Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kid's Dressing Themselves

Warning: This is a post for mothers. And dads. And for anyone out there who has seen ratty-looking kids and thought to themselves (or said out loud to a friend): "Wow, who dresses those kids? Those kids are *so* NOT cute."

My big girls love to pick out their own clothes in the morning. And they equally love to do their own hair. They are 6 years old and 3 years old....therefore the outcome is often scary.

I like my children's clothes to match. I like their hair to look cute. But, I also want to teach them that they are the one's who decide what clothes and hairdos they like. Pleasing others is not my goal when I get dressed in the morning, nor should it be there's.

Therefore, I've learned that Ava loves to pair red shirts underneath her pink dress and then wear tights that don't match. She pulls the look together with two dozen hair bows stuck in her hair. Morgan has a slightly more refined taste...plaid shirt with striped pants. She almost always comes downstairs with her hair half up-half down...with lots coming out of the sides.

This scene is not the image of cuteness I'd choose if I were doing the dressing. However, here's why I let them do it (and tell them they look beautiful):

1. It simplifies my life. I now have 2 less people to get dressed and do hair for.
2. It teaches them that they get to determine what they think is beautiful...not society. Boy, do I wish I had learned that lesson early in life.
3. It teaches independence and creativity. They are so proud when they come downstairs all ready for the day.

I'm thankful that my children feel comfortable to dress how they think is beautiful without me putting society's pressure on them to look perfect. And while I hope the plaid and striped look will disappear, I pray they always know that their clothes and hair is not what makes them beautiful.

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