Wednesday, May 30, 2012

letting your child choose their own clothes

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it's not uncommon for me to go to the store with my son wearing one of his teenage sister's shirts over his own Lightning McQueen jeans, work boots, and a Barbie microphone {see above pic}. 

allowing your child to pick their own outfits allows them to express themselves and assert their independence.  being little in a big world doesn't give your child  a whole lot of control .  why not give them the opportunity to have an effect on their daily life?

letting them choose their own clothes shows them that you trust and respect their decisions, thus increasing their self-esteem.   

choosing their own clothes can give them a sense of accomplishment.  they've picked out their own clothes, which is a "job" that mom or dad normally does.  that's big stuff for a kiddo!  then to top it off, hearing compliments from others about what they've done just makes it all the better.

you can stop wasting money.  after your child has picked out their own outfits for awhile, you might be able to see a trend.  perhaps your little girl avoids wearing the color pink or your son only likes shorts/pants with pockets.  though this may seem like a silly quirk to you, it is indicative of your child's preferences and interests.  when it comes time to shop for clothes for them, you can eliminate buying those colors/styles/fabrics that they don't like, essentially saving you from buying something that won't be worn.

you can now pick your battles.  this doesn't mean letting your son wear your bra on his head to the store as his "space helmet".  if there are certain clothes that aren't up for grabs for daily wear, remove them from your child's reach or place them on a designated "special occasion" shelf.  if conflict does arise {say, over shorts in winter}, explain your reasons for prohibiting it clearly and find a compromise.  {perhaps leggings under the shorts}

a yellow shirt, brown shorts, green socks and rainboots will likely gain you more knowing smiles from other parents who have gone through this same phase with their own children than a disparaging look. 
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