When it comes to dressing, kids of all ages can be very imaginative. But when they get to their preteen years, learning how to express themselves through their style becomes even more important. At this age, they begin to experience peer pressure – and in order to fit in, they may end up sacrificing their unique way of self-expression. This can lead to emotional trauma and loss of self-confidence and identity. As a parent of a tween, you can help them overcome these difficult times by encouraging them to explore their style safely.
Ask Your Child What They Like
The best way to help your child explore their style is to openly ask them about their likes and dislikes when it comes to dressing up. If you notice that they don’t like some clothes and accessories you bought for them, politely ask them why, in order to understand their sense of style better. Tweens are often unsure about what styles they prefer – and if that’s the case with yours, you can sit down with them and look at some age-appropriate fashion websites or magazines. Please encourage them to point out anything they would wear to see all the styles they might be interested in.
Encourage Style Exploration
Tweens are learning to be independent at a fast pace – which is why giving them a choice in styling themselves fosters happiness and healthy self-esteem. From decorating their room to choosing a backpack, every little decision they can make at this age takes them one step closer to becoming happier adults.
Preteen girls are often better at expressing their style than boys of the same age group. This is because girls usually start experimenting at an earlier age. Most little girls like to paint their nails as a part of a game, and by the time they get to their tweens, they will start wearing nail polish and fake nails as fashion accessories. Fortunately, there are different types of press-on nails for kids out there that can be used to display their unique taste. These nail products come in a wide variety of designs, and since they are pre-glued, they don’t require any harsh chemicals. Your child can use them by themselves and even change them daily while they explore different styles.
Support Your Tweens Decisions
Don’t be alarmed if your tween shows interest in something you wouldn’t see in mainstream stores. Your child could develop their sense of style in a much healthier way if you let them wear unique pieces. You can even take them shopping to a wide variety of shops and see for yourself what vibe they are into. Chances are, they will probably come up with some unusual combinations at first. Again, this is perfectly normal as they are just beginning to learn how to express themselves. However, if you notice that their choices may be inappropriate for their age, encourage them to find an alternative.
Emphasize Artistic Expression
If your child is into arts, they might find it easier to express their fashion style through this medium than words. After all, art fosters creativity and self-expression more than anything else in the world. This can include many different forms of art, from drawing to dancing to acting. Feel free to encourage them to try anything they like so they can explore various mediums and their rich styles. If the child is interested in expressing their creativity through fashion, you can enroll them in age-appropriate fashion classes. Here, they can participate in activities that help them learn about the fashion industry and discover their unique style.
Help Build Their Self-Esteem
Allowing your tween to pick out the clothes, the accessories, and the hairstyles they will wear for the day is a great way to help build their self-esteem. That being said, your child might not know how to choose the items that suit their body shape – which can make them feel awkward and anxious about getting ready. Talk to them about different body shapes and try to help them choose a few pieces for themselves, so they can see what works and what doesn’t. You may also encourage them to tell you how they feel about the clothes they are wearing.
If your tween is struggling to find their style, the best thing you can do to help them is foster their forms of self-expression. Letting them explore their style independently is very important for their healthy development. However, you must not forget to make sure they are choosing a safe path to do so. The best way to do this is by keeping an open line of communication with them by sharing your thoughts and feelings and letting them share theirs.