Not that you asked, but as this is an epic battle I have witnessed countless times, I thought I’d weigh in on the Forcing-Your-Kid-To-Wear-A-Coat issue.
I’ll cut to the chase: I say don’t.
Kids don’t get sick from not wearing a coat. Catching a winter virus is a result of being in close contact with someone already infected, not from exposure to cold air. Usually the worst that comes from going coatless is discomfort, which eventually will work in your favor toward coat wearing. Except have you noticed kids don’t often complain about being cold? My motto: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Generally speaking, boys are the bigger offenders here. I dropped my daughter off at middle school last week on a frigid day. As we sat in carpool line we noticed NOT ONE boy wearing a jacket. Each and every one wore a hoodie. Many of them wore shorts. Oh well. They’ll put on jeans when it’s a snow day and there is the promise of sledding. Our sons don’t wear long pants or jackets to fit in with their crowd. So what? We parents complain about our sons not dressing warmly to fit in with our crowd. We don’t want the other parents to think we are ignorant or negligent.
Let’s agree not to judge the parent whose kid is standing at the bus stop in 30 degree weather as if it were June. That kid will someday put on dress pants, a sweater, and a winter coat before heading off to his job at the bank or hospital. Until then, this is the mildest of rebellions and one I’m happy to ignore.
Final thought: If you’re interested in this topic, NPR did a four minute piece on Why Kids Hate To Wear Coats about 6 years ago. You can listen here.
Michelle is our resident middle school expert and creator of the website Michelle in the Middle. Along with reading her blogs here every Friday, you can hang out with Michelle on Facebook and on her website, Michelle in the Middle.