Wednesday, September 13
I'm not even sure what to think about this one...
Is this necessary? I'm grieved because it must be.

My immediate thoughts when reading it were "Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore." "You've come a long way, baby." You've gotta be kidding ... gimme a break ... is this really what this** has come to????! Does this stuff need to be spelled out? HAVE PARENTS LOST THEIR EVER-LOVIN' MINDS?

This is not from our current church, but it's from one we love, a place that was a fantastic church home to us for a long, long time. Not perfect, but we know that doesn't exist. It is not legalistic, not fundamental. They are currently without (but searching for) a youth pastor, so the following is a parent initiative (I think, not 100% positive about that, guess I'll have to ask some friends about what's between the lines, what I'm missing here).

Students AND their parents have to sign and date this. I know dress is always an issue, it's something I plan to address here since adding my "Moms for Modesty" button on the right sidebar (just haven't taken the time to think through what to say). We have several pastor friends and friends who work with youth who cannot believe the provocative way DAUGHTERS are dressing. Ok... do.not.get.on.that!


Behavior Guidelines Agreement for ___________ YOUTH Group**

The purpose of _______ youth activities, events, and trips is to have fun, build relationships with one another, and deepen our walk with God.
We want you to have a great time at Youth Group events as well as be challenged to grow spiritually. The stated guidelines will help us achieve these interpersonal and spiritual goals.

1. No participant will consume or have in his/her possession any alcoholic beverages, drugs/narcotics, tobacco.
2. No one will have in his/here possession fireworks, cigarette lighters, laser pointers, or matches.
3. No weapons of any kind are allowed.
4. No cursing or offensive joking.
5. No one will have in his/her possession any pornographic literature.
6. No radios, televisions, headphones, walkie-talkies, CD players, CD’s, MP3 players, MP3’s, Ipods, portable DVD players, DVD’s, gaming consoles, or laptops are to be brought to youth group activities, events, or on trips.
7. Cell phone use only during free time and it must be turned off during all sessions, assemblies, and meetings.
8. Agree to abide by dress code. I will submit to correction by Adult Youth Leaders.
a. no clothing that depicts alcohol, tobacco, or anything of an immoral nature
b. no undergarments should be seen
c. shorts should be long enough to meet fingertips when hands are by your side.
d. shirts should be long enough to cover the midriff – no belly buttons or skin showing whether standing, or sitting, or with arms raised.
e. tops or dresses should not be low enough to reveal any cleavage
f. no tank tops or dresses with shoulder straps too narrow to cover bra straps
[*Strapless is unacceptable ]

~ I understand that it is my responsibility to conduct myself in a manner which shall reflect the highest credit upon myself, my parents, and the _______ Youth Group. I have read and will abide by the above Behavior Guidelines. Failure to comply may result in parent notification, my being sent home immediately (if on a trip, at my parent’s expense), and/or possible expulsion from future events.

I assume much. Then, again, I guess we know what that usually does :/.

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, September 13, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (20)

At September 13, 2006, Blogger willowtree said...

I don't know if I'm missing the point or something, but the dress code doesn't seem unreasonable to me (note, there is no sacrasm here).

What they seem to be saying is that if you want to join, you can't look like a ho from a music video.

The thing that did stike me however was the in the first sentence 'deepen our walk with God' how do they do that? make them walk up to their knees in mud?

one other thing, there's no way I'd join if I can't take my new iPod!! Oh, that and the fact I'm over 50.

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Yvonne said...

I think I get your point - why in the world would a parent have to be told what constitutes proper dress? I do have to say, though, that there are parents who pretty much don't say a word about how their kids are dressed. Why is it OK to see a thong hanging out of the top of jeans? Or a guy who is wearing his pants so low that you are thinking "whats the point in even having on pants at this point?"

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Weeeellllll...gee, I possibly should go back and re-think (re-write) what I said in this post.

My "grief" was not tied only to the dress concern (that's an ever-present issue for us because we have a 14-y-o daughter and finding decent, cute clothes is ridiculously difficult. I am THANKFUL BEYOND WORDS that this does not have to be "imposed" by us--Rachel is disgusted with "ho from a music video" clothes).

I totally agree with EVERYTHING listed in the guidelines. My point was 1) that it apparently needed to be written; 2) all the guidelines are "no brainers" in my book--during the 1 1/2 hours a typical youth group meets (or even on a weekend retreat), I'd EXPECT kids to refrain from drinking alcohol, drugging, smoking, exhibitions of pyromania, packing heat, switchblades or nunchucks, profanity, porn, wearing slutty clothes. Using cells or MP3s/other electronics is just plain rude when someone's speaking (in a group setting).

If parents aren't aware any of the above is going on, they aren't parenting. If they ARE aware and don't care, well, that's a whole 'nother problem.

WT, ummmm, deepening our walk with God....are you familiar with that expression as it pertains to growing in your faith? A deeper, richer, more intimate relationship with God....can't tell if you were being vintage WT or asking a question outright :).

Yvonne, thanks for coming back :)...been wanting to get to know you, but limited blog blocks of time :/. I agree with your question of why parents have to be told these things. Parents who allow their children self-expression by looking like a hooker or a's just sad to me. Again, I don't wanna get started on THAT one before I'm ready.

All those guidelines stem out of a lack of regard for either self or others; they're matters of the heart, and our kids are not the ones to blame........

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Claudia said...

well, I think they might need to add some for the guys too, no?? Like wearing pants that fit!! That drives me insane when I see these guys with their pants 10 sized too large!! I feel like just walking over and yanking them down!! just to make the point!!

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Karmyn R said...

