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Forcing your kids to wear certain clothes.

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty sure what most people will think, but there was a discussion on another forum that I won't name that really kind of surprised me...and I thought how different some of my parenting ideas are...

A woman was asking how she could get her daughter to wear a certain pair of shoes that matched a specific outfit she bought - the daughter didn't want to wear them because they were uncomfortable. She didn't specifically say that, but that's the impression i and everyone else got. I made a suggestion for different types of shoes that may be more comfy for the little girl. Well, an argument kind of started about whether it's appropriate to "force" a young child to wear certain clothes because you as the parent thinks it's cute. Many people just suggested to keep trying with the shoes. But, a couple people felt like it's their right as a parent to tell their 2 and 4 yo what they "must" wear. This was not a discussion about safety - like wearing sneakers to play soccer in or appropriateness, such as dressing up for church. This was mearly about matching and the parent dressing the child in what they think is cute. From my tone, i'm sure you can tell what I think. My 2. yo can be pretty particular about what she wears sometimes - I definitely try to stear her towards matching outfits, but if she really wants to wear the striped socks with the flowered dress, I really don't care. And I definitely would not force her to wear shoes that she did not find comfortable. I do not feel like it's "my right" to dress my child up like a doll. But, obviously other parents have different views on this.
post #2 of 133
I only insisted if it was a safety issue. If going to parks, playgrounds or theme parks, wildlife parks, etc etc... one should have on real sneakers. Not some flip flop or open toe thing.

My kids wore what I wanted them to just for picture day or a holiday photo. That's about it. Maybe a wedding now and again. YKWIM?
post #3 of 133
A child is not a fashion accessory.

And that's all I have to say about that.
post #4 of 133
My 2 and 4 year old dress themselves most of the time and if they insist on wearing their shirt backwards or wearing polka-dots with stripes -well more power to them!
Besides my kids only have one or two pairs of shoes at a time. I do have to insist that my DS not wear his sister's black patent shoes out in public though. I do feel somewhat strongly about that - even if they do match his shirt.
post #5 of 133
my kids dress themselves, too.

The only thing that came to mind was that my older two had school "uniforms" or what was a rather strict dress code up until last month. I am sooo glad that it was voted away-- I much prefer them to wear whatever they want and not be limited to solid colors, polo shirts, etc.

I see families where the kids are all matching and nicely dressed, hair cute, and such and I think they look nice and all, but I would never insist on my kids wearing certain outfits just to make me or people in public happy. quite frankly I don't have time and energy (or the desire!) to worry about silly things like that, and I definitely don't care what others think regarding their appearance as it relates to clothing choices.
post #6 of 133
My kids wear what they want, including flip flops to the playground or whatever. If it is cold and theyd on't want tow ear a coat, I bring one because I know they will change their minds real quick.
post #7 of 133
So far DD doesn't care what I dress her in, but I do ask her. I kinda think she doesn't care because I give her choices. I'm sure she'll start to assert herself in the near future though!
post #8 of 133
My kids dress themselves and I don't really care much. But, there are sometimes that I pick the clothes and they don't really get to choose (this is very,very rare though.)

I would not force my kid to wear uncomfortable shoes.
post #9 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
My kids wear what they want, including flip flops to the playground or whatever. If it is cold and theyd on't want tow ear a coat, I bring one because I know they will change their minds real quick.
:
In my ten years of parenting I can honestly say I have never forced my kids to wear anything.
post #10 of 133
The only time I push the issue is if they are not wearing weather appropriate cloths. Such as wearing shorts in the snow. DH does this.. but he is an adult. Once the kids get to be about 10 or so I let them wear what they want and figure they can figure it out if they are cold.. but the lil ones.. can't. But making your child wear shoes that hurt their feed is just cruel imo.
post #11 of 133
I would never force my daughter to wear anything.
post #12 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by babsbob View Post
My 2 and 4 year old dress themselves most of the time and if they insist on wearing their shirt backwards or wearing polka-dots with stripes -well more power to them!
Besides my kids only have one or two pairs of shoes at a time. I do have to insist that my DS not wear his sister's black patent shoes out in public though. I do feel somewhat strongly about that - even if they do match his shirt.
This.

