Recently, a school principal’s letter to parents about their clothing choices at morning drop-off, assemblies, Christmas events and Parent Nights has gone viral. The response has surprised me. But then again, maybe it isn’t so surprising after all.
I haven’t heard from very many dads that routinely wear pajamas when dropping off their children at school, and I have yet to see one myself wandering the halls at school, but the outcry from moms is overwhelming! Apparently the right to wear pajamas while dropping kids off at school is one that many women hold close to their hearts. Not surprisingly, the number of moms with issues with high school dress codes seems to outweigh the number of dads with the same issues too.
I’m not a fan of wearing pajamas out to run errands, drop kids off, or to do anything, really, other than sleeping or vegging on the couch in the evening or when I’m sick. But that aside, there are some benefits to getting dressed that I think can apply to any family, regardless of opinions and personal rights.
Getting dressed shows that mom’s self-care is valuable.
Taking care of yourself first is a lesson that all moms learn, one way or another. Taking the time to shower and dress each morning shows your kids that you value yourself, and that they should too.
Getting dressed teaches societal expectations surrounding dress codes.
You would never show up to work in your pink fluffy slippers, and kids need to learn that every job, social situation, and event has a (sometimes unwritten) dress code. Staying within the general “rules” of that dress code gives others a good impression of you, which is especially important at job interviews or in any position that requires interaction with clients or the public.
Getting dressed teaches time management.
While it won’t sink in for younger kids, as they age they’ll start to realize that you’re scheduling in time to prepare for the day by getting dressed. Carving time out of your morning for essentials like getting dressed and basic hygiene is a great way to set an example for your kids in how to manage their own time.
Getting dressed shows respect for others.
Showing up dressed for the day or event shows that you value their presence too. You wouldn’t go to a Broadway show in your plaid pajama pants and hubby’s ratty t-shirt. You’d dress for the occasion as a way of showing respect for the performers and the effort they’ve put into being there. In the same way, dressing for the day shows respect for the teachers you’re leaving your kids with for the day.
Getting dressed gives you control of your day.
Saying that you don’t have time to get dressed makes you a victim of your circumstances. You’re too busy to get dressed because you have 2 or 3 kids to care for. Or you can’t get dressed because you were up late last night with a nursing baby.
Caring for your kids is a wonderful thing, and it’s exactly what your should be doing. However, when we start to blame our kids for things like not being able to change out of our jammies, we make ourselves victims and give up even more control of our schedule. Take back control! Set your alarm (on vibrate, if it’ll wake up your little ones) for 15 minutes before the kids usually wake up. And get up, get dressed, make yourself a hot drink, and take control of the mood and direction of your day! And if they wake up earlier than you expected? Use TV, snacks, special toys, or whatever it takes to give you a few minutes to pull yourself together. The kids are not in control of your day – you are!
I know many won’t agree with my stance on getting dressed, and that’s okay. But I would do believe that the benefits of getting dressed each day are huge, and will make a big difference in how your children see you, and how they conduct themselves in the future.
What do you think of the Principal’s letter to the parents? Do you think it was called for, or did she overstep her bounds?