Forcing your kids to wear certain clothes. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#2 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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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?
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#3 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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A child is not a fashion accessory.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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#4 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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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.

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#6 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:02 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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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!

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#8 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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I would never force my daughter to wear anything.
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#12 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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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.

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#15 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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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".

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#16 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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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*

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#19 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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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.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#20 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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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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#21 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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DD is 2.5 years old. She doesn't dress herself yet. Generally in the morning I pick out two weather appropriate outfits and let her pick. I try to do things that are mix and match so that when she says I want this shirt with those pants I can say sure without it bugging me. Periodically she declines both outfits and we pick something else out together. This is pretty uncommon. She's more likely to just go back and forth and back and forth between the two outfits.

She owns 3 pairs of shoes at the moment. Two sandals and a covered toe pair. Generally I let her pick between at least 2 if not all 3 shoes. I do insist on socks with the closed toe shoes, but it's never been a fight. All 3 pairs are very comfortable flexible soled shoes.

DD does have pretty strong opinions about her clothes. I try to make sure her wardrobe reflects her tastes. She's very into orange. I got two pairs of sandals - one orange and one white. I knew she'd be thrilled to have orange sandals. Her wardrobe includes lots of orange. She loves butterflies, so I often get her clothes with butterflies on them.

I do often force clothes on her, but it's not about the clothing item. She's 2.5 years old, and often does the age appropriate fight against putting on clothes, changing her diaper, etc. I insist she wear clothes, change wet and dirty diapers, and such. It's part of taking care of her. At home, naked time is fine. Playing in the backyard on the swing set in a mulch filled play area, getting in the car to go to the library, park, grocery store, etc, she needs clothes on. :

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#22 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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What does astound me are the number of parents here who think school uniforms are great.
My DD wears a school uniform. She loves it I actually have a hard time getting her to change out of it into general play clothes after school. . I wore uniforms growing up (till I was in High school) I thought they were the bomb. I don't buy into the idea a school uniform equals a better student of course but honestly yea I do think there kinda great..
On the shoe things OMG I'd so not care if they matched actually I have serched the ends of the earth finding a shoe DD doesn't crumple into tears over and she can **** run and jump.play in. We use the mary jane style crocks here. There blue she uses them with everything.

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#23 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I only "force" him to wear certain clothes if it's dangerous to him not to - like he has to wear sneakers for a walk in the woods, and his winter coat if it's below 40. That, and I like him to start the day with clean clothes. Beyond that, anything's fair game. (And his train shirt gets a LOT of wear!)
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#24 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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It's not that I don't think it's my right to dress my kids, it's that I don't want to take the time/energy to fight over clothes...I have much better things to do with my time, thanks. So if it's appropriate (we have rules, like no shorts if it's below 65, no sweaters if it's over 85, playground/PE appropriate shoes on school days... and I do not let Janelle wear clothes that shows of her stomach or is falling off her shoulders, cause 6 year olds do not need to wear clothes like that) and it fits, they can wear it.

A good example is Janelle LOVES naartjie clothes...I hate it, all of it, I think it looks ridiculous... But over half of her summer wardrobe is naartjie, cause she's wearing it, not me! Kincaid would wear button down shirts, swearter vests, and khakis every single day, again, I think that looks a little silly for pre-school...but he's wearing it, not me!

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#25 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I
What does astound me are the number of parents here who think school uniforms are great.
I do think uniforms are great...it eliminates one aspect of teasing in the class room, which in KINDERGARTEN is already a big deal. : We don't have uniforms though.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#26 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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I think uniforms arte great too, but they are only in high schools here. I wore uniforms in high school, and am very glad.

Of course, our uniforms consists of several different styles of shirts in at least 3 colours, pants, shorts, skirts, so there was always choices.

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#27 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Kids need to feel in control of some aspects of their lives, and letting them pick what they want to wear is a really harmless way to let them do that! I believe they ought to wear their hair like they want to, as soon as they are voicing an opinion about how they want it.
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#28 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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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.
This gave me such a chuckle! DS does similar things, only all of his wardrobe concoctions are sports related. He wears gloves constantly, the cheap stretchy kind, and insists they are batting gloves, golf gloves, hockey gloves, etc.

DS is 3 and dresses himself each day. He has been picking his clothes out for a while now, maybe since he was two, but now he can do the dressing and undressing too. I actually love it. I can't wait to see what he is wearing when he disappears to his room to pick out his outfit. He doesn't match things, they have to go together for function or to imitate a sports figure he has seen. Right now he has to have a certain pair of cargo shorts that can hold a baseball in the pocket so that he can be the umpire. He'll decide which sport he wants to play for the day, and his outfit becomes his uniform. It very often results in some questionable fashion statements, but he is 3. I expect it. There are so few things that kids have control over, why not let them control what they want to put on their bodies? Sure, it kind of drives me nuts that he won't put his underwear on the right way, but I get it. The characters are on the butt and he wants to be able to look down and see them. It makes sense.
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#29 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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The only time I will limit what my daughter wears is when it's a safety issue, not weather approptiate (and then I usually just suggest that we make sure to bring her jacket or sweater) or when she's going to school where they have uniforms.

Ds is 2 and thinks that two pairs of pants (one on his head, one on his legs) is a perfect outfit, so I do limit that.

Mama of three.
 
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#30 of 133 Old 04-21-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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I think it is dumb to get into a power struggle over matching shoes. I hope moms doing that relax and save their energy for the more important things.
I did some dumb things when my dd was younger too.

I wonder if she does it because she feels judged as a mother based on her dc's appearance or she was made fun of for her clothes growing up? There's probably something at the root of it.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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