Why you should let your kids dress themselves

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Don't sweat the small stuff and let your kids choose their own clothing

When your child turns 3 or 4, it’s normal for them to start questioning your judgment. Most of the time, of course, you should have the last word, but when it comes to clothes, we can afford to give our kids a little leeway.

“This is the age when children start stretching their wings and look for a little control over their lives,” parenting coach Lisa Bunnage tells Today’s Parent. “But this really is the ‘small stuff’ when you look at the big picture of parenting. I don’t think what kids wear is ever in the ‘big stuff’ department, unless they want to go skiing in a bathing suit.”


Just like you have your own tastes when it comes to clothes, your child also has his own likes and dislikes. Listen to what they like and try to accommodate them.

Letting your kids choose what they want to wear will likely have them dressing in the strangest things. We’re talking tutus, tiaras, dinosaur suits, the works. But don’t worry—this is usually temporary. By the time your child enters first grade, she will be faced with more peer pressure to fit in and dress like her peers. You should enjoy these brief years of unabashed self-expression.

As they dress themselves, they’ll develop their own tastes. You might not like it, but remember that your own parents probably had a few things to say about your own wardrobe choices as well!

Does letting your kids dress themselves sound like too much of an ordeal? Click to the next page to find out how to make dressing up a painless task.

Beauty & Fashion Lifestyle