What our tweens wear to school tops their MOST IMPORTANT list of “how not be embarrassed”. Have you ever experienced the old “toilet-paper-getting –stuck-to-your- heel just after using the restroom in a board meeting? Or how about the time you gave your power-point presentation with your fly open or your blouse buttons popped off?
It all comes down to what is important at the time or the season or phase of life. Our preteen or tween has immense insecurities about fitting in or being a part of the pack. They would rather die than wear something that NO BODY ever wears to school!
Could the more pertinent issue be: how much do we spend on this tug-of-war with our tween’s or does it even need to be a war? Giving too much attention to what they can and can’t wear may bring less attention from what really matters in middle school- good grades. So the question haunts our brains as we stare at our daughter’s choice of skirts and too much skin showing or our son’s strange way to wear his pants:
At what point does a new law need to be written on their foreheads about their choice of clothes?
A rule of thumb comes from Dr. Leman’s work with kids “… if all of a sudden your child is dressing only in all black, wearing Goth makeup and leather, then clothing is becoming a mountain [not a molehill]. Why? Because with that clothing, your child is trying on a persona that could take her into dangerous territory.”
Our kids wear clothes as an expression of themselves and as a way to fit in or be accepted by their peers. As parents we need to know what is the true issue; will this expression of himself through clothes effect my child’s character? Or even more directly, how is my child’s character showing itself through their clothing? Is this choice of clothing just a matter of looking cool to fit into the culture of middle school or is there a darker reason? A great and easy MO for parents is to have our kid’s friends over to the house. In one quick after-school cookies/milk session with their friends, most of our fears will be put to rest! Don’t friends “tell” us by just observation, most of the motives for our kid’s doing what they do? So perhaps – the crazy and strange clothes our tween’s wear will one day in the future be fun laugh-out-loud memories as their middle school years evolve into parenting their own kids!
for more support: