As a mom of both a five-year old in elementary school and a three-year old in preschool I can say that the morning routine of picking out what my kids are going to wear every day can be daunting. Not to mention picking out my own clothes.
My daughter has to pick out her own clothes, and honestly often doesn’t match. However, I figure there are worse ways to express yourself than striped pants with a flower print top, and calf high pink boots. My son doesn’t really care what he wears as long as it isn’t to tight, to baggy, to long, to short, to hot, to cold, to… you get the picture.
When I was young I would have screamed if I was told I had to wear a uniform, but now I wish my job required me to wear the same thing every day. I envy women who get to work in doctor’s offices where cute colored scrubs with tennis shoes to work. Instead I, like my daughter stare into the abyss I call a closet and fumble through the same ten outfits every weekday going, “Geesh, I have NOTHING to wear!!!”
But, enough about me – I AM FOR SCHOOL UNIFORMS!
Why? Because, not only would it make my morning routine easier, for both me and my kids, but I am of the belief that it also helps children to feel like they fit in among others in their class. When everyone is dressed alike, no one can be singled out because they can’t afford the latest fashions or don’t have the newest shoes, etc. Putting kids on the same level so they can’t compare each other via their monetary value allows them to remain kids for just a little longer.
Besides, being the Director of an Early Childhood Education Private Preschool, I also know that Uniforms or Dress Codes, like the one we have, are also used to maintain safety within the center/school.
How? You ask. Well, take our infants for instance, children once they start pulling up to a stand, are required to wear shoes at all times. The reason for that is because when they first learn to pull up and take those initial steps their legs are what I like to call “Puppy legs.” They fall, a lot, and slip easily. Shoes, with rubber soles, help to prevent at least some of those possible slips and falls.
We also prohibit our students from wearing belts and necklaces. The reason, although it should be obvious, often escapes people. We don’t allow belts and necklaces because they are possible strangulation hazards. That is true also for drawstring pants and hoodies. Now, do parents heed these warning? Not always, but we do try to catch them when we can.
Finally, clothing is to be worn! NOT costumes or dress-up outfits. Why? Because it isn’t appropriate for a child to dress in a thin dress-up princess costumes and plastic high-heels when bringing them to school. Besides clothing should be age appropriate, covering everything that needs to be covered, fit correctly, and of course be weather appropriate. Shorts and a t-shirt with sandles in the middle of winter is just as bad as jeans, boots, and a wool sweater in the middle of 98 degree summer weather.
So, yes I am all for uniforms, or at a minimum dress codes.