November 12, 2018 | By: Family to Family Network
I’ve always wanted my son to have the freedom to dress how he wants. I really try to keep an open mind and to keep my mouth closed. He is respectful, nice to others, and works hard at his job. Shouldn’t that be enough?
When we go out, my son doesn’t care if his clothes match. I will tell him that the shirt doesn’t match the pants. His answer will be that he doesn’t care. Sometimes, I let it go because at 23 years old, he has the right to look the way he wants.
However, I recently had plans to meet a group of friends for dinner, and my son was joining us. When it was time to get ready, I told him to change either his pants or his shirt. As usual, his answer was, “I’m fine.” I told him again to change, and he became frustrated with me. He told me again that his clothes were “fine.”
I explained to him that if he wants to dress that way around the apartment – that’s fine. But if he wants to join my friends and me at a nice restaurant, I was not going to have him dressed in clothes that didn’t match. I would be embarrassed.
My friends accept us for who we are but dressing appropriately is a sign of respect and maturity. Plus, you never know when you’ll meet new people - and first impressions are very important.
My son must have recognized the determined tone in my voice. He changed his shirt.
I realize that as parents, we have to decide when it’s important enough to stress specific issues with our kids. You can’t argue about everything, and the older our kids get, the more decisions they should be making for themselves. But I also believe that as parents, our feelings and opinions should be respected as well.
I am proud of my son and love having him go places with me. But sometimes, appearances do matter. The next time my son goes out with me, I believe he will pay more attention to what he wears. I truly hope so, because it is important that he presents himself as the mature and handsome young adult that he has become.
Knowing how to dress appropriately for work and certain social situations is an important social skill for teens and young adults. Visit Texas Project FIRST for Social Skills & Relationship Resources http://texasprojectfirst.org/node/241. Help your child build their independence and skills for their future.