Should you be letting your kids dress themselves, either for school or just for public outings? The answer is simple really: Why wouldn’t you? If they’re old enough to have an opinion, they’re old enough to choose what style they want to wear.
After we spent much of our teenage years arguing with our mothers about what was OK for us to wear (“You can’t wear that much black! What is wrong with you?”), is this really a battle we need to even participate in?
As long as the kids are wearing weather-appropriate clothing, acceptable for the occasion, and nothing too revealing, who cares?
If kids dress themselves, here’s what they learn:
Prevailing parental wisdom available on the internet seems to back this idea up too. There’s an abundance of info out there on why it’s a good idea. CafeMoms say you should let kids choose their own outfits. Other sources say that letting kids dress themselves helps foster independence. It helps them gain a sense of their own style and also allows them to learn how to match colours and patterns. Here’s another bonus: they get to learn from their mistakes like how wearing socks and tights in the middle of the summer isn’t a genius idea.
It’s more than just playing dress up
A lot of studies have shown that it is beneficial to let your kid dress herself. By allowing them to do it, it can help them develop a sense of self early in life. Getting your kid to wear what you want them to can be a battle in itself, and the key to success in parenting lies in choosing your battles wisely.
Why letting kids dress themselves is a parenting win
Obviously you’re going to have to let your kids look silly in public sometimes if you let them dress themselves. And accepting that is never an easy feat. Sometimes your kid will walk out the door with an outfit of such tragic wrongness that you’ll have to bite back the laughter. Stipes and plaids in colours that don’t even nudge close to matching each other. It’s real. And it will happen.
But they’re kids. And they’ll look cute either way. A 3-year old boy can totally pull of flamingo boots in the middle of summer. And a 6-year-old girl CAN rock mismatched patterns. Now if they’re still doing it if they’re 30 years old, that’s another topic for debate.