Monday, April 22, 2013
Free to Be- Kids Style Unleashed
It’s 7:30 am, and Kai, my eldest daughter , age 7, has yet to emerge from her room. I’m on pins and needles because I want to make sure she has time to eat breakfast before school. At 7:35 she emerges from her room, much like a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon, wearing a hot pink tutu, purple leggings, a turquoise top with a psychedelic unicorn plastered across it, and silver sequin leg warmers. She was rockin and ready for her free dress day at school. “How do I look mom?” she asked in her saccharine sweet voice. Of course I let her know she was fabulous. As we walked to the bus stop, I noticed quite a few parents staring at Kai. Some in shock others baffled by my daughters flamboyant attire. One mother even commented, “ It’s hell trying to get them to change their clothes, right.” This woman’s statement was interesting to me. She assumed I made an attempt to talk my daughter out of her bold choices. But why? Simply stated, there is too much pressure on children to be perfect representations or replicas of their parents that children are losing out on the adventure that is style and self exploration. I’m here today to encourage all parents out there to let your child dress themselves for a week. You might be surprised what you find out. I know letting your child wear what ever they like is a scary premise, but it’s a positive action that will leave your child feeling trusted, excited and loved. Stop worrying about the judgmental eyes of other parents and teachers. Letting a child pick out there own clothes comes with some wonderful benefits. 1. They will be super excited about getting up and ready in the morning. Fact of the matter is if you don’t have to argue with your child in the morning about clothing everyone is happier. 2. You can learn a lot about someone by what they like to wear and how they wear it. For instance I learned my daughter absolutely prefers boots over tennis shoes, but she is smart enough to wear tennis shoes to school on P.E days. She prefers boots because she thinks they look tough, and she likes to jump in puddles, play in mud, and boots protect her feet better. Now when I shop for her I stock up on boots and only purchase one pair of tennis shoes. 3.Dressing oneself builds individuality and confidence. Your child will not look like a clone and will feel comfortable with standing out in a crowd. 4. Children who dress themselves and pick out their own clothes tend to be more creative. Mixing and matching garments is much like a game or puzzle to kids so they are using cognitive thinking skills by picking out their clothes, matching colors, textures, and prints. 5.Kids feel special because they feel trusted by their parents. I realize it is not easy to trust your child with the task of selecting outfits to wear, but seriously parents, let’s make our children’s style less about us and more about them. You’re only young once. Childhood his the time to experiment and wear tutus with combat boots, or khaki shorts with cowboy boots. Just remember, no matter how silly we think they look, children feel very confidant when wearing clothes they chose for themselves, which is a wonderful way to eleva8 them up.