Letting Go and Letting them Dress Themselves


If I had any advice about having a strong-willed child it is this: Mama, let them pick their own clothes!

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I have two children. My son is easy going and really has no opinions about what he puts on in the morning, he takes whatever I hand him and that’s it. My daughter, on the other hand, has had STRONG opinions about her clothes for a few years now. We love anything pink, anything that has something to do with rainbows or unicorns, and if it has glitter you might as well put five in our cart!

Once she turned two, I would find myself running late, sweating and in a heated debate about what she wanted to wear. I would have cute matching outfits selected and she would reject them all! We would repeat this process day after day……

Finally, I decided it was not worth the fight.

I realized that her going to the library in her Paw Patrol dress, vampire leggings, rain boots carrying a cat purse doesn’t affect ME in the slightest. So why am I fighting her so hard to match? Wanna wear Halloween pumpkin leggings year-round? Who am I to say no?

Once I came to this conclusion, all bets were off. If she told me she wanted to wear her Minnie mouse dress AND a red white and blue skirt under it, I simply said: “Here ya go!” 

She is always colorful and bold, and most of the time she is not matching in the slightest.

Now each time we step out of the house in her selected outfits she often gets compliments about how colorful she is, and I am met with a quizzical look and the comment: “Good on you mom for letting her wear that outfit.”

After hearing this more and more I wondered, am I in the minority? Do others really not let their kids just simply pick their own clothes no matter how absurd the outfit ends up being?

Don’t get me wrong, if we have an event or pictures, I will make sure we are in something that matches, but I still try my hardest to let her feel like she got to choose her own outfit! Instead of a heated debate or even trying to compromise, I invite her into the decision-making process, “Maybe we don’t wear the Halloween leggings today, maybe we wear your favorite green dress with these mustard flower leggings!”

dress themselves

Maybe you find yourself in a constant struggle with one of your children about what they wear. Maybe you are on your way to HEB with a superhero strapped into their car seat. 

Sometimes life, marriage, and parenting feel like one battle after another. And I think it is important to pick our battles. In the grand scheme of things for me, getting little people dressed is low on the totem pole in terms of things that I am willing to spend much time on during the day. For our family, we have chosen to let our kids dress themselves, no matter how ridiculous they may or may not look from day to day. 

pizza dress
go girl

If you find yourself in the same position I was years ago, frustrated and running late each morning over the outfit debate maybe this is the gentle nudge you need to save your sanity each morning. Or maybe like me, you have decided that your kids can wear a costume to the grocery store all year long and this is the encouragement you needed to know I have my own wonder woman in a cart down the aisle and If our paths cross I will offer you an air high five! 


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Jennifer is a Coastal Bend Native, born and raised in Ingleside. She began contributing to the Corpus Christi Moms Blog in 2018 and stepped up as the Community Engagement Coordinator in 2019. She is happiest when she is crafting, writing, or doing anything artistic. She loves music, especially ANYTHING from the 90's, and is often seen dancing around the kitchen to Nsync while cooking dinner. She is married to Derik and has two kids, Connor and Keeley (pronounced Key-Lee). Jennifer still feels like a novice when it comes to parenting and enjoys letting other moms know they are not doing life alone. She also admits she watches copious amounts of Netflix, but balances that out by reading to and with her kiddos as much as possible each day.