As any parent can tell you, raising kids isn’t easy. Even some of the simplest things become serious endeavors when you’re a hardworking parent.
Take your children’s clothes, for instance. Kids are always growing, and their tastes are always changing. They have to get by in school, where other kids can be cruel and the wrong clothes can be a liability. They deserve to express themselves in their favorite styles. But you deserve to save money and have time to rest, instead of constantly restocking your child’s wardrobe and dropping off old clothing at Goodwill.
You need sane solutions for keeping your kids in the right clothes, so here’s what you need to know.
Compromising with kids
You want certain things from your kids’ clothes. You want the clothes to be sturdy and not fall apart after a few wears. You want them to be functional, and you want them to be affordable, especially because kids outgrow their clothes so fast.
But kids have demands, too. They want a t-shirt with their favorite cartoon character on it, right up until they don’t, and then they refuse to ever wear it again! And when it comes to tween clothing, things get even worse. As kids approach and enter middle school, clothing becomes more and more important. You want your kids to be able to express themselves, and you certainly don’t want them to be laughingstocks at school. It may not be right that other kids are cruel about clothes, but you’re in a better position to change your kid’s wardrobe than you are to change the world of adolescent behaviors. But you need to manage your priorities too, so how can you compromise?
For one, you can set the agenda before the debate starts. You can choose certain retailers, and agree to avoid stores that your child doesn’t care for. And lay out certain ground rules before the arguments even start. Give your child a clear idea of what they can ask for before they start asking for it, and be willing to let your child point to some clothes in case they find something you both agree on.
Hand-me-downs are a parent’s friend. The reasons are obvious: if you can use the same clothes twice (or get some free wardrobe additions from a friend or family member), you’ll save money. But kids aren’t always so keen on hand-me-downs. So what can you do?
If you’re crafty, you can update that clothing to make it feel new and hip again, while also making it unique, so that your child can truly say that only they have worn that particular outfit.
Barring that, try the psychological approach. Let kids choose their own hand-me-downs to give them more control, or give them an allowance to show them just how pricey new clothes can be! When it’s their money at stake, they may find a reason to love hand-me-downs.
Know where to shop
No matter how many great hand-me-downs you’re able to get, you’re probably going to have to buy some clothes for your kids at some point. But you don’t have to go broke, so you’d better know where to shop.
One great option is to look for affordable online stores. Because they have fewer overhead costs to worry about than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, many online shops are able to offer lower prices on clothes than the the mall-dwelling competition. And online shops can have great, hip styles that kids like, even (and perhaps especially) the tough-to-find tween clothing you’ve been searching for. With the right online retailer, you could save money and make your kid happy, too.