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Picking an outfit for your child seems like a logical choice. You dress them appropriately for the weather conditions and the given situations, plus they look well put-together. It is hard to let go of that parental worry and control and let your child take the wheel on things. After all, we as parents know what’s best for them! But once you give them enough space to make their own decisions and develop a sense of individuality, you will be amazed to see their growth. Letting kids choose their own clothes means so much to them and could be an excellent parenting step to take now – and here is why.

Benefits of letting kids choose their own clothes

It encourages independence

Children are excellent observers, and they often want to show autonomy from their parents very early on. They are constantly developing a greater sense of independence, and there are many signs of this.

By the age of 3, independence refers primarily to practical issues. At this period, children need to do everything themselves (get dressed, eat, etc.). Between the ages of 4 and 5, their opinions become important, primarily about the things that interest them – where to go, what to eat, and, in many cases, what to wear. By developing independence, they also develop a sense of responsibility and self-determination.

It stimulates their creativity

If you choose an outfit for your child every day, especially while you’re dressing them, you are leaving them out of the process. Dressing becomes a chore for them, something they do mechanically. That is why many children complain and make a fuss when you’re dressing them up.

A girl putting on a pink crown.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Children are just beginning to explore the world at that age, and everything is exciting and intriguing. They like to draw, sing, dance, play games – they are just bursting with creativity. Some ways to encourage it are by playing games together and designing their room in an inspiring way. Allowing them to dress alone gives them yet another area to be creative and use their imagination.

They acquire decision-making skills

When you give your children the opportunity to decide what they want to wear, you are laying the foundation of their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Your child will feel important if you ask for their ideas when choosing clothes. Even at the age of 2 or 3, most children can decide whether or not they like a piece of clothing that you have selected for them. It strengthens their ability to determine what they want and develop their opinions. Children need to be actively engaged in their own lives from an early age.

It develops a sense of individuality

Self-expression in kids is something to be nurtured and celebrated. Do not impose your style on them. Another common mistake parents make is expecting that the child will always like what we choose for them. Let them find out and voice what they like and how they want to be seen. You are not building a mini version of yourself; instead, you should guide them to become the best version of themselves. This will help them be more confident in the future and find a strong sense of identity.

A child with multicoloured paint on his palms.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Children want their outfits to be fun

Clothes for toddlers don’t have to be modern or trendy. They surely can be, but primarily they should be fun! Let them mix-and-match: you will be amazed at what they come up with. From unique tees every kid will love, to special dresses, shorts and capes – you should give them fun options and enjoy the results! It might result in a good laugh, as well.

Less control = more room to grow

Respecting and paying attention to your children’s wishes does not mean they should always decide what to buy and wear. Of course, they should wear a jacket when it’s cold or reconsider wearing a pretty dress for a family day out. Letting kids choose their own clothes is not about letting them do whatever they want – you involve them in the process by showing that you care about their opinion.

Letting go of the steering wheel a bit gives your wee one enough room to develop and prosper. You can offer them choices and see what they pick (and intervene if you must!). It is important not to turn every situation into a battle – have fun with it, and with them!

It makes it easier for the parent

You struggle every morning with dressing your kid up and going out the door. Or maybe they occasionally throw tantrums before agreeing to put the outfit on and get moving. Whatever the case is, letting them be more independent will do you good.

A child and a mother standing on a tree in rain boots.
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

We all know how challenging it is to get the whole family in the car and on the way to whatever needs to be done. In those moments, every second counts. If you let your kids choose their clothes, you will not have to spend all that time trying to convince them to put the outfit on. This helps you maintain your peace and calm, as well. Children that have overbearing parents are often afraid to make mistakes. Being a calm parent can have tremendous benefits on your child’s development.

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We insist on a piece of clothing that the child doesn’t like because it’s a gift from grandma. We want everything in their outfit to match, so we plan it beforehand. But, sometimes, we should ease the grip and encourage them to decide for themselves.

After you’ve read about all these positive sides to letting kids choose their own clothes, we are hoping you will give this idea a try. You will be amazed to see your youngsters develop a sense of style and express themselves. When you establish a supporting connection early on, you are setting a base for a trusting bond for life.

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