Harnessing Your Little Fashionista

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I distinctly remember when she was 18 months old- the fashion wars began. It seemed that my sweet, easy going little girl formed a strong willed fashion sense over night.  One morning I was dressing her in a matching little outfit complete with headband and bow and then next morning we were brawling over her polka dotted skirt and plaid shirt selection.  She was clueless.

Day after day I tried to explain the rules to her- but she still insisted on wearing white after Labor Day or toting a brown handbag with black shoes. We’d walk the halls of Fashion Square I’d see all the “other moms” with their primly dressed tots and grimace as my little diva paraded by in her pink boa and orange romper.

I lost battle after battle.  Defeated.

Then one day I learned a valuable lesson. Our war wasn’t over fashion; like any war, we were battling over freedom.

Light bulb.

Armed with my new understanding, I was prepared.  I discovered the magic of offering choices.  Each day I’d lay out two outfits, and let her choose. I was careful to make sure that they coordinated in case she wanted to mix and match.  She would proudly select her outfit, smile and dress without a fight!  We also picked days where she could choose anything out of her whole closet, and then, on special occasions it was “mommy choose” day.

Just this past week, my nine year old beauty and I were in H&M picking out her Easter outfit.  Nowadays, I get my fashion advice from her. (She has an artistic eye that clearly does not come from me….)  And though I’d love to still see her dress in a little girl bonnet and frock, she is growing up- and that just won’t do.  Now, we’re faced with new choices- choices about modesty and respect.  When we disagree, we go back to my light bulb moment.  We talk it over and come up with appropriate choices, and she has the freedom to have the final say.

And when the cease fire has been called and the dust settles, I still love watching her look at her reflection in the mirror and twirl.

How do you handle the outfit wars in your home?

 

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Noelle Larson is a mom still searching to find the “balance” between her spiritual journey, family, ambition, inner peace, world peace…all while trying not to blink so she doesn’t miss one minute of her beautiful, messy life.  Noelle writes at metromom.org where she journals her crazy days chasing after her kids and husband, deep thoughts, and captures her latest adventures.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Love this, Noelle! My daughter is turning 3 this week and is still not too particular about what she wears – but I know it’s just a matter of time! Kudos to you for letting her choose how she expresses herself (within your boundaries). 🙂

  2. Noelle, you are right on. It’s amazing what they can be so opinionated about. Even my son, who is 10, refuses to wear shorts and pants with pleats. We compromise by saving the pleated bottoms (which I purchased long ago and will not waste that money) for the days when he doesn’t have to tuck in his shirt, hence “hiding” the pleats.

  3. We are so there right now! Reagan even wants to put ON the clothes herself. At first, I thought that she was hungry or just tired and that was why she was crying for no reason… but come to find out, she has an opinion – about which shoes she wears and when she wears them… and she ALWAYS would prefer to be in a dress (yes, she gets that from me, I’m afraid)… I’ll have to try the choices thing. Thanks Noelle!

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