Many of my days start with an obstinate, "NO."
Part of making the transition from baby to toddler, then to preschooler and school-aged child, is learning to be independent. If not for independence, we'd still be living at home, letting our parents dress us, feed us and bathe us.
Awkward picture, right?
So I know there is this mantra we're all encouraged as parents when we hit those walls of kiddie independence:
Choose Your Battles.
It is important. Because if we choose to fight every battle, we'd spend all day butting heads. We'd lose credibility with our children, and they would have no way of learning this important lesson of independence.
And let's be honest: not every battle is worth fighting. She wants waffles instead of cereal for breakfast? Go for it. He wants to wear 2 year old pajamas that don't fit him to bed? Sure. She wants to wear flip flops on a cold day? Hey, they're your feet, sister.
I truly believe in choosing our battles wisely. And that sometimes, when we find ourselves constanly clashing with our kids, it's really over the fact that we just want to get our own way. Kind of like our kids, no?
Now, do I always choose wisely? Nope. Not even 75% of the time. I'm aware of the need to pick my battles, but there is still a part of me that fights foolishly over some things that are definitely not worth it.
Sometimes, though, I struggle over when to step in. When there is a grey area of whether or not it's about letting them be independent or it's a parent watching out for their child's own good. I find this happen a lot over the battle of clothes.
I try really hard to let their little personalities shine, and to allow my girls to wear what they'd like. Within reason. So outfits need to be age appropriate (no bellies showing, girlfriend) and season appropriate (you realize it's snowing, right? So why are you wearing a tank top and shorts?). I don't care much about fashion or if my girls are stylish. Because heaven knows I was not growing up.
Case in point: Bug's outfit from today.
Good gravy. This girl.
She is almost 4, and can still pull off the "Punky Brewster Funky Mismatched" cute look. What do I do, though, when they pick an outfit out and internally I cringe? Especially Chica, who is now in elementary school. Despite my internal struggle, most days I allow them to go for it. But sometimes I worry about allowing them to wear such a strange outfit that they could potentially be picked on by others or ostracized by their friends.
So where is the line? If you are concerned about the backlash an outfit may have amongst their peers (especially when your child is so unaware), do you step in an encourage them to pick another outfit? Or do you work on building a solid sense of self, boosting their confidence, and sending the message that individuality is great and to own their sense of style?
I'd love your feedback on how YOU handle the Clothing Battles at your house.
Leave a comment and join the discussion.