How the way we dress our children affects them

Updated: May 30, 2019

'Clothes makes the man'(or woman). This ancient proverb means: people will judge you according to the way you dress. What one wears is taken by others as an essential signal of status. The proverb is recorded in English from the early 15th century, but an earlier saying in classical Greek is, ‘the man is his clothing.’

What we wear also affects what we perceive about ourselves. New research from Northwestern University reveals that what we wear could affect how we think and even perform.

Researchers found that students wearing white lab coats performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn't sport any jackets. The phenomenon is called "enclothed cognition," or the influence our clothes can have on the way we think, feel, and behave, says study coauthor Hajo Adam, Ph.D., a management professor at Northwestern."Our research indicates that wearing clothes exerts influence through this symbolic meaning," says Adam.

It's been well-established—in the scientific literature and real life—that what we wear affects how others perceive us. Women who wear more masculine clothes to an interview (such as a dress suit) are more likely to be hired. People dressed conservatively are perceived as self-controlled and reliable, while those wearing more daring clothing are viewed as more attractive and individualistic.

We've recognized these distinctions since childhood—we learn what's appropriate to wear to school, to interviews, to parties. Even those confined to uniform convey their own unique style in an attempt to change how they are perceived by others.

We must see and feel the clothes on our body—experience it in every way—for it to influence our psyche.

How we behave is clearly affected by the clothes we wear. When we dress up formally in a tuxedo or evening gown our behavior tends to be entirely different from that when we are wearing golf or tennis clothes. In those professions requiring uniforms, such as the military, police, fire department, etc., the importance of the effect of a uniform on behavior of both the wearer and the observer is well-recognized. The uniform embodies respect, and incorporated with that respect is specific, expected behavior from the person wearing the uniform. How a soldier behaves when wearing the uniform is carefully dictated and is different from that behavior allowed when the soldier is “out of uniform.”

Whether we like it or not, everyone, is going to judge us on our appearance. How we dress is a huge part of that, because it is something we have a CHOICE in.

We can't choose our height, color of our skin, etc. But we can choose how to dress.

It's the most control we'll ever have of how other people see us.

The concept of our appearance representing something about our personality is something that is universally recognized.

It's totally true that the clothes we wear represent the perfect reflection of who we really are. Besides all the instruments we have in order to communicate, our clothes represent probably the most important one. They show our personality, the way we see ourselves and the social group in which we want to be included. Before any verbal contact, a special communication takes place, which is made through the clothes we wear. These will say a lot about us, about our lifestyle and personality.

All of this suites perfectly for all of us, and our kids too! The way we dress our children affects them.

Children can choose to wear dirty, ugly clothes. They frequently get ready for an outing and forget footwear and brushing their teeth is not something that is habitual for them, we have to remind them. Can we teach our children the importance of wearing nice clothes? When we negate to teach our children how to groom themselves properly we are setting them up for exactly the opposite. Their friends, especially pre-teen to teens age bracket, will judge them on appearance, this is a reality. Things are what they are.

Stained, nice, over sized, tidy, good combinations, trendy, unkept, colorful... says a lot of who we are and where we come from. Take PRIDE in the appearance of your family.

We live in a world where whether we agree with it or not, appearance is defiantly important. Isn't it only fair on our kids that we present them,us and the whole family, as best as we can?

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