Kids and Fashion: It's all about compromise

I’ve learned many, many lessons as a parent.

How to talk so my kids will really listen. Mostly.

When to encourage and when to back off.

That toddlers hate pants.

After almost 10 years of parenting I sometimes think I have this whole thing figured out, but my kids always seem to remind me I’ll never really be an expert. Recently my daughter taught me another lesson— that when it comes to kids and fashion, compromise is key.

My two older children are boys. They are about as apathetic as they come in terms of clothes- anything goes. With the exception of occasionally complaining that their shoes hurt their feet (usually because, surprise, they’re too small again) they’re happy to wear whatever I purchase them.

Until recently my daughter, age 3, had the same attitude. Sure, she had definite color preferences but that was easy to work around. Lately, though, she’s decided that she has an opinion about her style.

In a word, it’s gaudy. The tackier the better. She likes ruffles and sequins and loud, competing prints. She likes fringe and gold lamé and glitter and glam.

Me? I’m more of a white t-shirt and jeans kind of gal. I’ll be honest: getting her ready for preschool has been a struggle lately. I’ll select a cute little skirt and she insists on a tutu. I’ll lay out a cardigan and she’ll want to wear a mermaid costume. It’s gotten to the point that it takes us forever to get out the door in the morning.

The other day I was talking to a friend about this issue. She has two daughters herself, and she made a comment I won’t soon forget: “Give her some choices but reign her in.” 

I know that at 3, making choices is important to my daughter. After all, she’s learning to gain some independence and differentiate herself from her family in small ways. But because making choices is often difficult for children this age, she needs some help.

Target makes it easy to do exactly what my friend suggested. I’ve started laying out outfits for her that I know she’s likely to want to wear— shirts in colors she loves, bold prints, and even a ruffle or two— then give her freedom to choose accessories. I pair busy tops with more sedate bottoms, and vice versa. This system has been a great way for us to compromise without her even realizing it.

What tips do you have for reducing morning drama? Share it in the comments! 

Do you keep your family festively stylish during the holidays? We’re giving away three $50 Target giftcards to brighten the season! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you dress your children conveniently — and with style — during the holidays!

A big thanks to Target for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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