"I Dressed Myself" - Coping with Your Child's Independence
I’m not sure where I got this idea from originally. I know it was before I even had kids … maybe from a play therapy conference, supervision, book, or parenting magazine. But I KNEW that it would someday come in handy. I knew I would be “that mom” that enjoyed dressing up her children in matching outfits … and, yes, coordinating myself and the children, too. (You just never know when a photo op will come!) And, yes, I am “that mom”, … not EVERY day, ALL the time … but I did really like finding great clothes for the kids and dressing them nicely.
BUT … I also KNEW that fostering independence in young children is essential.
By the time Honor hit three she was a budding fashionista that REALLY liked to dress herself. Some days it was mismatched clothes. Most days included some type of princess attire. So, to get around this little conundrum of not letting by borderline OCD take over, I had Honor make a “I Dressed Myself” pin.
With the pin she could not only advertise that I was not her fashion consultant for the day, but SHE was able to proudly display her creativity and independence! A true WIN-WIN!!!
I truly believe it has helped her develop the self confidence she has today, 7 years later, as a tween. She does not wear things, or be follow fads, just because others tell her to - she follows her own preferences. She has a unique, independent style and personality - which, in my opinion, is much more important than wearing what I (or anyone else) think she should.