Dd2 is 6. One of her teachers is constantly telling the girls off about their dresses being too short. Last week they were kept in during playtime for a talk about the importance of having a dress long enough to cover their knees when sitting cross legged. Being dd2 we do have longer dresses waiting for her, but she is small and underweight for her age and the next size up is calf length and the waist could fit two of her in it and she says it gets in the way when playing. She doesn't want to wear shorts she just wants to wear a knee length dress.
I have written a note saying that I feel it is inappropriate to make such comments as it makes dd2 upset and self conscious but I was wondering if someone here could articulate some reasons more clearly why a 6 year old girl should not need to think about skirt length in case the teacher corners me on it.
The school is a community school, there is nothing in the uniform list about dress length, the yr 6 girls wear dresses which are approaching mid thigh and last time I checked we didn't have to go back in time to the Victorian era each time they go through the gate. Not sure if this is the right section but can't face aibu!
I'm tempted by a succinct response of "don't be b** daft", but I guess you'll want to go for something a bit more dignified.
I think drawing attention to the dangers of making girls even more self conscious about their appearance is good.
Also, asking questions is always a good approach - put her on the defensive. Ask why she feels 6 year olds need to cover their knees. What problems does she think will arise if they don't? (Possibly with references to your own childhood spent happily hanging upside down from tree branches and climbing frames). Make her articulate her own (totally unjustifiable) beliefs about modesty, etc.
This sort of thing really annoys me because it's every bit as much a form of premature sexualisation as dressing girls in "future WAG" t-shirts - there should not be a problem with seeing a small child's underwear.
Thank you Lurcio the idea of asking questions sounds good. I think it is too young to think about these things, and as you say what is the problem. I think a teacher should be able to cope with the occasional glimpse of some charlie & lola knickers and if a boy sees them then they need to learn to not make an issue of it. I also think it isn't appropriate to be hassling the children without mentioning it to the parents (this has been happening since 'summer' began but we haven't been asked about it). If it is an issue and policy change then write to the parents as it is us who buys the dresses.
I was half expecting this to be about teens, but 6 years old is too young to be 'make sure you're modest', as much as I don't like being able to see children's knickers, tiny skirts on little girls and don't dress my children that way. I would see as teacher that is my opinion and doesn't warrant a discussion.
Thank you for all your comments. If it was me then I would have been in shorts all the time (I even remember wearing shorts & t-shirt under a dress to a wedding as a child for a quick change as soon as I could) but for some reason neither of my girls like shorts other than short leggings. I always retire the dresses when they get a few cm above the knee, but the next size up is ridiculously big and the current ones are on the knee when standing so really not too indecent!
The teacher hadn't seen the note and it is a different one in the afternoon, but I have spoken to some of the other parents who after checking facts with their dd also feel it is inappropriate so the class rep is going to send a collective e-mail saying that we aren't happy about them commenting on their dresses and certainly not telling the girls on a number of occasions but not communicating with parents.