Hey guys. Guys! Pssssst ...it's almost time for the kids to go back to school. I KNOW! Take a deep breath and act normally. Don't tip them off or they'll start to get surly.
August means it's time to go shopping for the new school year. Of course, that means pens, paper, folders with one pocket (Not two pockets! One pocket!), 20 sharpened number two pencils with erasers, and hand sanitizer. But more importantly than that, August means figuring out the kind of new clothes you are going to choose to put in your kid's closet.
The importance of school clothes can't be underestimated when you're a kid. But it's still important when you are a parent, because what your kid wears on their first day of school tells the rest of the school what kind of parenting style little Jayson or Persimmon deals with at home. Are you into attachment parenting or free-range parenting? Are you lax with the rules or strict? Did you prefer the old Becky on Roseanne or the new Becky? Yes, it gets that detailed.
Here are a few back-to-school outfits, and what they say about your parenting.
1. All J.Crew, All The Time
You’re a helicopter parent by default -- it’s the only way to keep dry-clean only children’s clothes safe. You’re also a master manipulator, because no kid pulls of an advanced maneuver like herringbone with color block shoes on her own. Also, if I’m not mistaken, all of these kids have their hair brushed; there’s a whole lot of bribery going on at home. You have clear expectations (matching) and limits (“I’m sorry snookums, but is that a shirt without a collar?), but within a loving and supportive framework.
2. Free Spirit
Elena Dijour/ Shutterstock
Some might refer to you as a “free range” parent; I call you “realistic” and/or “defeated.” You take your kid to the grocery store in a pajama top, tutu, and scuba mask because life is too goddamn short. Your general response when your kid asks if they can wear something is, “You know what? Go for it. Other parents will understand that I didn’t pick this, and people without kids are dead to me.” This is either your first child, who has a lot of what they like to call “spirit,” or this is your third child. Either way, you’re just glad they’re wearing pants...most of the time.
3. Little Hipster
Allen Noche/ Pintereset
Being a hipster is about caring deeply about what you look like while trying to look like you don’t care at all, and these pants clearly say, “I give not a shit and my kid is super cool because of it.” Passive aggressiveness and the world of pretend are linchpins of your parenting style. Sure, your kid can do their homework whenever, as long as it’s now. You won’t pressure young Atticus to make the best choices, because you want him to be an independent thinker of thoughts that are only awesome ones. When it’s time for the school bake sale, yes, you’re going to bring in a box of Twinkies. But you’re not going to tell anyone that you had to go to three different stores and finally ended up buying them at Target. Your life is exhausting.
4. Pseudo Tough
Vittoria Danese/ Pinterest
The world is messed up, kid. Now get into your organic percale bedding and go night-night. Hell yes, you’re all about teaching your kids tough life truths and exposing them to speed metal, as long as that Metallica t-shirt is made from organic, fair trade cotton. Also, you own two cars but you take your kid to school on the bus, because fuck the man. You believe in being brutally honest with your kids, and you want their clothes to show that they understand that the world is cold and dark until we are released by sweet death. Yes, your kid is going to be a bad ass just like you. And you’re going to go buy them a Jack Kerouac novel just as soon as you’re done eating your Cinnabon.
5. Mini Me
There’s a parenting style called, “narcissistic parenting.” If you dress yourself and your three children in the same outfit on a regular basis, then that, my friend, is all you. You believe a family should be a unit, and by unit you mean like a pallet of waffles from Costco: identical, and packaged closely together. Some might say it’s time for you to cut the cord, but you just love your kids...a lot. Like, a lot a lot. They do no wrong because they are you. You are them. Your strength as a parent is your love for your kids. Your weakness? Boundaries.