Everyone has their own fashion sense. This is a good thing, because it allows each of us to express our own sense of creativity - and our children are certainly not left out of this. After all, who among us hasn't seen a child dressed in public, and smiled to ourselves, knowing that the child must have dressed himself? Or gone to the grocery store with a little girl wearing a tutu, tiara, frog rain boots and a super hero cape?
Sometimes, it's just not worth the battle. It doesn't matter, in the long run, if your child wears the same pants for a month - as long as you can wash them, of course - or refuses to wear the color orange.
There may be some times, though, that you have to fight the good fight. You may be going to visit grandma, and you just know that grandma will make a fuss if Junior isn't in a suit and tie. So, you have to compromise. How can you meet the fashion needs and desires of your child without squashing their individuality, and help them to stay appropriately clothed in a non attention grabbing fashion?
- Pick your battles - Be stubborn about something else. Not everything is a battle. Is it really super important that your child go to church dressed nicely? Then maybe you can let go of the control when the child goes to the park. You can't be in charge every single time - your child has to feel a sense of autonomy in order to develop a sense of self.
- Be willing to compromise - Sometimes, you have to let go and allow your child to wear that purple tie with a yellow shirt. Maybe you will be insistent that your daughter wear a dress, but you can let her wear brightly colored tights and boots.
- Understand that they aren't trying to be difficult - Your child is learning to develop a sense of self and not trying to make you mad. Well, not in this instance, probably. So don't take it personally when your son tells you that your choices stink. He doesn't really mean it. (I hope.)
- Go with the flow - It's a true testament to parenting that there's always going to be something going on, something to get annoyed about, something that will need your effort and attention. Clothing probably isn't worth it - unless it's morally offensive or completely against your ethical values, it's probably not worth the argument.
How do you help your child learn to develop a sense of style without having an enormous argument?
by mrswillieNovember 19, 2012 at 7:44 AM
I let mine be their self as long as it is appropriate. I have teens.
by ZamariaNovember 19, 2012 at 8:11 AMWith my oldest, I give him guidelines as to what he needs to wear and let him choose his outfit himself, example, I'll tell him "you need a sweater or collared shirt and nice jeans or khakis" or "you need to wear a suit and tie" or "you can wear nice jeans and a nice hoodie or tee shirt" and he usually does ok with that. The younger two, I choose two or three things and let them pick from those things. I don't buy them clothes that I don't like, I don't buy things that I would consider inappropriate, and they are aware that costumes are for Halloween or playing dress up and occasionally they can wear them to the park. That's it. My middle son does have some iron man rain boots that he tries to wear a lot, but I just tell him "it's not raining so we need to save those for a rainy day" and he's ok with that. I don't usually get arguments from them.
by cara124November 19, 2012 at 8:38 AM
as long as they are covered and its tasteful I'm ok letting them be their selves . Having teenage Daughters sometimes you have to "guide" things in a direction the is going to be respectful of themselves.
by natesmom1228November 19, 2012 at 9:01 AM
I only buy clothes that I like. I hate skulls so I don't buy anything with them on it.
by goddess99November 19, 2012 at 9:26 AM
I've learned to just make it easy. I only buy jeans and khakis, that way all shirts, sweaters match no matter what.
by GwenMBNovember 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM
I do believe that if it isn't illegal, immoral or going to hurt someone, that kids should be able to do it. It is sometimes hard to practise that though! Not sure I'll be able to agree to a mohawk or colored hair, for example.
But I do let the boys pick out what they want & usually just go with it. I keep "Mommy's perogative" for things like church & holidays.
I will sometimes tell them something doesn't match (since they likely don't know) but if they still insist, we go with it.
by .Angelica.November 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM
i let my son dress himself as long as it's weather appropriate and clean. lol
November 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM
I give them a choice between 2-3 differant outfits, that way they can still feel like they are making their own choice.
by sukainahNovember 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM
So far my kids are okay with what I give them to wear.
by gacgbakerNovember 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM
I make recommendations and let them know why I recommend it- ultimately I let them make choices for themselves though, as long as they are modest- modesty is something I draw a harder line with- no compromise on that one.