Sunday, August 10, 2008

Teaching Children Not to Judge a Person by the Clothes They Wear

The beginning of a new school year can be an exciting time. There are new backpacks, new shoes, and new clothes. This is a time when kids compete. It’s also a good time for parents to share a valuable lesson with their children about judging others and compassion.

Kids often don’t know what’s involved in getting them ready for school. They don’t realize what a financial strain it can be on parents.

Children not only need clothes and shoes, but there’s the school supply list to consider. The money needed to get a child started for the school year adds up quickly. If there are two children in the household, the dollar amount doubles. With three children, triple that amount. A parent can become overwhelmed quickly.

Unfortunately, children learn to judge early on. They often judge other children by the brands and types of clothes they wear. Regardless of the saying, the clothes don’t make the man.

A child wearing a tattered pair of jeans and a faded t-shirt doesn’t make him any less important that the child wearing designer jeans and a logo t-shirt.

A health teacher once said, “It doesn’t matter if a person has only one pair of jeans. If that person bathes every day and washes that one pair of jeans every day, they’re just as clean as the person who has five pair of jeans.” I heard my teacher say that when I was in high school. That was a LONG time ago, but it made an impression. How can we pass that kind of thinking onto our children?

Here are a few tips:
  • Talk to your child. Help them understand what compassion is and that they shouldn’t judge other children by the clothes they wear.
  • Explain that some families struggle financially and that there are children whose family can’t afford to buy them new clothes for school.
  • Explain how it makes a person feel when they’re judged because of their clothes.
Teaching a child to be compassionate pays off. It’s easier to learn not to judge at a young age and it’s a lesson that is often carried throughout our lives.

Clip art courtesy of Original Country Clipart by Lisa


Carma's Window said...

Lisa you raise an important issue. Peer pressure is intense for young kids. On the other hand from what I can see from my kitchen window, as kids walk to school, there is not much brand name clothes wearing going on.

Many kids look like they could use some pointers on how to dress neatly. :)

I think it starts in junior high and is more prevelant in girls. Parents really need to teach their children what really matters. I agree.


terri.forehand said...

Great post, and I love your blog. You offer the insight and resources parents need today. '

Keep up the great work.


Theresa Schultz said...

Hi Lisa,

Great post. Mind if I link to it this week? It ties in nicely with what I'm doing for my Back to School theme.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Lisa. The peer pressure can be the most difficult part of back to school shopping process (besides the budget). But I also think the TV commercials and newspaper ads ramp it up to an extreme level. In our house, we had a set budget (not including outerwear because that is expensive in the midwest) and it help tremendously.

As always, you pass along wonderful advise.


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