Ever encountered the term 'dopamine dressing'? As the world powers forward from the gloom of the pandemic, fashion is giving the world more reasons to smile with a newfound focus on positivity and good cheer. While it has been known for a while now that your clothing affect how you and even your kids feel, there is, in recent times, an increased emphasis on deliberately crafting clothing that carries happy vibes with the world in desperate need of reasons to smile.
If that happy vibe is how adults feel with their clothing, think of how much more relevant this would be to affect your kids! That mini-me outfit you had specially made for your little one may be making them feel restricted and powerless rather than free and joyous.
Here's a quick look at how clothing affect kids and their moods so you can pick just the right ones for your kids – the ones that bring on those happy smiles!
1. Clothes can put kids in a happy mood.
Have you ever noticed your child pick out that one special tee every time they are in a particularly cheerful mood? It may be that they had received compliments when they wore it or have other happy memories associated with it.
But it is also true that what you wear is not only a reflection of how you feel but can also shape how you feel. Pay attention to the colors and designs that seem to affect them so you can stock up and help them get those happy vibes every day.
2. How they dress can affect focus in kids.
Just as a shiny fairy costume can distract a small child from any other task on hand, what they wear can also help them improve their sense of focus. In adults, it was seen that wearing a doctor's coat encouraged them to pay more attention to what they were doing.
You can bring about a similar sense of focus in kids by picking out clothes they associate with responsibility and power, for instance, in colors that remind them of someone they look up to or prints that bring to mind someone they admire.
If they are helping out in the kitchen, let them have a little apron like the one you wear; if they are helping out in the garden, maybe a coverall like they have seen a parent wear will help them apply themselves to a task.
3. How to pick clothes that make kids better thinkers
Who does your child think is intelligent and powerful? Pick out clothes that can mirror that person to help them apply their minds at a far greater level. If the child has a role model, the way they dress may be a subconscious trigger to be like them.
A grey t-shirt in the mode of Mark Zuckerberg, for instance. Clothes can create an impression on others and shape the wearer's perception of themselves. If they are wearing clothes they think an intelligent person would wear, it encourages them to be more innovative.
4. The right clothes may inspire your kids to play more.
It is seen in adults that wearing the right gym clothes inspires them to spend more time working out. The same can apply to children with the simple device of play clothes. Have a separate set of clothes, especially for playtime.
Over some time, just slipping into those clothes may give children the happy vibes and energy boost a good round of the playground can provide. Make sure they fit comfortably and are in bright, vibrant colors.
5. Uniforms are not a bad idea for children.
Children get attuned early to appreciate the service done by people in uniform. From military services to health professionals or the police force, they see that people in uniform carry out essential and complex tasks.
For this reason, schools that have a prescribed uniform may find it a tad easier to keep their kids motivated and active. Being in uniform signals to something inside them to behave in a way they associate with responsibility and discipline.
6. Bright and sparkly may not all be wrong.
Most children go through a phase of wanting to dress like their favorite animation characters. Be prepared for lots of bling, sparkle, and unicorn ears. Don't say no – let them have their fun.
All you need to do is talk to them about how that would be an excellent idea for a play date but not necessarily for more formal occasions. Children will pick up early on what looks good on them, and they will eventually opt out of clothes that make them be perceived as 'clownish.'
In case that is the direction in which their sensibility tends, allow them that freedom. After all, clothes should ultimately make the child feel good about themselves irrespective of what others think.
7. How the colors in clothing can affect children's moods
Colors have an impact on how we feel, and this is especially true for kids. Right now, even adults are indulging in color bursts on their clothing, with fashion making a detour into the psychedelic side of the palette.
Forget the 'blue for boys; pink for girls' mandate for kids' clothes. Kids' clothing should be about cheery, favorable, life-affirming colors and messaging.
Red is generally perceived as a high-energy color that could also stimulate hyperactivity and aggression. Yellow has a solid place in kids' clothing as cheery and bright. Green and other natural colors are said to have a calming effect.
Do not be afraid to experiment but watch for your child's response and take cues from how a new article of clothing makes them feel or behave. Go for the color range that makes them seem to come alive and appear confident and cheerful. Soft pastel colors with joyful and confident messaging will encourage your children to be their best selves.
How far should you allow your child's tastes to dominate their choice of clothing?
Pretty far! You may not agree with their selection at all times, and there may be times you find that they pick the most inappropriate dress for an occasion. Start by letting them choose what to wear all on their own.
Perhaps when you are browsing for kids' clothes online, you could have them sit with you and point to the ones they like. Then start laying specific ground rules – for instance, no swimwear for a picnic in the park.
Children are quick to understand plain and simple rules. The next step is to lay out a selection for them to choose from. This way, you can ensure they are not entirely out of action with what you have in mind or what the situation requires.
But the freedom to choose will go a long way in making them feel happy and confident, which will reflect how they conduct themselves.
How far should you allow your tastes to dominate your child's dressing style?
The older they grow, the lesser! Picking out a baby onesie is all you, but as soon as they start expressing their opinions, you need to give more space for their interests in their wardrobe. Of course, there will be a lot of disagreement and perhaps some discomfort with each other's tastes, but you will be able to guide your child without imposing your sensibility on them over the years.
The more value you give to their opinion, the more willing they will be to listen to you as well. Ultimately, clothing is such a personal choice that parents cannot be dictators in this regard. As discussed above, clothing does have a significant impact on the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us, so you will have to find it in yourself to let your children dress in a way that best fits their perception of themselves.
'Dopamine dressing,' or the idea that colors can affect how you feel about yourself, is a concept that has been growing in the fashion industry in recent years. Bright, cheery colors – perhaps in a range you have not considered wearing before – is just what the doctor ordered in uncertain times!
Allow your child to feel confident and optimistic by picking out clothes that let them feel cheerful and free. Picking out the perfect kids' clothing does really affect kids!
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