Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why I let my 4 year old dress herself

"How long have you let her dress herself?"


Rainbow pattern nightgown, heart pattern pants,
reindeer antlers (this was in October)
- worn to several stores and a playground
"Interesting outfit choice" 


"she's definitely a free spirit"

I hear these a lot in many variations, but all with the same underlying question why do I let her dress herself?

Not going to lie. Sometimes her outfit choices lead to funny looks. Like the time we went to the mall (in July) and people kept giving us funny looks or staring at us. About an hour in I realized the was wearing bunny ears. I was so used to it, that I didn't even notice.

Jean skort, pj top, my sweater- Worn in November
There are times that she rocks nightgowns as daywear and dressy dresses to go for a walk. Some outfits majorly  clash, or involve multiple layers. She may accessorize with fairy wings, bunny ears, or giant flower headbands. She may wear winter boots in the summer and crocs with socks in November.

Why do we let this happen? So glad you asked:

1) It makes her happy-enough said

Not bad, just an interesting accessory choice.
2) Who does it hurt? Yes, it can be mildly embarrassing to hold hands with an apparent hobo-child while out shopping, but otherwise its a harmless situation

3) It's entertaining. The looks alone make me laugh, but also seeing her bound down the stairs in the day's selection makes me grin.

4) She dresses herself without fighting- if you have or have had a preschooler, you know what a big deal this is. Most of the time, Fynn gets up in the morning, dresses herself and is ready to go without a word from Drew or me. I call that a parenting win. Lately this has been harder with the cold weather and some sensory issue flair ups, but letting her control as much as possible has minimized the battles
Paisley dress, puppy-print flannel pj pants and
a leaf pattern headband -worn to a neighbor's house

5) The sensory issues- she has them. They're exhausting. One major reason why we let her choose is because if she picks it, then it feels "right" on that day which means a lot of meltdowns and crying prevented. 

6) She gets bossed around enough. We tell her when to eat or go to bed. We tell her how to behave and what words she can and can not say (aka, don't repeat anything mommy and daddy say when they're upset)... this is one area where she gets to call the shots. As long as it's weather and situation appropriate, I'm cool with what she decides to wear.

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