Empowering your toddler to express individuality and creativity
Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that our toddlers were only babies. Now they’re sassy, they pick favourites and they’re learning to walk on their own two feet. As parents, it’s up to us to support our toddlers while they grow into their bold personalities.
One of the best ways to encourage self-expression and creativity at this age is through fashion. Letting your toddler choose their own outfits and dress themselves inspires independence, builds gross and fine motor skills, boosts self-confidence and provides a creative outlet.
As our babies grow into children, it is our responsibility to nurture their sense of individuality to prepare them for adulthood. A way to support this is to let them choose their own designs and colours to create an outfit that is unique for them. By extending this freedom, you create an opportunity for them to feel empowered and creative in a safe space. Fashion is a principal way for people of all ages to express their identity. When we allow our toddlers to choose their own outfit, we are demonstrating that we trust them, believe in their capabilities and will support them regardless of how they look.
Teaching children to choose their own attire boosts their confidence as it allows them to show up authentically and dress in the way that makes them feel the happiest. This positive attitude towards themselves will encourage them to grow into authentic adults who are comfortable in self-expression. Furthermore, when we show our children that we trust their capabilities, we are motivating them to feel the same. This leads to children who feel confident in their capabilities and are eager to try new things. Placing our trust in them helps them understand that learning a new skill is possible with practice and persistence. When we treat children as if they’re capable, we are empowering them to try their best at any challenge.
When you empower your toddler to physically dress themselves, you are providing them the opportunity to build their gross and fine motor skills. Getting dressed includes activities such as buttoning their onesie, tightening their bucket hat and zipping up their bag. Not to mention putting those pesky shoes on the right foot! For a toddler, these activities can be super tricky and require a lot of concentration and motor skills. Although they may require help at first, giving them the autonomy of getting dressed is a great way to help them learn these skills. After all, practice makes perfect. The physical task of getting dressed allows children to develop a sense of balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. The more opportunities they have to do physical tasks on their own, the more those muscles and motor skills are reinforced.
Of course, it is expected for your little ones to need lots of guidance and assistance at first. As parents, it is our pleasure and responsibility to help them on their journey to empowerment. So, what is the best approach to introducing more independence? If your toddler is finding it difficult or overwhelming to choose their own outfits, it might be best to establish some guidelines. For instance, making it clear which clothes are accessible for everyday wear as opposed to special occasions. This may be approached through the use of labels or putting special clothes in a different closet. It may also be helpful to ensure the clothes they have access to are weather appropriate according to each season of the year. For special occasions, it is best to have a conversation about what type of attire is most appropriate (e.g., birthday, wedding, etc.) and let them select their favourite option from several outfits you have picked out.
The best way to start introducing autonomy in your toddler’s fashion is to let them choose from options, such as what colours they want to wear or what font is their favourite. This will help them feel empowered to be creative without feeling totally lost. When introduced in a fun way, dressing themselves is a wonderful opportunity to let them gain confidence while expressing themselves in a safe creative outlet. It can also teach them to freely explore colours, patterns and designs that make them feel happy. Letting your toddler choose their own outfits inspires the growth of a capable, innovative and confident adult in years to come.
If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage creativity and individuality in your toddler’s fashion, Airbrush Co. has an extensive supply of custom children’s clothing. This includes a variety of trucker caps, snapback caps, bucket hats and onesies. Each order involves custom styles, colours, fonts and designs. Check out our online store or contact us to get creative with your little one today.