It’s almost time to start shopping for back to school clothes for your kids. If you have younger children, this can be a pleasant experience, but for parents of teenagers, it can also be anything but pleasant. Too often what was intended to be a positive trip turns into an out-right war zone with your kids.
If you’re a parent dreading this annual end-of-summer tug-of-war, then take a deep breath. Don’t just rush out and hope all will go smoother this year. Someone once said that insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results. So make some needed changes this year.
This time, have a plan. Here a few guidelines to make shopping for back to school clothes with your teenager better than you expected.
*First, take out all their old clothes and decide which ones are keepers. Too often we go along with our kids, assuming because it’s a new school year, all the old clothes are taboo. But, by agreeing that you need all new stuff, you’re setting them up to be greedy. In other words, let them know that some of their old outfits will work just fine for this year. Perhaps a few repairs and mending can be done to spruce up an old jacket, etc. This will teach them to economize when they start their own families one day.
*Determine your clothing budget before you go shopping. Say, “we’re spending “x” amount of dollars for new clothes this fall—that’s what we can afford from our family budget. Get a copy of the school dress code so there’s no disagreement on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. If your kids are older teens, drop them off at the mall and let them pick out their own clothes. This allows them to watch their dollars as they only have so much money to spend.
*If your kids insist on expensive trendy clothes that go beyond your clothes budget, let them know what you will and won’t pay for. In other words, if they want $100 sneakers, then they must earn the extra money to pay for them. Chances are, once they work for it, they probably won’t be so eager to blow it on designer tennis shoes.
*Note that some stores, such as Marshalls, carry good trendy clothing at discount prices.
*When you pick them up from the mall, go through their bags and if they’ve made wise choices, celebrate with a back-to-school lunch together. On the other hand, if they’ve crossed the line on the school dress code, insist they must take back their midriffs and tank tops and make wiser selections, or there will be no lunch if they give you a hard time
*And, why not shop online together? if you’re sure of your child’s size you can .avoid the crowds and the embarrassment of a parent-teen “discussion” about what to wear in public. Online shopping for back to school clothing and supplies is growing even more popular than ever with all the demands of time facing today’s family. What’s more, you’ll save on gas.
With these suggestions (and others) , hopefully you can turn what was once a nightmare trip into an enjoyable one with everyone leaving the mall with smiles on their faces, instead of tears.