Some parents fear that teaching their kids about fashion will encourage vanity. However, the opposite is true. If you teach them first, they’re more likely to grow up dressing in socially acceptable ways. They are also more likely to show their identities in smarter ways. They are less likely to look to their peers or to the media as the how-to of fashion.
Modeling Appropriate Dressing
You don’t need to be a fashion expert to teach your child how to dress properly. You don’t even need to love fashion to teach your child to dress decently. For the most part, all it takes is good early modeling and teaching what is socially acceptable.
It’s best to start shortly after birth if possible. Yes, there’s even boutique baby clothing available for you to make proper and cute fashion statements with your baby. They sell everything from baby-sized bohemian outfits to retro celebrity t-shirts.
Teaching your child about dressing decently is also teaching them organizational skills, time management, good color and design matchmaking skills.
You don’t want your child to grow up with a tendency to put everything every which way that there’s no telling what’s what. You also don’t want them to grow up just throwing every which color or design on.
It teaches them time management skills. If they know the basics of throwing an outfit together, then they won’t take as much time figuring out what goes where.
Kids learn first by modeling, that is, by example. The first thing to consider is whether you dress well yourself. Since I’m comparing to dressing like a cheap street sex worker here, chances are, you probably do.
When they’re very young, say under the age of four, they are only just beginning to learn about the world. They don’t have a good sense of self-identity yet. At this time, you’re still presenting them with their first fashion items. You can also check out books or magazines that can help them to quickly get more established in the process of dressing up.
More About Self-Esteem than Fashion
If your child is under four, at this stage, it’s more about helping them build self-confidence and helping them to adapt appropriately. Again, they don’t yet have a good sense of identity, let alone the ability to pick out clothes that represent it.
If you try to convince them to embrace a specific style before they know what style is, chances are, it’ll probably just frustrate them. Not only can it lead to tantrums, it can turn them off from exploring their own style down the road.
On the other hand, if your child seems to show a strong like or dislike for something, don’t fight them on it. One of the best things you can do is make them feel empowered by giving them free choice. It helps to build their self-confidence and their self-esteem.