It’s a moment that just about every parent has to come face to face with at some point. You spend the first several years of your child’s life dressing them in clothes that you’ve chosen for them, and they rarely question it. However, as they get a little bit older, it’s only natural for kids to start wanting a little more independence. Of course, they’re hardly old enough to start going out on their own or having the house to themselves, but they may decide that they want to start picking out their own clothes instead of just wearing what they’re given. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but kids tend to have some rather unusual tastes when it comes to how they dress. Just try convincing a five or six-year-old that wearing underwear on their head isn’t the funniest thing in the world. However, if your kids have reached this stage and you’re not sure how to handle it, here are a few pieces of simple, yet effective, advice.
Give them options
If your child has expressed a desire to start having more control over their clothing choices then why not take them shopping so that they can pick some things out for themselves. It’s one thing just saying “sure! Choose whatever outfit you like from your closet” and actually letting them stock their closet with whatever they like. If they have options for clothes that they picked out themselves, then they’ll feel much more grown-up and independent because of it.
Choose things together
Of course, your kids aren’t always going to know exactly what they want, but that’s what you’re there for! You don’t need to pick the clothes out for them, but you can point them in the right direction. When are they going to be wearing these clothes? Are they going to an event? Then why not point them towards some smart shirts and pants for boys and some Armani dresses for girls. Or if they need clothes for a vacation or simply enjoying the summer weather, help them find clothes that they can feel comfortable and look good in all at once! You might be giving them their independence to choose what they want, but you still have the power to veto anything inappropriate.
Let them express themselves
The absolute best advice when dealing with a child who wants to start choosing their own clothes is this: relax! Kids are always going make funny, or weird choices because they love to express themselves. Telling them not to wear certain things can often lead to them feeling frustrated. Of course, this doesn’t apply to things like school or formal events when they need to dress appropriately, but if your six-year-old wants to wear a cape to the park then why not let them do that? There’s no reason why dress up needs to be limited to costumes. If they want to wear something unusual, whether it’s a top, some pants, a skirt or a funny hat, as long as they’re not dressed inappropriately, there’s no harm in it!