It is that time of year again! Time for back-to-school shopping in an attempt to find some fresh new clothes, shoes, backpacks, and lunchboxes. While many parents take their children with them for this outing, the younger the child is, the less control they give their child in picking out their clothes and back-to-school supplies. This same trend occurs when letting their child pick out their outfits each morning. Parents are concerned that sending their child out in an unmatched outfit may result in some questionable stares from the other parents. In reality, allowing your child to pick out their clothes helps build self-esteem, encourages self-expression, independence, and creativity, and makes them feel comfortable and confident to be themselves. Isn’t building up those feelings of confidence much more critical than matching?
If you aren’t ready to relinquish total control of the entire outfit just yet, take baby steps until you can leap entirely. Start with individual accessories that allow your child to choose their preferred color, style, or pattern. These pieces can include shine leggings, a hairstyle or hair accessory, a backpack or lunchbox, or even a pair of shoes and socks. Letting them pick out and wear the item of their choice will allow them to express themselves at school and have your child exuding confidence throughout the entire school year.
1. Leggings that Pop
If you aren’t feeling comfortable enough to let your child pick an entire outfit, try starting with one piece of the outfit. Shine leggings are incredibly comfortable and durable, making them great for active kids of all ages. Even better, shine leggings have a fun, shiny sheen that makes them pop regardless of what color or pattern your child may prefer. They can go highly bold with prints such as glitter zebra or leopard neon rainbow splatter to show off their love of animals. For sports fans, one pair of shine leggings has ombre soccer balls. Or they can keep it safe but show off their love of pink with a solid color pair of shiny leggings. Allowing them to show off what they love through their leggings will boost their confidence, and they’ll love knowing they have something unique that most students may not have discovered yet. As an added benefit, they may even start a new trend at school of shine leggings!
2. Endless Options for Hair Accessories
One of the great things about allowing your child to express themselves with hair accessories is that no decision is ever permanent. Allowing them to change their hairstyle daily with a different accessory creates endless opportunities. There are many ways to style hair with bows, headbands, scrunchies, ribbons, and clips! Even better, you can purchase each of those accessories in various styles, colors, and patterns. Giving your child the control to choose their hair accessory will give them the feeling that they are deciding how they will look each day. That’s a powerful feeling from something that, in reality, is so small. So let them sport the glow-in-the-dark headband if that’s what they want. They’re only young once!
3. Spice up Their Backpack and Lunchbox
Ask any child in school – finding the perfect backpack or lunchbox is no easy feat. These are as much of an expression of how your child wants to present themselves, just like a woman may spend a lot of time picking out the perfect purse. It goes far beyond color, pattern, or style with backpacks and lunchboxes. It’s all about the pockets, space, and compartments. It may be uncomfortable, but as long as it looks cool and holds everything they need, that is all that matters. Plus, it is something they will carry with them throughout the entire school year, so they might as well love it!
4. Shoes and Socks
While it is not cheap to purchase the most extravagant shoes for a child who seems to be constantly growing, if it helps get their school year off on the right foot, then it is well spent. Let their spirit run wild, whether it’s a pair of tennis shoes, boots, or sandals. Let them buy the multi-color shoes; they’ll match everything and make your job of dressing them a little easier.
Socks are the cheaper way to go, but they still offer the opportunity to express their style. Whether they prefer knee-high or no-show socks, it’s still all about the color, style, or design. Let them show off their favorite movie or band, or you can take it further by ordering custom socks with their pet’s face! They’ll appreciate you letting go after they receive their first compliment about their awesome socks, which evolved into a conversation, and then their first friend of the year.
Letting go and letting your child express themselves at school doesn’t require anything permanent or expensive. If you are not comfortable going all in, start small with a pair of socks, leggings, or some hair accessories. You will reap the rewards when your child comes home from each day of school feeling more confident with rising self-esteem. And that’s something you just can’t put a price on!