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Dressing for the Occasion

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There are some children who love to dress up. Given the opportunity, you will find that kid wearing a bow tie and suspenders to the grocery, or a tutu at the park. There are other kids, though, who you have to force into a clean pair of pants and a nice sweater in order to go visit Grandma. Every kid is different, that's for sure. 

How can you find that comfortable middle ground when it comes to the concept of dressing up?

Don't make it a battle. If your children are anything like mine, the moment that they know we are arguing, it becomes a life or death struggle that they simply must win, no matter what. The minute that I declare that a particular outfit simply must be worn - well, I know that there's absolutely zero chance of it happening.

Instead, work on a compromise that you may need before it becomes necessary. When you change clothes over for the new season, take the opportunity to put together a few acceptable outfits and share them with your child.

What if your child refuses to dress up? Talk it over, try to find an area of compromise, and realize that you may just have to set an edict - your son can wear jeans whenever he wants, but it's non negotiable to wear dress pants to church, for example. Try to save the absolutes for times that truly need them - the fewer times you force them to dress up, the more important those times are.

Take your child's comfort into consideration. I have a child who is a high functioning autistic, and she is very overly sensitive to many articles of clothing. No matter how adorable that red and white striped turtleneck is, there's absolutely no way that I will ever be able to get her to wear it. Same thing with tights. Instead, we look for a nice pair of seamless cotton leggings that will work with her dresses, and wash everything several times with sensitive detergent.  

What if your child loves to "dress fancy", and you'd like him to relax once in a while? Well, that an be more difficult that getting a child to dress up. I know that I've had to just go with it sometimes, and be that mom in the grocery store with a daughter wearing a tiara and tutu. Luckily, being overly dressed up doesn't hurt anyone, and most parents have been there at least once in their parenting career and understand what you are going through.

How do you compormise when it comes to dressing up? Are your children more apt to be overly dressed up or more casual?


by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:20 AM
Replies (31-34):
by Member on Dec. 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

My boys are more apt to be dressed casually.  I save my arguements for when it really matters - church & school programs.  Luckily, the 5.5 yo goes along with it without any fuss.  It may help that his music teacher told them what they should wear to the school program.  He's all about doing what his teachers say. :)

The 4 yo is harder.  But I did sweet talk him into wearing his dress outfit for his preschool program by talking about how his teacher would say "Oh, look at that cute boy!" when she saw him - and making a longer dialogue about how the other people there would also say that.  Either he liked my dialogue or I distracted him long enough to get dressed.

by Member on Dec. 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM
When our middle dn was two he started coming to wear a button down diet and tie every day. This style lasted until the summer he was eight and only change that time because the camp he was attending required t-shirts.
by New Member on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:23 AM

My son usually is very particular about what he wears, and I don't argue too much because he tends to have a pretty good concept on fashion already. He is still all boy, but if it is something like play clothes that maye have a slight defect, it is a no go regardless!

by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM

 I have to admit I use bribery lol

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