Bad Parent Tip #1: The Wardrobe
|Cole, Carter, and Caleb|
(Notice none of my kids had shoes that needed tied?)
Kristen Lamb wrote an honest post about the guilt of motherhood*. Since I've been there, done that, and already sent the stained tee-shirt onto Goodwill, I'll offer some tips that aren't likely to find their way into parenting magazines.
It is bad parenting that nets good results. They are, of course, completely anecdotal and have not been proven by any research. I'm only saying...I did it this way and not a single one of my children turned out to be an ax murderer.
The clothes make the man, especially when he's a child.
Simple truth: what's cool to a kid, may not be cool to an adult.
When my kids were little, I had the exclusive opportunity to choose their outfits for about one year. As soon as they learned the word no, they used it often.
The cute little sailor outfit was a no. As were polos, button-ups, and basically anything without a truck, a super hero, or an animal that could eat you alive if you weren't paying attention.
Now, I could have broken their wills and forced them to wear what I wanted (maybe), but as the mom of four young boys I
Honestly? My first priority was keeping them alive. I had bigger worries like stopping them from playing in traffic or sword fighting with kitchen knives. What they were wearing was not a high priority for me. They loved choosing their own clothes, and I loved not having to worry about it.
My kids have worn gum boots to church and pajamas to the grocery store, and no one died. And eventually, they grew out of it. Not a single one of my boys started school in a Halloween costume**.
They are now all conventional looking, non-fashion obsessed, well-adjusted young men.
So go ahead...let them dress themselves. In the very least, you'll have great pictures for blackmail later.
*If you're not following Kristen, I highly suggest you do. She's funny, smart, and paving her own way to writing success.
**My son wanted to go his first day in his Buzz Lightyear costume, so I had to rework the rules a bit. The wear what you want was modified to...these dresser drawers are for school clothes...these are for leisure and play. Kindergarten is the place to learn to color inside the lines, both on the page and in life.