Believe or not, there are some real benefits to letting your kids pick out their own clothes. I know it may be hard for us moms to let go of that power, because of course we know best. But, I learned from my own experience that being too controlling of something as picking kids clothes can have some negative effects. I learned that by always imposing on my children what I thought they should wear even as they got older made them dependent on me for easy decisions such as picking out their clothes.
My wake up call was one day when my husband told my then 8 year old daughter and 4 year old son, to go get dressed. They just froze and looked at me with big eyes begging for guidance. They didn’t want to get in trouble with their dad because we were already late to a birthday party and I was picking up the kitchen. At that point it became crystal clear that I had not taught them that simple but independent skill. So from that day forward, my kids have been choosing what they are going to wear. I don’t make those choices for them anymore. I only approve and give them choices within safe boundaries. So here are the top three surprising benefits of allowing your kids to pick out their own clothes:
1st Benefit – Children Learn to Make Choices – As moms, we try to control and safeguard our children’s environments to a point of exhaustion – our own exhaustion. But kids need freedom of choice in some areas of their lives so they can learn to choose and make good selections. They learn that life is not about one person imposing his/her will on another but a person like a parent teaching another person how to deal with life. And something as simple as deciding for themselves what they are going to wear teaches them this life skill.
2nd Benefit – It Gives Them a Sense of Pride Because They Had a Choice – Something as simple as picking their own clothes can give children a sense of pride. They get to make a choice and live with that choice – wear whatever they chose and be comfortable in what their wear and how they present themselves to the world. My daughter loves it when people tell her how pretty she dressed up and of course she tells them it was her idea for the outfit.
3rd Benefit – They Become More Independent – This is one of the most significant benefits because they can choose their clothes, put them on, and help mommy along the way. One less thing for mommy to worry about. Most of the time I’m really surprised at the great choices my kids make on their own. And becoming an independent human being is one of the top skills we have to teach our kids.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids still ask me for the final approval, but I approve most of the time. I only tell them it’s a bad choice when they pick a sweater for the summer – sometimes I have let them wear it, and they have learned on their own that it was a bad choice. I just remind them of those instances when they want to do it again. But I must say that my life as a mommy has gotten so much better since I allowed my children to pick out their own clothes.