If you have a young daughter who wants to go to school dressed like her favorite rock star, every morning can be a battle. Good Morning America Parenting Contributor and author Ann Pleshette Murphy has some suggestions for getting daughters to dress appropriately.
DENISE: Hi there, I’m Denise Richardson and this is howdini.com. I don’t know if this drives you wild, but children, young women dressing provocatively – your child. Are you having a problem with that? Can’t wait to get to this with Ann Pleshette Murphy, who’s the contributing parent authority over at Good Morning America, plus the author of The 7 Stages of Motherhood. It drives me crazy, to see these kids with these skirts up to their tushes, these low-cut blouses, and their role models seem to be all of these Hollywood youngsters.
ANN: Well, it’s true. I mean they are, the images they’re getting, and they’re getting hundreds of thousands of them, you know, every year tend to be pretty provocative. And sometimes when you’re dealing with a little girl, one of the things I do tell parents is, if they have an eight, nine year old who says that she wants to look sexy, it’s very important before you freak out to say to her, well what do you mean by that? You know, what do you think sexy looks like? ‘Cause sometimes that’s what little girls say when they actually want to look pretty, what they think looks pretty. When you’re talking about a pre-teen, who is at that stage where she hates everything about her body, it’s understandable that they will sometimes push the envelope to just see if they can, you know, be a different person when they go out the door. And it’s, it’s critical for parents to be, you know, empathetic.
DENISE: Someone’s going to, is watching right now and they’re saying, my kid’s going to hate me if I tell them to take it off. After all, we went through our phases with our kinds of clothes.
DENISE: Shouldn’t they be able to go through theirs?
ANN: Well I think they should, you know, to a certain extent. You don’t have to like everything they were, I mean, that’s something else. You know, if your child decides that she’s someone who’s only wearing black, and you love bright colors, just zip it. As long as it’s not something that’s, you know, inappropriate behavior is something else, or provocative dress is something else. Because I think that, you can talk about a reputation; you can talk a little bit about how people perceive her, and is that how she really wants to be projecting? I think you can also use this as a teachable moment to talk about how woman are portrayed in the media.
DENISE: You have so many types in Hollywood, and you know the names: The Britneys, the Lindsays, the others who dress provocatively – expose themselves – and they have a fan base.
ANN: I think that even if your daughter is having posters of Lindsay Lohan all over her room, and she’s dressing like Lindsay and cutting her hair like Lindsay, she doesn’t necessarily – she’s not going to become Lindsay or do what she’s doing. I think that, again, there are really opportunities here to talk about what she admires in somebody or why she thinks that’s something she wants to do. It shouldn’t just be, ‘no, you’ve got to take that off and wear what I want you to wear’ because that may not be the way you want to negotiate this particular dance and, you know, we all go through, all of these things are challenges to your authority as a parent.
DENISE: A lot of these issues, and ninety nine point three quarters percent of these issues are about communication. And the parent says, ‘I’m a single parent, what do you want me to do? I’m trying to put food on the table, I’m running out of the house to take care of business, and you expect me to have these conversations?’ What do you have to say to that?
ANN: Well I, I think it is hard to find the time to do it, and I think the time not to do it is when you’re really upset about what she’s wearing. I think, you know, you can say to her, ‘look, right now I want you to change your clothes. We’re not discussing it now, later we’re going to sit down and talk about this.’ And that’s, later you have to follow through. I think you need to come in and talk about why it’s upset you, and give yourself some time to think it through. And tell her what the rules are; that you don’t mind if she wears makeup but you don’t want her wearing her skirt up to her tukkus, and you don’t want to wear something that is really low-cut. That, that says something about her that you don’t think she needs to say.
DENISE: Thank you so much for the information, it’s, it’s great information, Ann Pleshette Murphy.
Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?
We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.
Who is Howdini?
People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)
Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.
The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)
Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.
Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.
What’s Next for Howdini?
Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.
We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.
And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.