Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yes, I DO Pick out My Kid's Clothes

Not the younger one--she has better taste than I do, by far. In fact, I should start getting HER to pick out her sister's clothes.

But yep, the older one. I actually pick out my eight-year-old's clothes for her.

Here's the thing:

  1. Will doesn't wear clothing by choice. She hangs out naked (for most of the day) until someone makes her dress, and then she puts on the absolute minimum that she can get away with. 
  2. Absolute minimum means ABSOLUTE minimum. Unless you specify socks and underpants, and then double-check that they're there, she won't bother putting them on. Normally, I don't care, but I draw the line at personal injury, and I'm weary of discovering, mid-hike, that the child has put on her jeans commando, or finally finding out near the end of our sledding adventure that she's put on her snow boots without socks. I know that a lot of parents would tell me to let Will teach herself with those blisters and frozen toes, but not ensuring that she takes care of her body feels differently to me than, say, letting her test her physical limits by climbing something that she might fall off of, which I have no problem with.
  3. When she is required to dress herself, Willow doesn't care what she wears. She prefers comfy, elastic-waisted pants, and she does not prefer the pinks and purples that are heavy in her hand-me-down stash currently, nor does she like dresses or skirts and tights, but she'll wear whatever is easiest to grab from her clothing storage. She finds it VERY frustrating if she is required to search through unsorted clean laundry for something.
Until a few weeks ago, the girls kept their tops and bottoms on hangers--each kid had her own rod--and their socks and underpants in drawers. Lately, though, I feel like I've been on an organizing kick, or rather I've somehow found some extra energy to start rethinking chronic sticking points and finding solutions to at least a few of them. And my clothing re-organization is making me VERY happy.

I gave all of the clothing rods to Sydney. She carefully thinks out each outfit, so she might as well have the extra space to really look at all of her options. I moved all of Willow's clothing to drawers, and I no longer require the children to sort and put away their own clean laundry. Instead, I do it for them: I hang up Sydney's clothes on her rods, and I package Willow's clothes like this:

Pants get folded in half and laid out. On the middle third of the pants I stack a shirt, a pair of underpants, and a pair of socks. I fold the pants up around the bundle, and put it in Willow's drawer.

Now when someone finally tells her to go get dressed, Willow can simply grab a complete outfit out of her drawer--if the underpants are right there, she puts them on, and if the socks are right there, she puts those on, too. I think that somehow the packaging is encouraging her to dress herself in all the items of clothing, not just the minimum that she always chose when she had to select each item individually. Hallelujah!
 As you can obviously tell from the photo above, I don't spend much time carefully matching items, either, and Willow still feels pretty disdainful about the idea of clothing, in general, but next time I start griping about how tedious and frustrating and full of annoyances my life is, please please PLEASE remind me that my older child will now dress herself completely in all the clothes required by polite society.

As long as I pick them out for her, of course.

4 comments:

Tina said...

It's amazing how siblings can be so different.

My kiddo doesn't mind getting dress, she just prefers to wear the same clothes for days at a time. I like the idea of having the outfits bundled, that way when I tell her to put on clean clothes, she changes everything.

julie said...

I'm kind of torn by it, because it IS more work for me, and my overall goal is to decrease my work load, but whatever works, you know?

Laura Delfanso said...

Well as for us in our household nudity is not an issue.We dress when it's practical i.e weather, cooking, hazzards, guests over, etc.

Have you ever heard of or read "The Naked Child Growing Up Without Shame/Social Nudity/Its Effect on Children"?

My hubby and I have read the book and it has benefited in terms with our two daughters self esteem/self body image.

julie said...

I haven't read it, but as I noted in my post, my nudity concerns aren't societal. It does sound interesting, though, for those who are struggling with nudity for cultural reasons.

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