Stuff Kids Want: Clothes

This is the second installment in our Stuff Kids Want series. Kids want lots of stuff, but almost every kid, from the sportiest Jock to the nerdiest Gamer, at some point in their childhood, asks for clothes and/or footwear. Not sturdy workhorse clothes and shoes – but the frivolous kind: purple rain boots with butterfly wings; gloves with no fingers but a designer logo; sports team jerseys with the mascot du jour on them; jeans that look like someone else wore them for a decade; basketball shoes never meant to be worn to play basketball; and strappy sandals for the prom that likely won’t even stay on her feet until midnight. To add insult to injury, the more bedazzled and impractical the sought-after item is, the more expensive it tends to be. What is a parent to do?

Almost every child asks for frivolous clothing and/or footwear. An annual allotment of weak-DIMS-scoring-purchases tells your children you care about their happiness and personal preferences, but also about their long-term well-being, including their ability to distinguish between wants and needs. By the way, headphones are a hybrid item, part-fashion, part-electronics, and a very personal choice. Don’t even try to pick those out without a completed Gift Survey.

The first time you were asked to make a “recreational” clothing purchase, you might have acquiesced – you were at a Wiggles Concert and what was another $25.00? It was their birthday and you remembered begging your Mom for something, albeit out of the Sears catalogue… But like so many things in life, the slippery slope gets steeper and steeper and before you know it, you look back on a year and realize your family has spent WHAT? on clothes that no longer fit and cannot even be handed-down or repurposed because they are so interest or style-specific that no one else wants them.

If your family is in the habit of completing Gift Surveys before making material (pardon the pun) purchases – you already know how to handle frivolous requests. You likely have an established family rule that everyone gets two or three purchases a year that cannot generate a DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Score of 8/10 or greater. If the child seeking the Justin Beiber lime-green hoodie hasn’t yet used her allotment of weak-scoring purchases, she might be able to go ahead and drop $100 on a sweatshirt you know darn well she will never wear in 6 months time. If she has already made her weak-scoring purchases for the year, she and Justin’s Tour Manager will just have to wait until next year’s fad comes to town.

Simple limits such as an annual allotment of weak-DIMS-scoring purchases are the kinds of things that tell your children, you care about their happiness and personal preferences, but also about their long-term well-being, including their ability to manage money. We think they find the balance warm Authoritative Parents , the kind that studies have shown raise happy productive kids, regularly employ.

Gifting Sense exists to help parents teach their kids to think before they buy. Our free safe service helps make sure that children understand the true value of their requests. As such, it is a perfect tool for families to use when considering clothing purchases that fall outside the realm of necessary and practical selections. When talk of over-the-top denim or slippers sold as snow boots enters the dinner conversation, instead of uttering “UGG” ask your kids to “DIMS SCORE® Calculator” by completing a Gift Survey and see if you can’t get them what they want, while also teaching them the value of a dollar. At Gifting Sense, our True Religion is to help parents do both at once!

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