Why Children Should Be Able To Choose Their Own Clothes

One of the most exciting things to do when you find out you’re pregnant with your first child is to browse online (or in the shops pre-lockdown) at all the beautiful baby clothes. If you don’t find out the sex, you’ll probably find yourself gazing adoringly at the neutral newborn outfits. And if you do, you’ll have them kitted out with a wardrobe to rival your own that will last until they’re walking.

The question is, at what stage do you let them pick out their own clothes?

My eldest son is seven and we recently rearranged his room. This included lowering the height of the clothes rail in his wardrobe. He was keen to be able to grab his own clothes in the morning, and I was up for it. It meant he’d also be able to put his clean clothes away!

There’s a bit of a debate at the moment over whether folding or hanging clothes is best. Marie Kondo encourages us all to roll our clothes and carefully place them in drawers. While the girls from The Home Edit prefer hanging clothes up so it’s easier to see everything. I’m definitely in the latter camp when it comes to kids; it’s so much easier to show them how to use a hanger than to fold and roll.

On a separate note, my son also complained that his clothes weren’t bright enough and that he’d like me to buy him some more colourful tops. I have to admit that I hadn’t even noticed this until he brought it up, but now he mentioned it I realised he was right.

His school doesn’t have a uniform, but I still typically bought him "boring" grey, black and navy clothes; I think they look smart and they’re easy to mix and match. But I didn’t want him to be bored with what he was wearing. As adults, we know that clothes can help you express your personality and unique taste.

Some "Googling" and chatting to friends later, I’ve come to the consensus that it’s all about balance. Although it’s important to wear what’s appropriate and practical, it’s also good to allow kids to develop a sense of individuality.

He’s now added some "cooler" clothes to his wardrobe and I’ve been monitoring how he’s getting on with choosing his own outfits; so far so good.

I’ve also been checking out this year’s Christmas jumpers, and adore the traditional styles with classic prints. However, I’ve learnt my lesson and asked him what he would like. Apparently, he’d really love one with Rudolph on the front with a big, flashing light-up nose... It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but now I’m on a mission to find him one!

Jennie Dennehy

Jennie Dennehy is Mama to two gorgeous boys and is a Writer and Blogger. Her life is full of laughs and Lego and she’s always longing for a hot, frothy coffee.

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