Debbie Granick is a parent/childbirth educator and freelance writer. She received a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health, from the University of North Carolina. Her previous work includes counseling adolescents and their families in a substance abuse prevention program, teaching tobacco education and reproductive health in a school setting, and consulting with local child care staff on toddler discipline strategies.

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You Want to Wear What?

“Can I wear my princess costume to the wedding.”

“I want to wear my Superman cape to school!”

“I won’t be cold in just this t-shirt in the snow.”

Kids’ sense of appropriate clothing doesn’t always match ours. Next time you need a quick comeback to a tricky clothing issue, try one of these.

  • Say Yes. “Yes, I think your princess costume is perfect for today. Hang it on the front door so we remember to change right when we come home.”
  • Bring in the Authority. “The doctor said you need to cover your arms and legs in the snow. But you can put your t-shirt back on when you’re done outside.”
  • Be creative. “Keep that on underneath, but let’s put this on top. You can take it back off later.”
  • Compromise. “You can wear that in the car as long as we change when we get there.”
  • Be concrete. “We’ll write a note to remind us that you get to wear your cape later today. Draw a picture of it and we’ll hang it on the fridge.”
  • Use peer pressure. “Mommy wears shoes outside. Daddy wears shoes outside. Put yours on and you can be like a grown-up, too.”
  • Give In. Does it really matter if you’re in the grocery store with Cinderella and Batman? If it’s not unsafe or grossly inappropriate, roll with it!!

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