Children are naturally expressive. Their diverse personalities are reflected through their voice, body movements, imaginations, and teachings. We learn more and more about our children as they grow: What makes them giggle. What makes them cry. Their favorite foods. Favorite colors. Blocks versus Legos. Crayons versus paint. More importantly, children too, learn to identify with themselves through the choices they make as they continually strive for independence.
One great way to encourage personality development and expression is through clothing. From early on, it is essentially ‘we the parents’ who define our children through their clothing. The clothing we choose for our infants and toddlers usually reflects our own sense of ideals, beliefs, and style. But soon, even younger children begin to show signs of fondness for certain colors, textures, and patterns in clothing. Long sleeves versus short. Stripes versus polka dots. Skirts versus pants. Most often, children will naturally gravitate towards apparel which reflects how they are feeling in that particular moment.
You may have a child who loves to wear tutu’s and princess crowns all day long. Or one that wears his favorite blue t-shirt every single day no matter what. A superhero who needs a red cape. A little one who won’t go anywhere without flowers in her hair and mismatched plaids and prints. Rain boots in winter and snow boots in summer. Sunglasses, hats, knitted scarves, etc. As long as they are safe and dressed in what is deemed “appropriate,” I say let them get creative.
By allowing our kids the freedom to decide we are instilling and encouraging not only sense of self, but critical thinking, positive assertion, and problem solving skills. And along with our guidance and love, these kids are destined to be little rock stars in their own right.
My daughter absolutely wants to choose what she’s wearing! During the week I give her the option of a couple of shirts (time is of the essence) and then on Sat she pretty much gets free reign on what she wears. Her outfits have been, ummm….interesting! But she loves doing it. Sundays she gets to choose but if we are going to church, I limit her selection to church appropriate items. Great post!
Oh my gosh same thing goes on over here. Weekend outfits are usually pretty funny. My son (age 4) tends to want to wear pj tops all weekend. Oh well!
So great to read this today. My 6 year old is very much in a “I’ll wear what *I* want, mom!” phase. She’s even thrown fits because all of her clothes are “boring and lame” Ugh, I seriously need help when this one is 16!! Haha For the most part, I’ve decided clothes are not a battle I want to fight everyday so as long as it matches I let her go to school in whatever she picks. Same here for weekends though….all “fashion rules” are clearly thrown out the window!
Since my 6 year old wears a uniform to school, I’ve found she likes to accessorize during the week. Feathers in her hair, bows, etc. It’s funny because she can’t add too many accessories (not allowed) but when she gets home and changes, she always puts on the oldest clothes in the closet! It used to drive me nuts, now I just go with it. Pick your battles, right?
I just love to see the outfits that my 4 year old daughter creates. There is something about childhood that allows for polka dots and stripes and flowers and hearts to somehow all work together. I only wish that I had her confidence to rock a tutu.
I agree! Clothing has never been a battle I’ve been willing to fight and for that we’re lucky! I love to see our daughters’ creativity expressed in their “fashion” choices. At least so far!
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Wow. So glad I came across this blog. I didn’t realise till I read this. I use to dress my little girl which reflects our own sense of ideal, belief and style. And now my daughter is really attached to certain colors and dresses she likes. It’s great to know by letting her choose her own clothes to wear, it actually encourage her growth in so many expects. Thanks, will be dropping by often. Really like the info you have written. 🙂