Practical Parenting: C is for

C-is-forCOUSINS play an interesting role in ones life – depending on where we live in relation to our broader family. They are like sisters and brothers but somehow bring an additional dimension of innate connection! And for my family cousins often meant an ongoing swapping of clothes… both a helpful (for parents) and exciting (for children) activity. Yet still the topic of clothes is never a simple one; particularly for children.

CLOTHES seem to bring challenges from an ever increasingly young age! As parents, we want our infant to look the cutest, the prettiest, the smartest! However, putting fashion aside for a moment, it is more important to be aware of body temperature and comfort – and the ease with which we can dress and undress our little ones! The more fuss we make about clothing in the early months, the more conscious they will be come as they move into toddlerhood.

I have worked with parents who think their toddler of 20 months should choose their clothes and then cannot bear the fuss and bother of the choosey four year old, not realizing that they set themselves up for this morning headache!

Young children get overwhelmed when there is too much choice – so to manage the morning rituals with the minimum fuss, remove the out-of-season clothes (i.e. pack away winter clothes out of sight while we are in summer). Then from around the age of two, or when your child seems to pay any specific interest in what he/she is wearing, offer two options for a t-shirt e.g. red or blue and the same for shorts. Have one pair of essential sandals – so when asking your child to put on shoes, it is clear what shoes he should be using. The one pair that belongs to him! While this might be going for a minimalist approach from the parents’ perspective, it is giving your child clear limited choices, which is what he is wanting – to know where the boundaries are and what is allowed or not allowed, is creating a safe space in which choices can be made. Otherwise we paralyse our children through overwhelming them with choices and the response will be “I don’t know”. With limited choices they can work out what they want, or like best with ease, creating confidence in their choices at a young age enables them to grow in confidence and verbalize their needs, likes and dislikes with clarity. These are important skills to build on a solid foundation as they move out into day care, and school.

Apply the same approach to a toy shelf or play room – pack away some toys so your child can see the games and toys to choose from. Rotate the toys weekly or monthly and it is like having Christmas every time, as he (re)discovers toys and enjoys playing with them all over again!

About parentcoachsa

Steph has over 30 year's experience working with families to design child care solutions and supporting parents to be the best parents they can be. In addition she has worked with corporates to find work-life balance solutions for their staff. As a practitioner I have become increasingly aware that work-life balance has become a critical issue, particularly in an age in which the demands of work are often at odds with home and family life. I am passionate about family life, it is the catalyst for every other relationship we have - in every other area of life, we expect to study, get a qualification, try something on appro , we want to feel in control - however it is the one area of life, that none of the above applies - Babies do not arrive with a parenting manual! It is my privilege as a Parent and Life Coach, to partner with you as you take hold of the challenges you are facing in your family, in your life and work with you , supporting you to achieve the decisions and outcomes you are choosing for your family and for your life. It is my job, to keep you on track, to cheer you on, when the "going gets tough". Through coaching, understanding of yourself and your child, and his or her phase of development will enable you to consciously develop a parenting style that will benefit you and your family.
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One Response to Practical Parenting: C is for

  1. Ashly says:

    my son is two and all he cares about in terms of clothes is what socks he wears! lol. Hopefully he stays that laid back for years to come.

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