Dressing Your Children for Cold Weather

Boys in Shorts (stock photo)My son and I had a bit of a debate this morning about appropriate clothing for the weather: It was 15F when we left for school and it’s not forecast to get above about 25F today. He had on a thin long-sleeve shirt with a t-shirt underneath, no coat, no hat, no gloves. I suggested, rather firmly, that it was probably not appropriate for the weather and he added a hat and a decent, though not heavy, winter coat.

Then on the way to school we saw a boy walking along the side of the road wearing shorts and with wet hair. And looking absolutely freezing, with a red nose and red cheeks. “Sheesh, that’s a boy whose parents don’t help him get dressed in the morning!” I say, and my son grunts.

We needed to grab some fruit to add to his lunch, so we popped into the local market and what did we see in front of us in the checkout line but another boy also dressed in shorts. And his Mom standing next to him, chatting away.

Yup. So it’s not that the boy needed a parent to help him dress appropriately for the weather — pneumonia is not fun! — but that his Mom needed to be more aware of his outfit and its health-threatening inappropriateness for the weather.

I didn’t say anything, however, because, well, because it’s not my son and I don’t like to stick my nose in other people’s business. Perhaps their deal is that he can wear whatever he wants, but he then has to suffer through the natural consequences of dressing inappropriately?

In any case, it did make me realize just how lucky my children are to have a Dad who is so connected that he’s willing to get into a small argument to ensure that they are warmly dressed on a cold morning. To me, it seems like parenting 101, but apparently not…

5 comments on “Dressing Your Children for Cold Weather

  1. While I am a bit lenient in allowing our children to pick out their own clothes, I will step in if I think it’s “too” far off. I’m willing to let the older kids be a bit uncomfortable by not dressing warm enough, but I’m not going to let them get sick over it. I don’t think “if there’s snow on the ground, you’re going to wear long pants and a winter coat” is unreasonable. 🙂

  2. I wear flip flops until we get at least three feet of snow. Unless it’s way below zero, you won’t see me wearing my winter coat. But I’m an adult. That’s the choice I make for myself. My kids always have on jackets, boots, hats, etc. while under my thumb. However, my son is fifteen years old and just like his mom. I will battle him, if need be, but for the most part, I’m lenient with him. He can get away with shorts, as long as he has on socks, shoes and a long sleeve shirt with a sweatshirt. It’s not like I’m going to be nagging him on what to wear his entire life, so at some point, he needs to make his own decisions and deal with the consequences. But if there’s snow on the ground or it’s way below zero? My word is law. I don’t care if he’s ninety!

  3. Having spent 2 years away from Colorado, I’m rather amazed at just how little clothing people can wear in winter and still survive. It is cold here in Colorado, and it’s better for the body to be assisted in it’s desire to keep your core somewhere around 98 degrees. Good job doing the tough thing and helping him make a decision that will have everyone feeling better all the way around.

  4. Thank YOU!! I have seen this one to many times and am appalled that Parents are so oblivious to what is appropriate for their children whether, it is with clothing, consequences or just being to lazy to even interact with their kids!! Thank you for being a parent that truly cares about there child’s well being!!

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