Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think About it Thursday! Clothes That Fit (In)

I have a son in the 12 year old so I hear a lot about what is in and what isn't. Some parents out there are just not ready for their babies to grow up, but need to realize that it is happening before our very eye. I found this article under the "Ages & Stages" 10-12 years section of Parenting magazine, August 2010 issue that gives us a little insight into what goes on in our child's world and how to deal with some of it anyway.

Clothes That Fit (In)

"I can't wear those tighty whities anymore--you have to buy me some boxer shorts!" Turns out, kids can be teased when classmates spot them with the telltale white band peeking from the top of their jeans. Most kids want to fit in, especially at this age, says Jaana Jovonen, Ph.D., a professor of developmental psychology at UCLA. However, lots of individual differences exist. For some boys and girls, clothes are a huge issue: for others, not so much. And while you might not be thrilled to see your child succumbing to peer pressure so soon, here are some ways to put it into perspective.

He's picking up social skills: Understanding what's desirable within one's peer network is an important social insight. Think about it this way: Wouldn't you rather your child understand what's "cool" v's having no clue?

He's learning planning skills: If your child covets pricey designer duds, there exists a real opportunity to teach him about money management and budgeting. Negotiate some extra chores to earn, say, a pair of expensive sneakers and you'll be building his work ethic.

It opens a dialogue: As with all things parenthood related, you have to pick your battles. That could mean greenlighting a pair of boxers for your son or a slightly padded bra for your daughter, but first find out why it's so important to them. These conversations over small, less consequential matters pave the way for discussions about weightier issues not so far down the road, like drug use and sexual behavior.

You can help him look in the mirror. Talk about what his clothes or accessories might say about him. And discuss why you drive the kind of car you do or carry that particular brand of purse. It will also help you see where your kid is coming from.

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