What to Wear: Letting your Children Express Themselves Though Clothing

I woke up one morning and set out my daughters school clothes. My choice that day, a pair of classy navy blue high waisted wide leg pants, a white shirt with a goldenrod cardigan, and to finish the look some classic black and white oxfords. After putting the coordinating bow in her hair I stepped back to examine my work. Adorable! She was ready for the day.

Ruby looked like a classy, well-put-together little girl.

Later on that evening, after the business of school was over, my daughter Ruby and I were sharing the different moments of our day. Ruby mentioned to me, ”I had a fun time at school, and no one laughed at me.” Knowing her personality and her history at school, I thought this was such an odd thing for her to say. I asked Ruby, “Why would anyone laugh at your?” Ruby told me that she was worried that her classmates would tease her about her “big” pants.

I had no idea that my young daughter would already be worried about how she dressed.

Due to our busy morning routine, I have always set out the young children’s clothing each morning. Taking care to remember who likes jeans, and who prefers a skirt. I want my kids to look neat and fashionable. I want their clothing to be comfortable and practical. But I was missing something. I was not looking at the world through my daughter’s eyes.

Sure, I remember fighting my own mother about rolling my jeans, or wearing socks with shoes in the winter. I mean come on, socks in the winter…so not cool. I swore I would someday be the mom that was so on point that my crew and I would never disagree about what to wear.

There I was, asking my daughter to wear something she didn’t like!

I admit that I am drawn to the fashionable. I like to be on trend. When it came to clothing choices in our house, I thought I was serving my children well. I thought I was listening. I thought that the choices I was making were the right choices. I thought those high waisted wide leg pants were the most adorable ever. Ruby looked like a little lady. Obviously, the outfit I had picked was beyond adorable, and my choice should have earned the best dress award from People. What I forgot to see was that it was my choice.

I forgot to see was that I was making a majority of the choices.

The evening that Ruby confessed to being worried about my outfit of choice I realized something. Clothing choices don’t have to be a my way or your way kind of fight. Trying to decide what to wear, can be something that we discover together.

Ruby does have her own individual unique style. As her momma, I can help guide her as her style develops and becomes more defined. Her sense of style might be saying a lot more about who she really is, and how she wants the world to see her. She wants to express herself.

What our children want to wear does say something about them.

Are we really listening to them?


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