On a recent visit to her grandparents, my four-year-old daughter Violet decided to wear her favourite skirt. It’s also the most stained, torn and tattered skirt she owns. But I let her.
Same goes for when she opts to wear to kinder a bedazzled long black number with a pink frilly fishtail at the bottom. It wouldn’t be out of place on Toddlers and Tiara’s, but I bite my tongue.
Would I prefer she selects clothes from her wardrobe instead of her dress-up box? Yes.
Do I get embarrassed at her often hideous and inappropriate clothing combinations? Regularly.
Would I change anything? Not a chance.
Some friends who have regular conflicts with their daughters over clothes say they have a responsibility to intervene in order to teach their children what’s appropriate to wear in different situations. Dressing ‘nicely’ is a sign of respect, particularly when children are in the presence of grandparents or attending formal gatherings.
While I can see their point — and yes, Violet’s outfit to visit her grandparents certainly raised some eyebrows — there is a bigger issue at stake.