Monday, January 23, 2012

Being An Individual

I try really hard to pick my battles with my children. I have learned a lot from my oldest on where I personally have made mistakes so with my middle daughter Kiliegh I do a little better.

I have a hard time with this one though.

Kiliegh has her own "sense of style". And that's okay, but sometimes! -- wowza! I don't know what she is thinking! She wears multiple socks at a time. Sweats with blouses. Halloween pants (that I don't know how they got in her drawer in the first place) with sweaters. Her sisters fake fur coat that is ten times her size verses the really cute pink one (that actually fits). Sometimes I kind of freak out inside. But I hold my breath, count to ten and let her wear what she picks out. Sometimes, I mention that such and such don't really go well together but then she says That's okay, Mom, I like it like that." And I think that she really truly does. 

I think Kiliegh is artistic. Actually, I know that she is. She does amazing things. One time when she was younger she took a huge tote of crayons, dumped them out and made a circle with them connecting only the ends together. It kind of looked like a sun burst. The kicker was that she did it like a rainbow-- all of the reds were together, pinks together and so on. It was beautiful. Recently she drew a dog that looked like it should be on the Clifford cartoon and she did it by looking at another picture, not by tracing. She will sit and color or draw for hours, if she is able to do so. So when I see her in the outfits I feel like it is her way of expressing herself. 

Today she chose the below outfit. 

 (Note, she is actually wearing two coats-- the over sized black one and then a brown fluffy one underneath and the lighting is bad-- she has on black boots, brown sweat pants, a black coat, a brown jacket and a white long sleeve tshirt with silver glitter on it.)

I had already told her to not wear the sweat pants with a blouse and the added cardigan sweater she had laying out. And then when she came out, fully dressed, I asked her about wearing tennis shoes verses the boots. Then I asked why she chose to wear that particular coat verses the pink one AND THEN I asked why two coats instead of one! I didn't nag. Just asked the questions as casually as I could and let her answers be the end of it (insert a big sigh and roll of the eyes here). Even though I let her answers be enough, inside I was thinking that her teacher probably thinks she has nothing to wear at our house or that no one pays attention to her because I let her dress this way and for a moment I was kind of embarrassed inside because that is just not the truth. And then sometimes, I wish that I could be as carefree and bold as she is. 

Kiliegh told me that her step mom wont let her wear this black coat because it is too big and that she doesn't like Kiliegh wearing things that are too big and believe me I feel the same way and her step mom is a nice lady and I actually like her (so I am not making any jabs). But then... I think what does it matter? Kiliegh has nice clothes here, she has nice shoes as well-- Practically everything fits her (except for that stinking black coat) and everything would match if she cared to have them that way and truthfully, I don't care to have a cookie cutter kid and I do enjoy her individuality... So, while I may be slightly embarrassed I am more proud that she likes who she is and I keep telling myself that by letting her express herself this way maybe I a nurturing her calling for when she is an adult...? Who knows!

What about you, readers..., do you let your children pick out their own clothes? Do you choose for them? My oldest daughter Jasmine, asks me for my opinion a lot and I do help her- when she asks, but ultimately I tell her that she has to like what she is wearing. However, I would never let them wear inappropriate (sexy-like) clothes. That's where I draw the line. But, I am curious as to how other parents would handle this particular situation, if it were their child.


Diana said...

I do and don't let my kids pick out their own clothes. I have guidlines. For example, my kids MUST wear seasonable appropriate pants and longer sleeved tops in cold weather. I don't mind if the outfit matches. Also, the clothes MUST fit (especially shoes!). I do this for safety reasons. And, of course, I do make them wear things that follow rules (like sneakers for gym class).

Shoes are the one battle I have most with my kids. They must, must MUST wear shoes that fit. Snow/cowboy boots in July with Flip flops-fine, but not in the winter, to school, or to run around outside and play. Two-three sizes too big-ONLY only inside the house for dress-up. Mis-matched shoes to outfit no problem.

Katherine said...

I think it's great that you are letting her express herself! I'm sure you have to bite your tongue and hide your dismay pretty often but you are showing that you respect her decisions. And I highly doubt anyone thinks YOU picked that out for her to wear ;)
Pick your battles, right? I think you're a fantastic mama! And how adorable is Kiliegh??

Here's an interesting article:

Katherine said...

And there may come a day when she cares too much about what others think…so how freaking cool is it that she feels confident enough to stand out?? I hope my future children have that kind of self-confidence!

I wore some pretty weird things as a kid (pretty sure I was the only 3rd grader who wore construction boots- yikes!) and I turned out just fine ;)