Several months ago I was interviewed for this story over on Baby Zone about how to deal with clothing battles. Honestly, this is one of my favorite topics, because almost everyone deals with it at one time or another.
Whether your kids refuse to wear clothes with itchy tags, never take off their sweat pants, insist on wearing short shorts in a snowstorm, hate anything without glitter, hate anything with glitter, refuse to have their hair brushed – we have ALL been there! Battling over clothing just comes with the territory of parenthood.
Granted, battling teens over their choice of clothing is quite different from battling a preschooler, but the battle will come at one time or another. That’s why getting started on a good path early can help down the road. For a bunch of ideas, check out the Baby Zone article. Here are my top suggestions:
Understand that your child’s clothing choices are not a reflection of your parenting skills. I know great parents whose kids always look a little mis-matched. But they are not loved – or parented – any less than any other kid. It’s just that their parents have allowed them to make their own choices about clothing, and don’t insist on perfect hair before leaving the house. They choose to focus their energies on other things like homework and family fun time.
Pick out one or two non-negotiables and forget about the rest. Some families feel strongly about modesty in clothing, others may feel uncomfortable with certain labels or words on clothes. My family? As long as it’s clean, it’s OK. Once you figure out 1-2 rules about clothing, share them with your kids and don’t waiver. But be sure to let the other things go. For example: It’s 25 degrees outside and snowing, but she wants to wear a size-too-small sundress with shorts underneath, and heels on her feet? Well, as long as it’s clean…
Embrace the creativity. Kids and teens often crave a way to exert some control over their worlds. Clothing can provide an opportunity to do just that. Instead of fighting their urge to be creative and gain some control in the world, embrace it. Engage them in conversation about their clothing choices, and encourage their creativity. Empower them in their wardrobe choices by teaching them how to do their own laundry, take them to a second hand clothing store, and expose them to sewing and fashion.
For more ideas, check out the full article: