Heather StewartComment

The Freedom of Choice

Heather StewartComment
The Freedom of Choice

My nine year old and I had an interesting and thought provoking conversation on Friday, with a stranger in a shop. 

While browsing new pants for autumn, I held up a pair and asked him “do you like these? They look comfortable. Will you wear them?” Before he had a chance to reply, a lady who was also browsing said to both of us “oh you have an opinionated one ... my boys wear whatever I tell them to. He sounds like my daughters.”

Angst, frustration, annoyance and displeasure all underlined her tone.

Liam, still silent, remained so. I politely replied “my boys have both always had opinions on what they wear and what they feel most comfortable in.”

The conversation ended there.

Liam finally looked at me, as the lady walked away to continue browsing and said “no, I don’t need those.”

As we walked out of the store, Liam questioned me on why opinions on clothes were a bad thing. Feeling flustered from the energy of the exchange, (anything remotely negative with strangers always leaves me feeling flustered and off) I tripped over a sign and luckily caught myself before ending up on the floor. We both walked on, laughing and deep in discussion on why having a voice and using it are both positive qualities to possess.

How do you feel about children having opinions on the clothing they wear? Do you allow your children, especially older children, choice of what feels most comfortable and what they feel their best selves in?