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Fashion Statements: When your Children Choose a New Look for the New Year 
 
by Tamiya King August 30, 2005

Encourage individuality.

Like adults, the fashion choices children make directly reflect their personal style and self-perception. Sometimes kids choose to dress or wear their hair a certain way in order to get attention, so it’s important to pay attention to your child’s behavior, his circle of friends, and the way he feels about school in order to properly assess his fashion choices.

When your child knows that you make parenting a priority, and are genuinely interested in their interests and goals, trying to gain attention through unruly or strange fashion choices won’t be very common. Sometimes wearing clothes that will grab everyone’s attention or clothes that will make them invisible isn’t just a new fashion trend—it’s a cry for help, and you should definitely pay attention. If your child feels comfortable expressing themselves at home, this will definitely be evident in the clothes your child chooses to wear for the new school year. Of course, kids also make fashion choices based on what their friends and ‘everyone else’ is wearing. When you encourage individuality in your kids, you’re letting them know that it’s all right to have their own unique style, even when it comes to fashion. It seems kind of contradictory if you want your kids to make good grades even though their friends may not be, or to be compassionate and understanding to others even when those around them aren’t, but give them a hard time when it comes to fashion.

When you teach your kids that it’s ok not to be like everyone else, except to keep this same attitude about the way your kids dress. This will also reduce the likelihood of your kids’ adopting the fashion trends of their peers that may not be appropriate. So, if your son comes home with a new hat (that you really don’t care for) or pants that you think may be too big, express your opinion objectively without being too judgmental. This way, he won’t feel attacked, and may decide to change his outfits after a while just because he knows you don’t like them. Of course, he’ll never admit this to you, but hey, you can’t have it all.

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