Of all the things you knew you would need to teach your children when choosing to be a parent, did you ever think you would need to introduce them to fashion? Actually, fashion encompasses more than wearing the latest styles, although that is important, but you also need to educate children as to why they should wear some things and why others are totally unacceptable. Here is some advice for parents looking to learn how to introduce young children to fashion.
Set by Example
You have probably heard this in reference to other aspects of parenting, such as your choice of language. It is a fact of life that children learn by example. What they see you do as mommy and daddy will have a huge impact on their development. When trying to teach children about fashion, it may be a wise move on your part to think carefully about every garment you put on your body. You’ll see why in a moment or two.
Socially Acceptable Attire
There was a time when you wouldn’t be caught dead going to church in jeans and t-shirts. You will only need to take a look around you on any given Sunday to see how various age groups dress in a certain way. Older folks still have that need to dress semi-formally (their Sunday best!) when approaching the altar of the Lord and you may be thinking ‘Like God doesn’t see them the other six days of the week!’
But in their generation, that was the only socially acceptable attire to be worn in God’s house. Today you still see norms in what is socially acceptable if you look at dress codes for any school in the country. Those dress codes are what each school district considers socially acceptable fashion and why you need to start teaching your children this at a very young age.
Another aspect of fashion that you should teach your children is in terms of cultural influences. Many parts of the country are absolutely crazy about Country Western attire and this is a carryover from pioneer days. In fact, today’s western wear is amazing and there are some really adorable and fashionable toddler cowgirl boots that any little girl would just love to have. Families of Hispanic origin will teach their children to dress in ways that are traditional to their culture as will people from the islands dress in ways that reflects their heritage.
People DO Judge a Book by Its Cover!
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, teach your children that unfortunately, people still judge a book by its cover. This means that no matter how inexpensive or expensive their clothing may be, it should be clean, wrinkle-free (unless it is meant to be!) and should not be riddled with holes in all the wrong places. Wearing jeans halfway down to your knees was a style a few years back, but those who dressed like that were automatically labelled as ‘losers’ and were not accepted into many circles.
Not only should you teach your child about fashions that are trending but you need to impress on them that it is how they wear the clothes they own. Fashion is one thing, but common dignity is a whole other ballgame. Teach them to dress with grace and finesse and no matter what they wear, they will look like a million dollars – guaranteed!