It’s been a long time coming but N is starting to get fussier about his clothes. I was expecting it earlier given what other parents say about their children choosing their clothes when much younger. But until now N’s been happy enough agreeing to clothes I’ve bought. The only issue we’ve had before is him deciding he won’t wear hoodies (because the hood is annoying when it’s down), and isn’t keen on zip up jumpers – although this is mostly to do with them having hoods.
It seems his independence is really starting to come out now. Age 7, and he’s a lot more outspoken about his views, wants and needs. And can obviously articulate them better as well as trying to negotiate. It starts with clothes.
There are a lot of issues at the moment with him making decisions. The main one being that he agrees one moment. Then when I set out the clothes to wear, he’ll refuse and say he never liked them. Argh. Not so bad when they’re cheap supermarket clothes to be worn on the farm. But when you buy funky cool kids t shirts that you won’t see other children all wearing…
It started with St Berts t shirts. I’ve admired their hoodies and jackets for a while on Collette’s children from We’re going on an Adventure, but I knew a hoody wouldn’t work. But I’d spotted the retro style surf and sun t shirts. Yes, they’d be perfect for summer, pretty unusual, nice and bright, and they’d be perfect for holiday time camping and on the beach. When the t shirts arrived, I showed them to N, he nodded and said yes they’re fine. But when it came to wearing them he tried them on then refused saying he didn’t want them in the first place. Of course this was after the tags had been removed and the packaging thrown out. I was fuming. He will have to wear them camping though because I will pack his clothes and he’ll not have enough options to pick and choose. I think once he’s wearing them, and has had some nice comments from people, he’ll be fine wearing them
But it’s not just clothes he’s getting fussy about. I wouldn’t mind so much, because it’s good he has an opinion. But he needs to give a reason, and understand the benefits and rationale about why items are chosen, before he gets stroppy about them.
The latest was about tennis rackets. He needed the next size up with a larger grip. But of course he refused to come to Oxford with me when I was there, so I had to guess the next size that would be suitable for him. Arrived home and he tells me it’s too big and heavy. Ok, so we’ll nip into town to the sports shop there because he was inbetween two sizes.
We found some junior rackets, but cue N moaning about being in the wrong shop, how there wasn’t choice, they didn’t have racket covers (Wilson, it seems have all of a sudden stopped producing them even for really pricy rackets which seems really strange). Not forgetting him wrongly suggesting the rackets weren’t bigger than his old one. I had to point out everything, all the reasoning and why he should go for the bigger grip. Eventually we agreed on one, and had to face the lady at the till who’d obviously found our conversation amusing.
Then there was the moan about him having to carry it to the car. All ending in him deciding that once he’d played with them both, the first bigger one was just right. Arghhh. At least we can have the other one as a spare if friends come round, but I wasn’t impressed.
It’s made a surprising difference to his tennis game. So maybe it was worth the pain and stress of getting a new one.
I’m sure it’s all N exerting his independence now. He likes to pick and choose. For example, he’s all about keeping me out of his bedroom or bathroom when he’s getting dressed. But then he’s totally lazy about drying himself after a shower. I do his hair and top half, he sorts the rest of him out. I can’t wait until he can get round to doing it himself.
Hopefully if he wants to make more decisions about shopping, he’ll come along in future.
Coping with change to independence:
- Giving him options. Hopefully the options I’ll be happy to do
- Asking several times before buying something and putting the item in context. So ‘where would you wear this?’ to get him to think more before just saying yes, then changing his mind.
- Drag him round shopping so there’s no come back afterwards.
- If he changes his mind later, after tags are removed etc, ask if he’d like to cover the cost. A bit harsh, but might make N think about what he’s answering.
How old were your children when they started being picky about clothes and other things?