It’s late fall in New England, and it’s quite chilly out. I’d say cold, but I know better. It’s going to get so much colder in the next several months. Still, it’s in the upper 20s or low 30s (Fahrenheit) when the kids get off to school. The way Alfs tries to walk out the door some mornings, you’d think it’s August. Short-sleeved tshirt, shorts, flip-flops.
We’ve had several morning tussles on the topic of clothing. I’ve long since given up on the sweatshirt/coat issue – he’s already lost a couple of sweatshirts this year. I understand that the school building is warm, as is the bus, and there is little to no time to stop at lockers before and after school (the weight of those backpacks and lack of time for lockers is a whole other issue). He’s lost a couple sweatshirts so far this year. But I do feel it is necessary to insist on pants and appropriate shoes. That’s where I draw my line.
On some level, this isn’t necessarily a battle worth fighting. It’s not dangerously cold out, and there’s the theory of natural consequences. I know that cold temperatures don’t predispose to rhino-virus, and so does Alfs, so that argument is out. If he’s cold, he’s cold – he’ll learn.
If Alfs were my youngest, I might just leave it at that. But there is the matter of the younger ones and how they like to emulate their brother. Woody and Sunshine can be so stubborn that fighting the same battle with them would take more energy than persevering with Alfs. It’s picking my battles in a greater sense. I’d rather tussle with Alfs, who is (slightly) more rational, than tussle with Sunshine who definitely is not.
Still meeting dress code
When I was growing up, my school had rules about When one could and could not wear shorts to school – and it was much warmer year round where I lived! I’m sure the Alfs school believes that their dress code of “reasonable and appropriate” attire obviously applies to shorts and flip-flops in December, so there is no need to specify. It would be so much easier if they would! They’ve kept their dress code attention to hats and tshirt content, and for the most part I agree with that more hands off approach. Kids do need to learn some things on their own, and as long as what he is wearing isn’t causing harm or undue risk, he’s not being called into the office.
Not the only one
I used to think that other moms would think I was a bad mother for sending my son off to school inappropriately dressed. I don’t think that any more. I know they are going through the same tussles! One of the arguments Alfs uses is the all-encompassing “everybody” or “nobody” is doing this or that – even though we both know that’s not true. His friends use the same arguments with their parents. The teachers, though? I’m sure they look at the kids some mornings and shake their heads.
I’m sure Alfs and I will continue to tussle over items of clothing. I’ll pick my battles carefully, and encourage him to do the same.Read More:
- Can you trust your teen?
- Keys to the wheels: Safe driving tips for teens
- Confronting your child’s bad behavior