The power of clothes over us is enormous – clothes affect attitudes and emotions. There are plenty of studies that tell us how. When we – and our kids – wake up in the morning and wear something we enjoy wearing, we’re better people throughout the day.
When we’re looking our best, we feel strong and inspired. We’re more confident and kind. If we put on clothes that don’t fit too well, we are awkward and less energetic.
We may take things personally instead of looking at the big picture. We look for the comfort of baggy pajamas when we’re feeling low and need to blend in and hide for self-care.
Your kids are just as affected by the clothes they wear as you are. Some kids are easily annoyed by the snug elastic ribbing of socks. They’ll do everything they can to tear off the snug parts.
Others love to wear tights and form-fitted clothes. Yet other kids will hold on to their favorite Little Mermaid t-shirt long past its lifespan, and morning dressing rituals will involve tantrums and stubbornness.
Rather than enforcing certain types of clothing on your kids, you could listen to their choices. Having knowledge about what science tells us about the power of clothes can be helpful to understanding these choices.
The Power of Clothes in Action: What Are Your Kids’ Happy Clothes?
We all have our favorite happy clothes. What do your kids reach for before school every morning? If they’re the average three or four-year-old, they’ve just started to try and wrest control and test limits.
Maybe they prefer to wear the shiniest outfits in their closets. Maybe your kid wants to wear their favorite Batman t-shirt to school every single day.
Instead of letting your child’s sometimes irrational choices make you impatient every morning, try and be calm and show them that you respect their choice. If you’re worried about them being too cold, you could always get them to put on layers and tights.
For adults, happy clothes tend to be items that are well-fitted and in solid and bright colors. We tend to have emotional connections with the clothes that make us happy.
Your kids are at an age when you can use the power of clothes for good. Children are yet to forge connections and emotions with their dresses. Now is the time to help them develop positive connections that will build on their self-esteem rather than tear it down.
Instead of graphic tees with toxic subtexts like “boys will be boys” or linking a little girl’s self-esteem to how much she looks like a Disney princess, we can look for inspiring and positive children’s clothing that empowers and builds up their self-esteem.
Keep an eye on the kinds of choices your child is making. Bullied kids or a teen that’s depressed is likely to choose clothes that allow them to blend into the crowd. If your child is choosing bright, colorful clothes, it means they are happy and healthy.
How Can Clothes Send the Wrong Message?
Mainstream girls’ clothes can sometimes send out the wrong message. Shorts for young girls in some stores have significantly shorter inseams that can interfere with them living an active life and feeling comfortable.
Clothes for young girls also tend to be fitted and small, unlike clothes for boys. This sends out the wrong message, and many parents find it hard to shop for their kids.
Because of how small the clothes on the shelves are, many young girls have body image issues by age 7. More than half of young girls think their bodies should be thinner than they are.
They engage in some form of dieting from too young an age. The power of clothes can harm just as it can do good.
In places where there is no choice, clothes have a symbolic effect. Gym uniforms, for instance, are gender-neutral and allow kids to be active and comfortable.
School uniforms in schools that implement them also have an equalizing effect. But where there are no uniforms, the clothes that kids wear can make an impression on others and their attitudes and behaviors.
It’s well known that the more shape and skin we show, the more self-conscious we become. This is because we become objectified and start viewing ourselves through the eyes of the culture we’ve witnessed over the years. And though diversity is becoming more popular, thinness is still sought after in girls.
Young girls at a young age start to monitor their bodies and appearance. The clothes they wear have a significant role to play in how they feel about themselves.
To make sure that your kids don’t let such issues get in the way of their happiness and a wholesome childhood, it’s essential to expose them to non-gendered clothing and clothes that reflect their interests and who they are, rather than what the media says they should be.
What Colors Are Good for your Kids to Wear?
Colors are to clothes what salt is to dinner. But not all colors that your kids wear have the same effect on their moods and attitudes. It’s good to know the colors that make them feel lively or calm them down or impose different emotions on them.
School kids have a lot going on in their lives. Kids are riddled with deep anxiety just like their parents are. How do you calm down an anxious child who doesn’t have the brain development yet to handle stress, fear, sadness, and anger? You can start by dressing her in blue.
Blue helps us to calm down. It’s the color of a cloudless sky, after all. Light pink also makes us feel calm and compassionate. There’s a reason why pastel blues and pinks are the colors of choice in nightwear.
Try to dress your kids in blue or pink before a nerve-wracking interview or a lesson that makes them anxious.
Red is the color to wear when we want to stand out. It’s a bright, exciting color that your child may want to wear when they’re about to do something solo.
Your confident kid may want to wear red to a spelling bee or a science convention if they’re feeling good about themselves. But if your kid is tense or anxious, dressing them in red or giving them a red backpack can make them more restless.
These are some of the color choices that make sense for specific occasions. But it’s better not to force your kids to wear something of your choice if they have their own. They should wear what makes them feel good, as long as it’s weather-appropriate.
This feeling will translate into confidence and calmness, Assertive behavior, or “wardrobe meltdown” as a child is normal and healthy. Your child is still trying to figure out how they fit into the world, and their choice of clothes is a way to differentiate them from you and figure this out.
The Power of Clothes in Color: How Do Kids Use Colors to Express Themselves or Hide?
When kids make color choices for their clothes, they’re expressing their feelings a lot of the time. If a child chooses black, they’re typically trying to make an emotional statement. Sports teams that wear black are doing so to strengthen their defense.
When your child isn’t feeling great, they may want to wear something bright to lighten their mood. When they want to hide what they’re feeling or protect themselves, they may want to wear black. Goth or Emo trends in young kids are often the result of a direct link between moods and clothing.
Of course, the influence doesn’t have to flow one way. Kids usually wear what their mood dictates. But if they wear their favorite color on a day they’re feeling low or afraid or anxious, they can slowly calm down and feel better. That’s the kind of power color has on us, and there are plenty of studies with evidential support.
It’s crucial these days to choose your kids’ clothes with care. Let them have a say in the matter. It is very important to encourage them to wear clothes that send a positive message that builds up their self-esteem and helps them express their unique identity instead of letting them lose themselves in the crowd of gender-stereotyped clothing.
Cute Rascals is committed to designing clothes and nursery decor that sends positive messages to build up a strong, positive mindset in kids. You can start on the same journey by printing out gender-neutral nursery labels that will set the ball rolling for your young one’s journey.
Looking for something cute and funny gift for your child? Check out our collection of baby bodysuits, baby t-shirts, and bibs!
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