Immodest Clothing: Visiting Mother


My mother is coming for a visit soon. She is anti-orthodox and does not dress tznius. At first this didn’t bother me, but as my girls are getting older, I think it would be a bad influence for them to see their grandmother dressed in this manner. They are at an age in which they will notice what she wears and want to imitate her, but they are still too young to understand or have this explained to them.
I kindly asked my mother to dress tznius around her granddaughters. She then lost her temper and screamed about how disrespectful I am to demand that of her and that I should be ashamed of myself. My mother is already embarrassed by the fact that I became orthodox. She thinks I joined a cult and that I’m brainwashing her grandchildren. It’s been 12 years now and she still has not forgiven me for choosing this path.



  1. My heart goes out to you. You are truly stuck in an impossible situation. However, please allow me to suggest that you do nothing at all about the way that your mother dresses. I would suggest that you not mention the subject again this trip as all it does is antagonize her which makes things worse for all of you.

    How is it possible to ignore the anti-educational dimension that your children are being exposed to? By letting your children see how far you are prepared to go to perform the Mitzvah of Kibud Eim. If your children ask you about the way their grandmother dresses you can just tell them that grandma comes from a different background to yours and that that is the way she dresses. I don’t know how old your children are but if they are younger they do not need to hear anything more than that. If the older children question how grandma can walk around as she does you can just focus on how lucky you all are to be able to host grandma and to perform so many Mitzvos together. If you begin to see a disturbing tendency for one (or more) of your children being seduced by your mother’s dress sense and her general outlook, you might need to place more emphasis on Simchas haMitzvos when your mother has left. The more simcha there is in the house the greater is the ability to counteract your mother’s influence.

    Please allow me to add one last idea. You should do your best not to let your children see you getting frustrated at your mother. You should do your best not to let her general attitude get under your skin and you should try mightily not to have any arguments with her whilst she is staying with you. A far as your children are concerned it is a great treat that grandma is coming to stay and you should try your best to let both your children and your mother feel that.

    May Hakadosh Baruch Hu bless you with the strength and the insight to overcome this difficult time. It is hard to imagine that any harm might come to your home through your fulfilling the Mitzvah of Kibud Eim to its fullest.

    Best wishes from the Team