Hot pink slip on shoes. Black capri leggings with small white stars on them. A denim tunic with a turquoise t-shirt underneath. Messy curls scooped up into a ponytail on the top of the head. A flower patterned purse and oversized sunglasses. Wow. That outfit makes a statement!
The age old debate of letting small children dress themselves. Some parents cringe at what their children put on, some make them change, and some pick out their outfits for them.
I have always been a fan of letting kids wear what they want. Turtleneck and bow tie? Go for it. Seven different patterns, none matching? Perfect. Mismatched socks. Sure. Goggles all day long? Whatever makes them happy! As long as it is functional and seasonally appropriate, I don’t really see why it matters what they wear.
I think it’s important for children to dress themselves. It’s a skill that promotes independence, and it makes them feel proud. It also saves a busy parent time in the mornings, so win-win!
Adults have so many rules. We have to conform, dress appropriately and behave in a certain way. Children will eventually have to do this too, so why can’t we just let them enjoy their wardrobe choices now? More than anything, I think a colour explosion of a fashion choice really let’s a child express their personality. This is so important. I want my children to think and feel for themselves. Telling them something they’ve picked out for themselves is not okay, is telling them they are wrong for liking it. I want my kids to know who they are, so if later in life they are wearing a uniform on the outside, they are still rainbow sparkles and stripes on the inside. Why should we stop that because we think it looks goofy? No one sees a flashy five-year-old’s kooky outfit and thinks “What kind of parent would let their child wear that?” They think “Oh yeah, that kid dressed himself!”
Life is short. Let people, including children, enjoy themselves. Even if it means cringe worthy outfits. It’s a way for them to express their wonderful personalities. Boring choices are, well, BORING. We could all learn to live a little. I am firm believer that clothes represent the person. If you feel bright and colourful, show it!
Now go back and reread the outfit described in the first paragraph. Who do you think is wearing that? Hint. Not one of my children. 😉
My 4 year old daughter always dresses herself. And I usually let her wear whatever she wants, within reason. I make sure it’s an outfit that matches the weather and activity. But she has a style and clothing/accessory personality of her own. I also believe it is important for them to be independent and creative and able to express themselves.