Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day 7 "What are you wearing?"

In the course of my parental career this question has been uttered multiple times, in a matter of minutes, to more than one child - usually on the way out the door to church!  When they were younger, it was more of a rhetorical question that did not demand a verbal response, as much as it did a bolt up the stairs to find something else that met the requirements of our definition of "church clothes."
Sisters modeling at school fundraiser!
With our son, there was a point in time, where we had to constantly assess his choice of clothing.  We had to tell him repeatedly that certain patterns just didn't mix with camo or tie dye.  During the later elementary and junior high years, there was a constant "flood" watch from his older sister, because obviously his fashion sense reflected on her and apparently impacted her tween universe like a tsunami.

Some days, the "What are you wearing?" question, produced a laundry list of lessons on the proper care and storage of clothing.  For instance, the wrinkled shirts were a tell-tale sign that our son was not hanging up his dress shirts but stuffing them in the drawers or piling them on the dresser.  Or perhaps the black dress would have been better hung up rather than left on the chair for our fluffy, white cat to claim as a bed.

Fortunately, once our kids started attending a private Christian school, we were able to lighten up a bit on the constant clothing inspection due to the school uniforms.  Nowadays, we may ask with curiosity when they are not wearing the familiar school attire, only to find out that it was a special "dress down day."

With our daughters, we have tried to establish a modest attire from the get-go.  The toddler clothing has not caused too much of an uproar on the scandalous meter, but Hubby did sarcastically frown down upon pants with "cutie" across the bottom!  His biggest issue has been to keep the midriff covered for our little girls.  At times I have, questioned the strictness of the policy at age three only to be met with the reminder that it would be harder to set the limits at thirteen.

A wise man.

Now that our oldest (and I might add, very beautiful) daughter is approaching 17, I am quite thankful that he enforced those rules at an early age.
Darlin's Sweet 16 - laser tag on New Year's Eve!
Over the years she has rarely fought us when asked to change into a longer skirt or a more modest top.  This habit of asking her to consider what she was wearing has helped her to begin to make those choices on her own.  Only recently, has she inquired about the possibilities of outfits or styles that had been previously off limits. Mostly just from a desire to keep trendy and sometimes compromises have been made, where we deemed appropriate.

In general, checking what our kids wear has helped us avoid having a scantily clad teen show up for Sunday school or a disheveled kid singing up front at the school concert.  Constant vigilance has been necessary.  Indeed, the times I have let my guard down usually produce the most obvious of wardrobe malfunctions (fortunately not of that variety!)  Last year I could indeed tell that my son was the only one with blue pants in the band concert instead of black!  The other week I noticed that Cupcake had two left sandals on and another time I had forgotten to bring her shoes altogether!

A friendly little reminder to always ask them, "What are you wearing?"  It's worth repeating.

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