Well guys, Aden’s at that age – the one where he learns to dress himself. Seriously, how did he get this big?! Coaching your children through milestones like this that involve them being able to do things somewhat independently of your help (getting there…) is huge in any parent’s life. Aden absolutely LOVES to pick out his own clothes.
Of course, they’re not what I would pick out, and he knows it. The boy loves to wear his train shirt over and over again, and I have to remind him that he has a whole closet full of other options (remember all the pics I shared the other day?). But here’s the thing: allowing and encouraging kids to pick out their outfits is not something to take lightly. It’s actually really important to their development!
How cute is Aden’s rain gear though? Mom approved!
When little ones reach the point of being able to choose, it’s a major freedom they haven’t had. Even at the youngest age, all kids want is to feel that their feelings and opinions are valid. At the very least, when mommy says, “Okay, tell me what shirt you want to wear today…” they feel that we respect their opinion.
But beyond that, you can use these moments – and the silly outfits that come from it – as a way to teach them some valuable cognitive skills, like decision making, responsibility, and even more minute things like the motor skills required to actually dress themselves and button buttons, zip zippers, etc (all with your supervision of course). It also teaches them to work within a timeframe. Of course, this means two things – helping them to reach conclusions within a reasonable amount of time (and of course time is one of the hardest concepts to get a three year old to grasp!) and helping them practice patience when things don’t go as planned.
As much as I’d love my little man to dress up in all those adorable outfits we’ve collected for him over time, I know how important picking out clothes is to him (even if it takes him awhile to decide on that fave tee). The most important part is that he has the choice and can express himself and his individuality how he wants to, which contributes to self confidence and self worth too.
Have you been through this phase with little ones? Share below!