Getting Them Dressed Shouldn’t Wear You Out

Kids today, they have a lot of opinions, especially when it comes to clothing.  Okay, maybe kids have always worked a parent’s last nerve to express themselves about what they wanted to wear (lucky for me, the only views my choices will ever get will be via access to my family’s photo albums). 

Maybe you were that kid who just wanted a clothing item that everyone else had and bugged your parents to get it.  Or worse, like me, you had a gotta be me” stage that your parents went along with as they secretly wished you “have a kid just like you.”  And now, here you are, their wish come true: your great traits and your stubborn streak packaged in a tiny but mighty force to be reckoned with.  In a day and age when children have never been so aware of name brands and images, and parents wanting their children to be able to feel free to self-express, what’s the most important things to remember to you keep control of their impending fashionable dictation situation?

 Don’t wait too late.

  Establishing rules may sound very old-fashioned in this world of “everyone gets a trophy” whether they win or participate, but trust me, kids appreciate a benevolent leader to show them the way.  The wee-ist ones will love every time you lose your mind when they point to an item in your “yes” pile.

Buyer be wary.

I don’t buy potato chips because I can’t eat just one and later do battle with stretch denims.  If you don’t want something to be an issue, and you’re the one with purchase power, don’t bring it in the house!

Know your audience.

Yes, I know, they love you the most, but who do they love to look like?  A celeb, a peer?  Don’t dismiss, discuss, communication in all things are key, and asking questions about what they admire can give you hints about clothing choices… and on a more important scale, values.

 Right on!  Our first amendment is a right to free expression and debate.  If they feel that passionate about a choice, let them back up why it’s so important agree to be open to your views about why their choice may not be a great idea.  Teaching your child to stand up for themselves in a logical, intelligent way is a great way to make them think things through… and the work present their argument is so much cooler than saying “because I said so.” … but how many kids know that exercising it means the right for the other side to have impose reasonable consequences?  Again, life is about choice… if they want to wear that outfit, it’s a yes … but only if you get to go to the event or party with them.  Make it less your authority and more about your concern. 

And if all else fails… take a page out of my friend’s playbook.  Every time her brilliant, beautiful, spirited, smart daughter wanted to impose her look, my friend said, “Know what?  If you think it’s that great, I’ll get one for me, and we can do twinsies!”  Horror, my friend, is  way more creative than about “because I say so!”