Thursday, August 24, 2006

School Clothes

Lots of the blogs I read have discussed school clothes lately, whether "new" clothes are needed, how much to spend, etc. Since my oldest are new to the "official" school system - kindergarten - this has me thinking about this topic.

My mom grew up very poor and remembers clearly how mean other kids were to her because she was not dressed nicely, consequently, she always had me dressed to the nines. Going school shopping was a big deal and we always made a big deal of it and spent quite a bit - more than we should have actually. Now, what do I do...

I must admit that I have LOTS of cute clothes for my kids, and CM always has her hair done nicely and they are both looking fairly adorable all the time. Part of this is because of how I was raised and part of it is that I know kids can be mean, for lots of reasons. Let me explain further and why I am wondering about my motivation and if I am a bit over the top.

We live in a small rural community, but both work in metro areas. We live out here because of the quality of life, low crime, larger house = smaller price, etc. However, one of the down sides is that people here are very HOMOGENEOUS. Our kids are THE racial diversity in this community. We know that and accept it. We have rationalized it that everyone has something that makes them different and if we have issues, we will deal with them as they come. But, I am wondering if I don't overdo it on the clothes and appearance because I don't want them to have a "social strike" against them that might set them up as a target for mean kids. Now, I know that I would dress whatever child of mine nicely, but do I go that extra mile because they don't look like the other kids??? I don't know.

Now, in our defense, the inside is more important than the outside, and that is a huge focus of our family. We are trying to develop and raise these mini people into good adults and compassionate humans, that is our goal. Our goal is NOT to raise the cutest outside appearance people who are shallow and self-absorbed, far from it. So I hope I am not giving that impression. We talk about other people, their needs and how we should treat others. They pray for others in need and we even discuss current world events. We have cereal day where we eat cereal for supper and donate our $ to a cause of their choosing. We honestly are trying to raise good people.

I just wonder if my actions will effect them in the future in terms of outward appearance? Hubster and I dress up for work so they see us dressed up as well.

Thoughts? Does anyone else, especially those who have adopted internationally, considered this topic?

Just pondering...

Have a good one,

1 comment:

D said...

You know CC, I used to look at it as just financially motivated, but I really believe that school clothes are involved even deeper.

How do I put this nicely, kids are mean and cruel. When my son went to kindergarten he came home saying he needed "Air Jordans". I didn't even know what that meant. I don't think we looked at any time of name brands until middle school, so I was shocked. Especially when you think I live in a small town.

I am wandering, let me just say - I think that the damage that kids can do to one another far outweighs the expense that we have to carry. I still have memories of kids that picked on me. If I can save my kids from just one experience, I will. This doesn't mean I buy the most expensive clothing, but they always will look great or at least have the ability to.