It is a balmy late October morning: my 14 year old is wearing his warmest ski jacket, gloves, a scarf and a woolen cap pulled over his eyes. His backpack is weighing him down and he has a vague resemblance to Quasimodo as he walks out the door yelling, “bye Ma!”
It is in the single digits with the wind chill on a dark December morning. My 16 year old is wearing a light fall windbreaker unzipped with no other protection from the elements in view. He towers over me, looks down and thanks me for lunch as he walks out to the bus.
As you can see there are no battles about how my children are dressed when they leave the house. I have long since learned to let them be the judge of their sartorial needs. Too cold? Too hot? Mismatched? I have learned the hard way that family peace is hard to come by when my children are battling me over how to dress themselves. I thankfully learned this particular lesson back when they were in Kindergarten- (after 4 long years of pulling, tugging and tears). Despite my worst fears, my boys didn’t get sick more often than others, or teased about what they were wearing.
From the time children hit the terrible two’s straight through young adulthood, parents are told, “Pick Your Battles”. Two things have always bothered me about that advice: