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A Little Modesty?

"Close your legs!" You heard it when you were a kid, and if you have a little girl, chances are you're saying it now  -- maybe more than you'd like.

If your grade-schooler's love for dresses and skirts is matched only by her love of monkey bars, you know that teaching modesty isn't easy. But at this age, when kids are especially curious about each other's physical differences, it important to stress to your daughter why she should keep her private parts and her underwear covered. To help her learn:

Lead by example. "Children love to imitate," says Elane Rehr, coauthor of 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body. "Say, 'When Mommy sits down, this is how she sits,' and then let her try it."

Create playful reminders. When you see she's forgotten (again), start the "I see London, I see France" rhyme, then encourage her to finish it and pull down her skirt. You might also try making a game out of it: Say, "Who can show me the way big girls are supposed to sit?" She'll be eager to prove to you just how grown up she can be.

Make it easy for her. Remember culottes? There are far better options for your daughter. Buy a few pairs of bike shorts to put underneath dresses or look for skirts with shorts already sewn in so that when your daughter sits cross-legged on the floor or swings really high, her panties won't show. Think of skorts as an active little girl's best friend.