Wishing my daughter better appreciated the clothes we buy her

School starts next week for my kids. And as always, I take the beginning of August as a time to go through all their clothes to determine what they have outgrown or what they simply no longer like. I often do this also in April as we gear up for the summer. (We are in Texas, and they are already wearing shorts and tees by February or March.)

My kids dread this time as often I make them try on anything that might be too small. I dread this time as I see them discard item after item that they begged me to buy but rarely wore. In fact, I finally had it with Lexie and told her that I was going to stop buying her clothes altogether.

Yes, I went a little overboard. And of course I don’t mean it. But it is tough to see almost brand new outfits discarded. It is one thing if it was worn many times, and she finally outgrew it. But these are items that we bought at the beginning of summer.

And I understand that tastes change. An Inside Out T-shirt may no longer be popular or the fad of wearing Anna and Elsa has fallen to the wayside. Tastes change, and she is growing up.

It isn’t like I have never bought a shirt and then later decided I didn’t like it as well as I thought or the shoes weren’t as comfortable as they were in the store. But the amount of clothes Lexie, in particular, gets rid of is ridiculous.

I have bought her three pairs of shoes to find that she ends up wearing the same pair every day. She begged for the others too, but they don’t get worn. At the beginning of this month, we got rid of 10 pairs of shoes. About four of those wore worn a lot but many of the others – including a pair of sandals she just had to have in June – were barley worn.

She finally parted with most of her dresses in her closet. She rarely wears them. I think she likes the idea of pretty dresses and certainly loves shopping for them. We bought one with her Gramme for our cruise last year, and I know she didn’t wear it on the cruise. Lexie went shopping with her Nana once and came home with several cute dresses that may have been worn only once. They were far too dressy for school, and we hardly dress up to go out to dinner. Some of them would have been appropriate Easter dresses if we attended Easter services.

Now I guess I shouldn’t be too upset since it wasn’t my money that was spent on these items. But it feels like such a waste, and it feels like I am teaching her the wrong thing. I am teaching her that items are so easily disposable. (We donate them to the children’s shelter.) I mean it is great that we can buy her whatever she wants, but I would like her to value it and appreciate it.

Both kids have the tendency to buy things because they want to make someone happy. Nana loved buying her those dresses. Gramme enjoys taking the kids back to school shopping and won’t say no to items like I will. And I love that both sets of grandparents want to help out. I just don’t want the kids to say yes to clothes that they don’t want to wear.

And it isn’t like I don’t ask them when we are purchasing these items. I usually ask two or three times – “Are you sure you like this?” and “You will wear this to school, right?” Last time I went shopping with Lexie I urged her to only buy the outfits she loved. She couldn’t just like them. I started doing this myself years ago. If I don’t love the outfit, it stays at the store. Now to get the kids to do the same thing.

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