Children are naturally expressive. Their diverse personalities are reflected through their voice, body movements, imaginations, and teachings. We learn more and more about our children as they grow: What makes them giggle. What makes them cry. Their favorite foods. Favorite colors. Blocks versus Legos. Crayons versus paint. More importantly, children too, learn to identify with themselves through the choices they make as they continually strive for independence.
One great way to encourage personality development and expression is through clothing. From early on, it is essentially ‘we the parents’ who define our children through their clothing. The clothing we choose for our infants and toddlers usually reflects our own sense of ideals, beliefs, and style. But soon, even younger children begin to show signs of fondness for certain colors, textures, and patterns in clothing. Long sleeves versus short. Stripes versus polka dots. Skirts versus pants. Most often, children will naturally progress towards apparel which reflects how they are feeling in that particular moment.
You may have a child who loves to wear tutu’s and princess crowns all day long. Or one that wears his favorite blue t-shirt every single day no matter what. A superhero who needs a red cape. A little one who won’t go anywhere without flowers in her hair and mismatched plaids and prints. Rain boots in winter and snow boots in summer. As long as they are safe and dressed in what is deemed “appropriate,” I say let them get creative.
By allowing our kids the freedom to decide, we are instilling and encouraging not only sense of self, but critical thinking, positive assertion, and problem solving skills. And along with our guidance and love, these kids are destined to be little rock stars in their own right.
Photo Credit: http://elizabethhunterwrites.com/2012/01/26/metaphor-guy-clark-and-the-cape/