Buying Back to School Clothing

Are you engaged in the seasonal fight with your kids about exactly what they need to buy in order to start school? If so, you will definitely want to read the article below.
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“But Mom, all the kids will have it.”

What it is will vary from school to school, from child to child. But from the elementary school kids through to high school there will be some clothing trend that your child will believe she desperately needs if she’s going to be accepted in school this year. And I guarantee it will be expensive. Well, except for the kids who are opting for the used clothing look; which is inexpensive but just may be ill fitting, ripped or inappropriate.
What’s a parent to do? You want your child to fit in with the other kids. You don’t want your child to be the dorkiest kid in grade seven. But there are limits. There really are two issues, one is style and the other is budget.
I remember when I was in about grade six and v-neck sweaters and saddle shoes were all the rage (yes I am that old!). My Mom was thrilled. When I had my own kids I recalled that time and understood; this was a style any parent could live with. You need to determine what you can tolerate. If your nine-year-old is asking for clothing that is appropriate for a young adult about to head out to a night club you just say no and let her howl. Your job is to set the standards of her behavior and that includes determining that she leaves the house looking like a nine-year-old, not a clubbing twenty-something.
With young children you can choose the store and identify clothing that is appropriate and fits the budget. Then let your youngster choose pants and tee shirts from a pre-selected group. As long as he has some choice, he will be satisfied.
With older kids it’s more challenging, but the same rules apply. Be clear before you hit the stores about what is and is not acceptable and how much you’re willing to spend. Tell your child that if she wants to buy clothing that is pricier she simply has to make up the difference from her allowance.
Talk to the parents of your kid’s friends. Every group of kids has their own uniform. It’s not a uniform in the accepted sense of the word, but they do set a standard and all dress the same. The difference is that they choose the clothing. If all the parents can agree on what’s acceptable your job is much easier. When they say, “but all the other kids…” you will know better.
I recommend, no matter what your child’s age, that you plan to shop throughout the school year. Styles change and your child will want to stay in step. If he is going to a new school, he really won’t know what the expectations are until he gets there.
Take charge of the standards and budget. Give your child choices and you can make it through yet another school year.


Kathy Lynn


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