I sort of dread shopping with my two teenage daughters. We inevitably end up fighting those fashion battles that are so familiar to every mom of a teenage daughter.

Me: “No, you can’t buy those denim underwear. I don’t care if you call them shorts. They’re underwear!”

My girls: “I’m never wearing a skirt that goes to my knees for as long as I live after I’m out of the house!”

My girls don’t seem to find it very impressive that their mother makes a living writing books about modesty and invented the Truth Or Bare Modesty Fashion Tests. (They don’t realize that my very existence—not the books—is the reason that they have to pursue modesty!) The Gresh girls can get into a rumble given a mall and a few dollars to spend.

Now, I’m blowing us a bit out of proportion here. My girls are actually rather modest in their presentation compared to most, but I’m not comparing them to most girls.  I’m comparing them to the Word of God. That’s when it gets complicated.

This year, knowing how much I dislike being the modesty police, my husband got involved and wrote some shopping rules. They helped. A lot. (I was only accused of being Amish one time.) Thought you might like them, too! (Warning: the second set of rules were for me … and they pricked my heart a bit.)

To use these, you’ll need a man to present them with a little humor. That could be your husband. (Mine simply read them to us before we left the house.)  If your daughter’s dad isn’t in the picture, get Grandpa to have breakfast with you the morning of your back-to-school shopping spree.

14 rules for a great daughter-mother school shopping day (for daughters)

1. Shop hard. Shop often.

2. Enjoy your temporary wealth for at least one minute before blowing it on redundant clothing, which will be packed into dark plastic trash bags and taken to Goodwill next year at this time.

3. Prepare to follow Secret Keeper fashion tests.* Remind yourself that all money in your hand came from publishing success of “said” fashion tests. (Okay, that one won’t work for you, but it was funny so I kept it in here for your reading pleasure.)

4. Buy modest clothes.

5. Have mom look at them.

6. Listen to mom.

7. If mom displays a happy face followed by the face in her baby picture and exclaims, “That’s adorable!”—you’re in good shape. (There is a baby picture that my girls make fun of. My mom loves it.)

8. If she gives a frowny face, say, “You’re right, Mom!” (Use similar face as in aforementioned baby pic.)

9. If you get the urge to pout or give “teenage-angst” look, see rule #6.

10.  If you don’t follow rule #6, Mom will call Dad.

11.  If Dad is called, it means that rules 1-9 were not followed.

12. Dad will not be happy and will immediately reverse rule #1.

13. If Dad enacts emergency measures of rule #12, tonight and the rest of the week will not be as pleasant as you would like.

14. Remember your daddy loves you.

*Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty (Copyright: Moody Publishers)
Note: If these printed rules don’t fit easily into your pocket, see rule #4.