You’ve enjoyed watching your child playing dress up with mommy’s old scarves and daddy’s ties. You’ve enjoyed picking out your child’s perfect outfit for the day. But suddenly “your baby” is now demanding to wear what they want and the choices don’t align with yours.
Do you let them go out in clashing patterns and colors or in not-quite-appropriate clothes for the weather?
Children have very little control over their own lives — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts believe it’s important to provide clothing guidance but also give them space to explore their developing sense of style.
5 advantages of having kids dress independently
Children can dress themselves by age 6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They start to feel more independent due to seeing more of the larger world and developing new friends. There are benefits to letting kids have a bigger say over their fashion, for them and the entire family:
- They learn about choices. T-shirts or polos? Shorts or a skirt? And is it appropriate to wear a jacket in the summer — depending on where you live — and sandals in the middle of winter?
- They can discover their taste, individuality and creativity. Maybe in the future they’ll be wearing all black or all pink, but right now they can figure out what they like. Creative mixing and matching different styles can be fun — even if it makes your eyes twitch!
- Practice makes perfect and saves time. Small children struggle with zippers and buttons, but the best way to learn is through practice! Once they can dress themselves, that’s one less thing for you to worry about when you’re trying to get yourself ready or finish a cup of coffee.
- Develop a sense of responsibility. You’re trusting them to be sensible. Giving your child that sense of responsibility boosts confidence and self-esteem.
- Helps with budgeting. Your kids aren’t just digging through their closet for an outfit — they’re either browsing online or asking to go to the mall. Shopping is an opportunity to teach them about budgeting and spending within your means.
It’s exciting to watch your children develop their individuality, and we hope you enjoy every moment of the journey.