Halloween and Modesty with Tweens

HalloweenAs a parent of two girls I can sympathize with how much you’re hearing about costumes and candy this time of year. A vast majority of children want to forgo the talk of homework and chores in favor of a fantasy land that is only brought about during the cold months. Costumes and the carefree feeling that Halloween brings should be fun for the entire family, but for most adults holidays bring stress, and sometimes even disagreements.

Finding an appropriate family costume as an adult woman can be difficult enough, but this year has brought about the challenge of what is appropriate for our tween daughter. This year we are struggling with our eldest daughter, simply trying to remind her that she is in fact only 11 years old and that short skirts do not a fun and appropriate Halloween costume make. The issue is in the options as she is almost full adult size and most costumes that are designed for teen and adult women are wrapped up in being sexy. Well guess what large retail stores? I don’t want my daughter thinking that just because she is almost adult sized that she needs to be sexy, or that those costumes are what sexy is.

In Halloweens past she has always gone a more traditional scary and gory route, and that has always suited us well. It’s fun to do the face paint of a zombie bride or an evil fairy, or the more classic vampire costume covered in blood. This year, however, she would like to dress up as her favorite anime character. For those of you who have not seen much anime, let me tell you that the skirts can often be on the short side and the tops on the low side. Now she is only permitted to watch age appropriate shows in which the content is within certain parameters, but the clothing that is worn is still very much Japanese anime style.

HalloweenFor the first week of October, we found ourselves in what appeared to be a revolving argument about what was appropriate and why. Once asked this question, it seemed very simple to spit out “Because I said so, that’s why,” but we refrained. We wanted to make a lasting impression so that we hopefully aren’t having this argument again next year. After deliberating with my husband, we sat her down and explained, in more depth than we previously have, about modesty and self respect.

Our daughter wasn’t 100% thrilled with the compromise of wearing leggings under her costume, but she understands and respects our reasoning, at least for this year anyway. Honestly, I think the most important part of that conversation was us listening to her questions and concerns and us addressing them with respect and not commands. Our daughter is growing up and whether we are okay with it or not, it’s happening and we must go with it if we want to maintain a respectful and open relationship with her.

We’ll see how much sticks after another year!

Are you having difficulty finding an appropriate costume for your child or even for yourself? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

Christina is a Florida transplant; coming to Florida from Arizona’s Mohave Desert, where she was born and raised. Staying true to her nomadic heritage, Christina has traveled across the United States more than ten times. When she’s not dreaming up her next trip you can find her spending all the time she can with her husband, Chris, and their two over-the-top tween daughters, Bre Anna and Natalli. Christina is an advocate for education and a mentor for troubled youth. In her spare time you will find Christina working on her book, reading, boxing, or running. She has a love of all things in nature and the science that connects them. You can catch up with Christina by following her on Instagram and liking her on facebook .


  1. Wow, I completely identify. Try having an eight year old that is 4′ 9″ and wears a 7.5 women’s shoe. I can’t find little girl clothes anymore. 🙁 This is a void that the clothing industry needs to fill and frankly some of the stuff I see even at Justice is just way to degrading for my daughter to wear. : /

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