually making them feel bad or having to change their play? Not just cartwheels, there's monkey bars, swings, climbing walls, skipping (to a point), or dresses flicking up.

And it does not get hot in the UK, "double panting" will not cause a severely sweaty uncomfortable vulva. Even in Australia it does not cause suffering!

I'm thinking of the dancers etc that wear the twirly skirts whee you are supposed to see underwear. Not being a dancer I don't know if its part of the skirt or not, but you never see a pair of white greying floral or possibly Dora pair of knickers under those skirts they (whatever its called ) have on.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 13-May-13 13:18:57

If they've got pants on, I think they're covered up enough.

Idocrazythings Mon 13-May-13 13:21:45

Each to their own really. I prefer mine to not have underwear on display, if it can be avoided. (Maybe that says more about me- who knows?). Others don't care... It all adds to the discussion.

motherinferior Mon 13-May-13 13:39:14

Blu, I frequently wear a frock. I only do cartwheels on very special occasions when drunk

TwistTee Mon 13-May-13 14:20:35

Is this a result of the sale of adult style knickers for kids? I had to sift through various brazillian short style knickers before finding some regular well fitting ones for my 4 yr old dd.
perhaps if everyone bought decent fitting knickers and did not give in to the fashion pressure. The idea that little girls are comparing their knickers as suggested above is shocking or am I just naive?

pussycatwillum Mon 13-May-13 17:22:21

If boys did handstands in their pants in the playground they would be told to put shorts on, so why shouldn't girls?
When I was at school we tucked our dresses into the legs of our (very substantial) green knickers, which were as thick as shorts anyway.

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