Unless your child has a standard uniform for school, parents spend much of the last month of summer purchasing clothes for their children for the start of the new year. Children and parents drag themselves to multiple stores, trying on outfit after outfit, until the right combination, color, and size work. By the time this process is over, kids are whining and parents are pulling out their hair. Why is it, that year after year we voluntarily put ourselves through this ordeal?
Do our children need to celebrate moving from one grade to another and starting a whole new year, by dressing for the occasion? History tells us that we celebrate milestones in our lives with the type of clothes we wear. A baby being baptized may have on a special baptismal gown. You may choose to attend church in your ‘dress-clothes.’ Members of the military wear their dress uniforms on special occasions. Seniors usually get outfitted in a fancy dress and tux for their prom and brides take much pain in finding their perfect wedding gown for their special day.
From the time your toddler puts on dad’s shirt and tie or mom’s high heel shoes, the world of role- play opens up their imagination. While in costume, they could be whoever they choose to be. They open themselves up to new ideas and new feelings. They also let down the walls of control and expose themselves to the possibilities of what they could do and gradually their self-confidence grows. Are their clothes then, a costume that allows themselves to play a role of distinguishing themselves from others or is it a way of fitting in with their community and not gaining attention?
So , especially in the peer-gratification years, why do we spend so much time and money buying clothes when we have no idea what others will be wearing to school? Once your teenager goes to school and finds out everyone is wearing a certain style of dress, shirt or sneakers, what do you do; take the clothes back? Take things slow. Make a few buys before school starts to get through a few days. Then get an idea of the style of the season and go back to the store for your remaining purchases. Chances are your children won’t be as disagreeable since your both pointed in the same direction.