Buying clothes might be the least important thing to children when it comes to everyday activities. Why should they buy some shirts when they can buy toys? If your children are uninterested in buying clothes, like most of them are, try making a game out of shopping and everyday dressing. If you make this activity fun, there is more chance for your kids to care about the clothes you spend so much money on. Once you’ve got that covered, make sure that you let them choose for themselves what to buy and wear, and here are some reasons why you should.
Children have a need to express themselves, especially in puberty and early adolescence. Around the middle of elementary school children look up to many actors and actresses, models and musicians who have a specific fashion style. They tend to copy these trends and make their own fashion expression out of it. Clothes are not only a matter of fashion though, but a matter of identity. If they want to wear black Metallica shirts and Dr Martens boots, you shouldn’t stop them from it, because this might be the dress code in their surroundings. Try to have more understanding of their fluid identities and the clothes they tend to express these identities with.
Clothes can be really powerful and full of meaning, even when kids are in question. Wearing what makes you feel good, what draws positive attention and looks good on you can be empowering and a good foundation for confidence building. If all the kids in the class have the “cool sneakers”, your kid will definitely want a pair as well. But, be careful to choose proper kids boutique clothing. Not all popular clothing pieces are high quality, and you shouldn’t encourage your kids to buy these. On the other hand, buying clothes made from high-quality fabrics which are comfortable and supposed to be long-lasting is always a good idea.
Learning to balance the budget
You can trust your children with a shopping budget small enough for them to buy one thing, or a couple of things, depending on how good they balance their spending. You can also go shopping with them, but try to stay aside and let them manage on their own. You can see then how good they are at money management and cost-benefit analysis. If they want to buy something that is out of their budget, but you agree that they should buy it, you can jump in with extra money. Tell them that this means no shopping for a chosen period of time, though. This way, they learn the consequences of their choices as well.
They will wear what they choose
When it comes to younger children, they too have a need to fit in and wear what other children are wearing. They follow trends that run within their age circle better than you as an adult can. So, if you buy them clothes in your own taste without consulting them, those might just end up stacked up deep inside their wardrobe and never worn. On the other hand, if you let them choose clothes for themselves, you have a guarantee they will wear them, at least for some time.
Sense of responsibility
Finally, there is also another trait connected to confidence and smart money spending, and that is responsibility. Once you get the idea that your kids are capable of managing their own shopping, you can let them go to the mall by themselves. Hanging out at shopping centres is a fun activity for teenagers and gives them the feeling of being a bit more grown-up, which they love. If they manage to spend wisely even when you are not around, then your job is already done. On the other hand, if they are having trouble managing their own budget, this is also a great opportunity for them to learn. You shouldn’t protect them from that I’ve-spent-too-much stressful feeling because you won’t be buying them clothes forever. Once they make a mistake you can talk with them, analyze the situation and see what they’ve learned from it. Hopefully, next time they will do better.
Remember that buying clothes is just another adult everyday activity that your kids have to conquer on the way to their adulthood. Clothes shopping can be a fun way for them to learn the basics of money spending and help them grow into responsible, independent adults. You can also make choosing clothes a lot of fun for your kids at Kigurumi. They will have a ton of kids onesies to choose from. They can choose to be a Chewbacca, spiderman, tiger, and many more.