If you have a preschooler or a precocious toddler at home, there’s a good chance your child wants to pick out his or her own clothes. According to child development experts, this is a sign of your little one’s budding independence, which you want to encourage within reason.
But because young ones aren’t the smartest stylists, their outfit choices can leave them unprepared for the elements and lacking pants. And if you disagree with their dressing decisions, you’re likely to get a clothing-related tantrum (or at least, that’s what has happened in my house).
So how can you let your children happily choose their own clothes and simultaneously make sure what they pick out is appropriate? Today’s hint is a trick that can help: Let your little one choose what to wear from a specific section of the closet, or a specific drawer, that you’ve already stocked with just parent-approved picks.
This tip is based on my own wardrobe battles with my 31-month-old daughter. When she first showed an interest in what she was wearing about a year ago, I would take two outfits out of her closet and let her pick between them.
However, as my daughter grew, and namely hit the 2.5-year-old mark, she was no longer satisfied with deciding just between my two choices. She wanted to pick out her clothes herself from her wider wardrobe, meaning she wanted to end up in certain tank-top dresses inappropriate for San Francisco weather.
So, I hit upon my trick. I curated my little one’s closet, leaving just mom-approved, season-appropriate outfits hanging on the rod she can reach.
So far, this strategy has worked great, with the only downside being that I have to remember to keep the curated-section of the closet stocked with my picks.
Of course, my daughter will eventually decide to move beyond the one rod, and she’ll be able to reach all the clothes in her closet one day. Still, for now, my trick is working more often than not, and if you’re struggling with similar wardrobe battles, it’s one worth knowing (a hat tip to CloudMom for encouraging me to share this tip).
What are your strategies for avoiding clothing-related battles with your children? Share your tips below.