Rebecca Reid, local author and mum-of-four, helps her kids find their groove…

Ever noticed how, without knowing it or even meaning to influence it, your kids turn out to have their very own individual styles?

This was never my intention. I have never been one of those mums who wants ‘trendy’ kids. I always dressed them in the quaint, old fashioned sort of way that kept them looking young and innocent for as long as possible (not that they necessarily were innocent). And yet, they still found their own ways into what suited them. Well two of them have, the other two aren’t quite there yet.

Whether we like it or not, the lifestyle we lead and the way we dress ourselves has a massive, probably subconscious, influence on our kids and the way they pick and choose what to wear when we eventually let go of the reigns and set them free. Gosh, that moment can be hard. And scary. But we must grit our teeth and go with the flow if we are going to let them find themselves amongst the wardrobe we have created for them. And boy – will they find themselves.

I remember the first time I did it with my eldest. I was terrified and rightly so. She came out wearing anything and everything, Yes, they were the right way in and facing the right direction but that was about all that was right with it. I desperately wanted to tell her which skirt really goes with that top and that jeans aren’t usually worn with tights but nope, I zipped it and left her to it.

By the time number two was dressing herself I hardly noticed or cared about the combinations that she rolled out in, it was nothing I hadn’t seen before. But really, it’s such fun watching them pick through what they want to wear, and with time, and a little bit of age, seeing them form into little individuals who I’m very, very, proud to call my own.

I sound terribly sentimental about all this but that is simply because this week my eldest came to me with a shy little smile on her face and a handful of something behind her back and said, “Mummy, will you help me customise my clothes like you used to do?” And that was it – she had me at customise.

We spent the rest of the morning cutting dresses into tops, T-shirts into ‘80s slouch styles and jeans into tatty shorts. It was such fun. The youngest pair made hair ties and anklets out of discarded material and by the end of it, everyone was very, very, happy.

I no longer tell my kids what to wear. I let them pick their own clothes online and I really have very little say anymore (apart from when it comes to our cub) but I have ended up with a boho surfer chick, a wacky animal-logo-mad tom boy and a girly girl who wants nothing more than to run about as Pocahontas all day every day – which is exactly what she’s doing at the moment…And why not?

Come on over to Rebecca’s Facebook food blog for lots of easy, healthy recipes for you and your family www.facebook.com/groups/208669239717689/

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