It is sad that it has to come to this - I would think "dress modestly" would have sufficed. (at my son's school -there isn't a dress code per se - but they do have the dress modestly part, along with new additions like the ones you've mentioned....all for elementary students too! AND - there is a line about "no baggy" pants - they must cover underwear at all times.)

I suppose as far as parents being aware and not caring is for several reasons: Age differences in parents: younger parents may few modesty differently than older parents (a generational thing?) - parents choosing what to deal with: deciding that clothing is not a battle they want to fight? - children fooling the parents: I knew several girls in jr. high that brought different clothes to school in their backpacks and changed when they got to school, and their parents were no wiser.

I'm just thinking why. not that I agree with any of it....

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Pamela said...

8c makes me think of the girl nicknamed T-REX

ps. generational gap?
The more things change, the more things stay the same.

At September 13, 2006, Blogger SongBird said...

Robin, I totally agree with you. It is sad that any youth-oriented group would have to list such basic guidelines as these, but our society has turned into such an "anything goes" culture. The "line" between what is appropriate and what is inappropriate has been erased in the effort to ensure that everyone has the right to express themselves in any way they see fit.

At September 13, 2006, Blogger Malissa said...

A couple Sunday's ago at church--we stood for the closing hymn, and I saw the entire! backside of a girl and her slinky pink thong. WHY!?

I do NOT come to church to see nekkid backsides! kwim?

It's sad that girls don't respect the wonderful gift their body is more than this.

At September 14, 2006, Blogger Kelly Curtis said...

Yeah, it's crazy that we can't just assume this stuff. But I guess, if we don't spell things out, people don't know any better.

I’m looking for feedback.

At September 14, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

My dad is the pastor of a very small church in a small town. They have a youth group that resembles something more like downtown urban ministry. Almost all the kids that come are unchurched, and many are in foster homes. They just don't know what the church would consider appropriate and inappropriate as far as modesty and language and all. If my parents were to have the kids sign this before being allowed to come to events, the kids just wouldn't come.
The neat thing, though, is to see the kids' desire for change the more they are around Jesus, the more they feel loved by the church and by Jesus.

At September 14, 2006, Blogger Swampwitch said...

I understand both sides, if there are two sides, because I think from what I've read, everyone is on the same page. BUT, having been in the public school system for over 25 years, I found that it was ALWAYS necessary to outline in detail what the rules were...not that ALL the parents needed them, but in most instances, there was at least one parent or set of parents that needed a definite outline of do's and don'ts.
I read today of a mother who rewarded her 13 year-old by smoking marijuana with him. Go Figure.

At September 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know...I think it really depends on the parents. I don't think that I would have my child any close dress to what is not allowed, but then again, for some it might be normal and maybe the list is a guideline. Not sure if I understand why no music is allowed on long trips, but then again, I don't know what has happed that they put it on the list...

At September 15, 2006, Blogger Susannah said...

I am dismayed that church kids need to be told how to dress. On the other hand, I'm glad someone is stepping up to the plate and requiring that these teens show some sort of restraint and modesty. If they aren't getting guidance in this area at home, then what better place than their youth group? As adults we know that dress codes do apply in the world of work. I'm happy someone is taking the responsiblity to teach them an important lesson. (No doubt the leadership got a lot of flack over the issue! More power to them.)

At September 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...all these comments are telling...this must be the sounding board for moms w/ young children. I'm sure your parents and other adults said the same thing about you. A kid can't bring a cell phone or ipod on a trip or to church? pleez.

At September 15, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

FTL, for the most part, this post (based on comments) is largely an adventure in missing the point...:/ Guess I had trouble articulating my point, then again, like I said, I wasn't sure what to think.

Who knows what motivated these guidelines? I've asked a few "in the know", but haven't gotten a response yet. Seems to me they were covering anything they could think of, but I guess it's rooted in abuses. Nothing wrong with having a cell phone or iPod with you as far as I'm concerned...until you're rudely chattin' when a speaker is speakin, or texting a ton of messages instead of listening or building relationships with the people who are there, or wearing your earbuds jamming to some tunes, while tuning everyone else OUT.

And, lol, no, my parents DID NOT say the same thing about me 'cuz I'm OLD and cell phones and iPods were just a dream during my youth group days.

btw, how'd you find my blog? What's the link to yours?

At September 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You reckon the youth will figure out they can "pass" the entire list and still gossip, slander, and fornicate???

At September 16, 2006, Blogger Kelly Curtis said...

Holy smokes. I just came back to check on this conversation and I'm surprised it was as controversial as it was. My kids are 7 and 9, but I was a high school guidance counselor and I know what older kids try to get by with wearing, etc. High expectations are important, as far as I'm concerned. And yes, spelling out what the high expectations are is also necessary.

I don't have a background with inner-city youth, however, so maybe there would be different guidelines there.


At September 16, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Ok, guys, if ANYONE is checking back on this one, I talked to THE source, the guy who put these out there to begin with. He's a GREAT guy and said it was basically in response to dress "issues" from last year (cleavage and midrift-baring shirts, etc.). Because they're w/out a Youth pastor (as I mentioned), parents are taking the lead. They're simply trying to set a standard and head off ... the type things they know can cause problems.

He's "good folk", they all are.

Still bothers me, though.

Ok, totally doesn't apply to ANYTHING, but my wv is carwxle--car waxal....almost a real word!

At September 17, 2006, Blogger Debs said...

My daughter is 12 and it is very difficult to find decent clothes. When I say Decent I do mean...clothes that do actually cover the body. My daughter tends to be modest thank goodness, but there are girls her age that push the limits and parents that let them.

At September 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree w/ Shelly...parents always seem focused on the trivial things...and while they do...the kids do "other" things.


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