Opinion Column

Stop nagging and let your boys wear shorts In winter

By Bianca Bujan

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Kids go through all sorts of wardrobe woes as they grow from toddler to teen. When my oldest was two, she would only wear dresses. Frocks were in, pants were out. Anything with tags elicited an immediate tantrum. Anything blue set her off. Every morning was a drawn-out, full-blown battle as I persistently persuaded her to put on her snow boots, or zip up her jacket.

As she grew older, of course, her fashion choices became less fussy and more weather appropriate.

My son was equally as picky when it came to choosing his clothing during his early years. Everything was “too tight” or “too itchy.” He went a whole year wearing only hoods on his head like a cape — every day. No matter how hard I tried to get his arms into the sleeve holes, they’d pop back out and he’d “fly” away from me like a belligerent Batman fleeing his foe.

When he was in Kindergarten, my son decided that he would no longer wear pants — ever. He refused to wear them in favour of shorts, regardless of the season.

For months, I fought the daily morning battle, wrangling him into pants as he kicked and screamed.

And then one day, I simply gave up. I waved my white flag and walked away unscathed (except for maybe a slightly-bruised ego).

I soon realized that I wasn’t just forcing him into pants because I was worried that he’d catch pneumonia while bearing bare knees, I was doing it because I was worried about what other parents would think if they saw him dressed inappropriately for the weather. Surely they’d spot his exposed shins as he strutted past them on a snowy day and conclude that his parents are unfit.

I decided to stop caring about the opinions of others and pick my battles. I let him wear shorts, and relied on the weather to persuade him otherwise. And you know what? It worked. As the temperatures dropped, so did his defiance.

I try to balance his wavering wardrobe with warm hoodies, toques and gloves on winter days, and allowing him to wear shorts seems to make him more willing to compromise.

When kids are little, it makes sense to push proper attire, but as they grow older, let them have more say in what they wear and when they wear it.

If your son insists on wearing shorts on a brisk day, let him. In the end, natural consequences will set him straight.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and content marketing Queen Bee. She tweets at @bitsofbee and blogs at bitsofbee.com.