My 2 yo doesn't dress herself, but she does have strong opinions on what she does/doesn't wear. I respect that. We might have to compromise at times, but I value her opinion. I certainly wouldn't force a pair of uncomfortable shoes on her.
post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
I only insisted if it was a safety issue. If going to parks, playgrounds or theme parks, wildlife parks, etc etc... one should have on real sneakers. Not some flip flop or open toe thing.

My kids wore what I wanted them to just for picture day or a holiday photo. That's about it. Maybe a wedding now and again. YKWIM?
Same here. My six year old comes up with some pretty interesting combinations, but if it's weather appropriate (we're in northern Ontario - it gets damn cold) I just say OK.
post #14 of 133
The only time I forced either of my dds into wearing anything was when the oldest was 6 & wanted to walk 3/4 of a mile in a snow storm to school wearing flip flops & a mid-thigh dress with no tights. I had been saving the dress for her little sister or it wouldn't even have been an issue.

Well there were a few times after oldest dd came back from her dads at 9 y/o & he had given her clothes more appropriate for a streetwalker that I told her no also.
post #15 of 133
DD went out today wearing a pale purple overall kind of outfit, but shorts, not long pants. It's about two sizes too small, and very short, but she loves it, and will only be able to wear it at all for a very short time now. She accompanied this with rubber boots - bright pink. It's all good as far as I'm concerned. She can wear what she wants. She's worn some really out there combinations, and sometimes deliberately chooses mismatched socks. She's actually got an interesting sense of fashion.

DS2 attended a homelearning meetup a couple of months ago wearing one of dd's old nightgowns, which is like a slightly long shirt or tunic on him. He wore it with his jeans, and insisted that it was "chainmail". I'm good with that, too.

I sometimes push the weather-appropriate stuff pretty hard, because dd, in particular, is prone to insisting that she's warm enough, and then ends up trying to climb me to get warm. If she really won't put on something warm enough, I'll throw it in my bag.

I can't even imagine forcing a child into uncomfortable shoes, just because they looked good. I have made my kids wear shoes they didn't want to wear, when they were down to one pair (ds2 currently has two pairs drying, because keeping him out of water is hard)...but that's only when we have to go somewhere, and the pair they don't want is all there is. I also encouraged a nice dress for dd when my cousin got married a couple years ago, but it wasn't a problem - she loves dressing "fancy".
post #16 of 133
I'm lucky my kids never cared much what they wore when they were young. I was pretty picky though about matching, clothes on the right way, weather appropriate and clean (to start the day with). I can't stand putting dirty clothes on a kid first thing in the morning. I also insisted (again, no arguement from the wee ones) on clean pjs at night. I wouldn't make them wear anything uncomfortable or anything embarassing. As they got older, they had their little trends, but nothing drastic, thank goodness. Now they are grown, with pretty good taste in dressing and clothes.
post #17 of 133
I live in the Northeast, and I will force them to wear winter gear when the temperatures dip. I also will force them to wear gear that is required for certain activities, if they wish to participate in said activities. For example, our town pool requires bathing suits for swimming.

I have never forced them to wear stuff because I thought it was cute.

What does astound me are the number of parents here who think school uniforms are great.
post #18 of 133
You should see some of the outfits my kids come up with, lol. I only make them change if their private parts are showing (or likely to show when they engage in activity). If it's not weather appropriate, I throw something that is weather appropriate in the back of the van so they can change if/when they want. And they have to be wearing shoes of some kind if we're leaving the house, even if their choice is flipflops in January. Oh, and underwear is not outer-wear. Really, it's just not. It's not acceptable swimwear either.

I think forcing kids to wear clothing they don't like is controlling and damaging. They're human beings, not living dolls. I would never consider making my family dress a certain way for pictures either. I love that we're all individuals, with our own tastes and styles. Our pictures should reflect that. Honestly, when I see large families all dressed to match it makes my skin crawl. Stepford families. *shudder*
post #19 of 133
Sometimes I would *prefer* for my kids to wear a certain outfit or shoe but sometimes they just don't want too so I don't force the issue.
post #20 of 133
DS usually lets me choose for him or give him a limited choice of clothes to wear. As long as he is comfortable, I am ok. We usually have no issue with weather appropriateness. At home he is in PJs most of the time anyway When we go out, he is usually dressed nicely, but I have pretty much all matching separates, that are comfortable, so its a no-issue. I wouldn't make him wear something he didn't find comfortable, unless it was for a really special occasion (even then I would probably just look for appropriate alternative).
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