Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reasoning with a Rag-A-Muffin (A Follow-up Post)

Last month I wrote the post Raising a Rag-A-Muffin, which laid out the bad dressing habits of my newly turned 6 year old.

I explained how my son, much to my avail, dressed like a Rag-a-muffin every day for school. I believe the exact description I used was:

"...full on rag-a-muffin style: mismatched clothes with uncombed hair, holes in the knees of his pants (that I've patched and replaced and he STILL picks the ones with holes) and nasty little boy shoes. The Works."

And, despite my many attempts to change it (persuasion, bargaining, and bribery), there just seemed to be nothing I could do about it.  

I was fated to be the mom with the messy, smelly kid.

And through this post I was thrilled to learn that I was not the only mom faced with such a destiny.

You all had so many great stories and some great advice for me!

Such as reminding me that it's good for my son to not care about other peoples opinions. And to let him just be happy and healthy, and also giving me the idea to just staple a sign on his back that says, "I dressed myself today" (which if all else fails I'm DEFINITELY doing).

So, because of everyone who took the time to reach out and respond to my dilemma I just knew I had to up-date you on the dressing devastation at the Larios household.

Which has actually, through many hours of plotting and planning on my part, greatly improved.

I got the idea from Andrea at be-quoted and Lisa from Notes from the Shallow End to pick out two outfits and let him choose which one he'd like to wear that day (or the next day because we pick out our clothes the night before).

And I have to say as wonderful as that idea was (and for a normal child may work) my son didn't go for it.

The little brat He would see something I grabbed for one outfit, go to his drawer and pull out something (sweats, holey shirt, or whatever was grimy enough to catch his attention) that he wanted to wear with it and wouldn't budge on his decision.

End of discussion.

End of the world if you argued.

Just...the end.

Which quickly put an end to that.

I'm no dummy, when I see a lost cause I call it and move on to the next technique.

I even tried to enforce the "it's these 2 or you lose a toy/privilege/desert after dinner" thing.


That was a joy.

After much debating back and forth he'd agree and the next morning STILL wear what he'd picked out to begin with.

Then I was faced with the decision to discipline because he disobeyed and needed to know it wasn't ok or to just let him eat his cereal and go on with his day.

After a week of the former I just let him have his cereal and drank my coffee in silence.

Plus, I didn't really see the point in full blown punishment over him exercising his independence. What would that teach him? Absolutely nothing.

So I went on to the next round of tactics: Removal of the unsightly clothes.

(Yeah, I went there. So what?!)

 The first few days were great. He was presentable for school, we had nice mornings, he even combed his hair with out a fuss everyday. It was a dream.

Then reality set in.

He apparently decided that wearing nice clothes wasn't for him and began wearing the ONE semi-nasty outfit he had left EVEY SINGLE DAY. The one with patched holes in the blue jeans and a t-shirt supporting a BBQ and mud stain slightly hidden by a bad camo color.

He had become that kid...again.

And once again I was faced with the decision of giving him his clothes back (so he'd at least have on something clean everyday) or disciplining him for insubordination...again.

But this time I got smart.

I didn't do either. :0D

Oh no.

This time I went shopping and I took him with me!

Brilliant right?!

I reasoned that his pants were getting to be too short and he was in need of some summer clothes (after all, he has grown since last year) and took him shopping for some new things. Which turned out to be wonderful.

He picked out things that he liked. I got to make sure it was new, presentable, and (secretly) that it would match everything else he picked. So no matter what he chooses to put on that day, he matches.

And, BONUS, since he likes what he is wearing, there is no fighting in the mornings. AND he gladly combs his hair.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

However, now he's onto the next thing he's had hidden away to drive me nuts: Layering his clothes.


Every outfit, every day is layered. Fortunately, all the clothes match so he's at least got that in his favor. But really...what next?

When I asked him why he was doing this he shrugged and responded, "I wanted to wear both."

And there's really not much else to say.

As Michelle H from A Local Wander said, It's preparing me for his grunge, punk, or (to completely throw me off) the up-tight, fashion-diva style he'll decide on in his teenage years.

But whatever this is supposed to teach me, I'm just glad that I learned how to handle this particular challenge now.

Making me better prepared for how to manage the other trials he is destined to place in my path.

As they say, "Know thy enemy."

Game on. 


  1. Hey, There Are Worse Ways He Could Rebel! As Long As They Are Clean(Ish), I'm Okay!

    1. I agree. Except I've caught him hanging up clothes he just took off so....yeah. Brat.

  2. LOL! I haven't hit that stage, yet, and I'm not looking forward to it! I swear, we have to be so crafty as parents! Good job for you...Mom 1; Son 0!


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