Have you ever found yourself in a fight with your child about what they are wearing? Many children use clothing as a way to express themselves, and define themselves. It can be a useful tool or outlet for creativity, and it can also be a sore spot with parents. Here are some rules of thumb when determining whether or not you should fight with your kids about what they are wearing:
- Rule one: Ask yourself why you do not like it. If it is personal taste, then do not say anything. I am sure you would love to see your child dress in a more grown up manner, or stop wearing silly accessories like suspenders, or whatever the case may be, but if it is not hurting anyone, then it is not worth the fight.
- Rule two: Is it appropriate for the situation? If your child is wearing something that is not appropriate for the situation they are going into, then it is worth a fight. Different clothes are appropriate for different places. What you wear to school is not going to be right for church. What you wear to a dance may be too formal for a night at the movies with friends. And, what you wear to the beach or the pool is not appropriate for just hanging out. Set some boundaries with your kids about what is appropriate in certain situations, and stick to it. For example, work out clothes should be reserved for working out, not for hanging out with friends. Pajamas should not be worn to school. Etc.
- Rule three: Is what they are wearing sending the right message? The clothing you wear says something about who you are. The goths dress a certain way, the preppies, the jocks, the upper east siders. The fact is, how you dress will define you in some ways. So, if your daughter is dressing immodestly, she might be sending the wrong message to the male gender, and inviting unwanted attention, or inappropriate attention. If your son wears a shirt with a naked girl graphic on it, or a foul word, they might be telling females that they are disrespectful, or crude. If the message they are sending is positive, or at least, not negative, it is not worth the fight, but if they are trying to just have fun, be creative, or loud, and it is not doing any harm, then don’t fight them on it.
The point is, your kids need some way to express themselves, and clothing is better than drugs, or gang affiliations, or other ways of rebelling. So, as long as their clothing is still appropriate for where they will be, is not immodest, and does not having anything crude or inappropriate on it, then it is not worth the battle you will have over it. A good rule is, that if you buy it, you have some say in it.