Around three years (some before, others after), the boys begin to assert their opinion when it comes time to get dressed. And it is at this moment that we can distinguish two groups of mothers and fathers with their children: the angry adults who “fought” with their children and made them put what they thought most appropriate for the occasion and the adults who, with a resigned smile, they go to visit the grandmother’s house with the baby in a dress and plastic sandals of the birthdays combined with the oldest shorts and the shining shirt. But if your daughters are already big you have to give them more freedom little by little, so they will make good decisions when they grow up and choose their bridesmaid dresses in San Antonio.
Given this, the moms that we used to choose their clothes without even asking, we feel confused. The growth of our children and their ever greater independence causes us ambivalent sensations: on the one hand, we love to see them grow; on the other, it scares us and causes us nostalgia to see that our babies are no longer (also because we face the passage of time for ourselves!).
In the meantime, keep in mind that a person who did not have the possibility of choosing from a young age would probably have trouble doing it in adolescence when he / she should make decisions that are going to be very important in his / her life, such as if he / she is going to smoke, will drink alcohol in excess to identify with your group, if you are going to take care of having sex, if you can choose a career as freely as possible, etc.
It seems “pulled by the hair” to think about the relationship between these elections and the choice of clothes at three years, but there are matrices, there are modalities that from small we are incorporating and that, as adults, influence our actions.
That is why it is important to open more and more decision spaces for children, because choosing is learned (and others choose one, too), it is just a matter of stopping to think about what we want to teach our children.
Now, putting into practice, a good strategy is to say to them: “I chose what you would like to wear and show it to me to see if it can be” (because, for example, you can not go out in January, even if it is your favorite sweater, gift of the grandmother).
There will be times when you will go with what you chose (visits to friends, relatives, walks, etc.) and others in which we have to explain that this time you have to choose, for example, between one of these dresses and some of these shoes, because the uncle and the party get married we do not want him to go in sneakers, but what these moments will be depends on each family and their level of tolerance.
Good taste is a cultural issue, very personal, and that varies, too, over time. Surely many mothers have been discovered in a photo with a set that today would not even go to sleep and, years ago, was fashionable.
Most likely, the children, in the long run, achieve their personal style and can adapt it to be appropriate to each situation.
On the other hand, and as always when we reflect on our interventions with children, we have to think about the importance of this topic: it is about showing them a value that is of great importance to us or that, in our eyes, dress well. Recognize that it is much more important that they can be, for example, good friends, than the fact that they manage to combine all the elements of their wardrobe.