Picking The Right Battle

I went swimming a few weeks ago. While undressing in the locker room I witnessed an annoyed mother trying to correct her daughter’s terrible taste in fashion.

“No, don’t put the socks under the tights, they are supposed to go over!”

The mother was obviously worried about her daughter looking like a fashion disaster, with her socks under the tights like her daughter probably considered to be the most comfortable, instead of going over the tights, like everyone knows you should keep them unless you prefer to look like a fool.

“It looks much better the other way”, the mother protested.

Her daughter kept objecting and wanted to keep her socks like she originally put them on. That’s when her mother bent down and started to fix the problem herself. In the middle of all the fuss her daughter lost balance and fell to the ground and hit her head.

Her mother showed no expression other than angrily telling her that she needed to be more careful.

And what is the moral of the story?

Yes, dear parents, you need to pick your battles. When communicating with your child you don’t need to approach every situation with the mindset that you know everything best (although in most cases you do).

Does it really matter whether your daughter has her socks under or over her tights? Or if your children really want to have boots on when the sun is shining and everyone is wearing open toe shoes? And if your daughter really desires to put her hair clips on by herself, why not let her, even though it means her hair may get all tangled up.

I have had many similar circumstances with my children. For example, when my daughter was about three years old she suddenly decided that she should never wear matching socks.

Whenever there was a chance of being creative she would always take full advantage. The reason might be that she goes to a kindergarten where all the children wear matching school uniforms — or maybe the reason is just because she is such a great and creative little girl.

I really have no idea what the real reason is, but still today she holds onto this habit.

Often she also likes to have her left boot on her right foot, and the right boot on the left foot. That’s just the way she prefers it and she never complains about being uncomfortable.

She loves wearing dresses during weekends. So when it comes to dancing, then the dress just seems to give something extra to the experience.

Sometimes it’s actually like she has gone climbing up the color-tree and hit all of its branches when going down again. Yet, she is never unstylish in any way. She is just a beautiful little girl. At least that’s my opinion and all the colors do nothing but add more joy to our day.

It’s not good or useful in any way to break down a child’s ability of independent thinking and creativity. On the contrary, we should welcome and encourage them. If our children decide to swim against the current our role as parents should be to lend them a hand and assist in any way we possibly can.

If there is anyone children should be able to count on for support and shelter it should be their parents. But it doesn’t mean all of you have to be one the same form.

I can’t but hope that this certain mother later give better thought to her actions, when she realizes that she actually pushed her daughter over just because of her subconscious ideas on what is right and what’s not when it comes to style and fashion.