I appreciate people being on time. Even so, upon several occasions and much to my embarrassment, we have been late, thanks to fashion battles with my son. Whenever we go anywhere, I have to be sure to get my daughter and son both dressed before I get ready. My two-year-old daughter loves to wear a pretty dress (which she thinks of as a princess outfit), so I can pretty much lay out anything and she’s fascinated by it.
But my son is another matter. Getting him ready to leave for the event often involves a battle of wills, with many tears and timeouts before he grudgingly gets dressed. I get more and more upset as I rush to get ready, and then we fail to be on time to the much anticipated event.
Almost always, my son hated wearing anything I picked out for him. Either the sleeves were too long, or there was no pocket, or there was no logo, or it wasn’t the right color for the superhero he was that day. It had gotten to a point where I dreaded him having a bath. That invariably meant he’d get really frustrated at my choices, and what he wanted was either inappropriate for the occasion or the weather (sleeveless in winter or full sleeves in summer).
All of this got compounded by the fact that I am very particular about certain things. While I don’t believe in being fashion conscious or trendy, I truly believe wearing the right clothes helps create a good impression and builds confidence. And, like everything, this has to be ingrained in children at an early age. Clothes have to be weather appropriate. Kids should be presentable when going to other peoples’ homes. If it is a fancy event, they have to be dressed well. And of course this is a major issue as buttons have always been my child’s ultimate nemesis. Ties? Out of the question!
The Fashion Battle to End All Fashion Battles
This went on until one day it all came to a head. He said things like, “everything cannot be your way” and “you are being mean.” And I simply lost it! The struggle over what to wear started each morning and after every bath or any time we head out. From morning to evening, a child undergoes at least three changes of clothes, and arguing over all those is painful to say the least. My exasperation had now reached an all-time high.
A huge scolding at his tantrums and a timeout later, I put my foot down. I stated, “I am your mom, and the day you realize what is appropriate to wear for the occasion and in what weather, you can wear what you want. Until then you have to wear whatever I put out for you.”
The next morning I decided to change my approach. I started prepping the day before. Now, the day before school or any party, I sit him down. We discuss what the weather is going to be like, what the occasion is and if there is a theme for the party. Then I pick out two shirts matching those criteria. There is to be no discussion but he is allowed to choose the one he likes. We even discuss the number of jackets he should be wearing.
This has worked wonders! It has significantly reduced the number of fashion battles we both face and the amount of stress I experience. Not to say that the little rebel in him accepts everything. He changes into his choice of clothes as soon as he gets home. But when we are heading out, he wears whatever is laid out and much to my relief, we are back to being on schedule!