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Winter Coats & Kids Who Hate Them

Winter Coats & Kids Who Hate Them

One late November day when I was pregnant with my second kid, I was out grocery shopping with 18-month-old Ollie (he's the one in the picture, wasn't he cute?!). He was going through this really fun phase where he'd pull his shoes and socks off in the car. Every. Dang. Time.

So, of course, while in the grocery store not one but two well-meaning folks chided me for not having my kid wear socks since it's so very very cold outside.

I get that some people are old-school and forced their kids to wear things they don't want to. But first-trimester me, wrangling a toddler, just didn't care enough to fight that fight. I carried him in tucked inside my jacket. He wasn't walking around. He was happy.

Girl wearing an Irish wolfhound costume next to a boy wearing a brown puppy costume.

Now, Ollie is now 8 years old (still cute, right?! He's the brown puppy) and sometimes just doesn't want to wear the dang winter coat. Why? He's too hot in the car and it takes five seconds to run into school from the drop-off line, that's why. Not to mention, it's barely below freezing. Not. A. Big. Deal.

I tell my kids that “You are in charge of my own body, but that doesn’t free you from the consequences.” So if they get cold, they get cold. I do ask they at least take a coat with them when it’s below freezing.

Anyway, if you’re a parent who makes their kid wear a coat, awesome. I respect your choice. Getting too cold does have serious consequences (frostbite, hypothermia) and dressing appropriately is important! But I’m not worried for the moments in and out of the building, whether it’s school or the grocery store, or Nana’s house.

In conclusion:

  • My kid can choose to wear a winter coat or not
  • When I’m pregnant I don’t like uninvited comments from strangers
  • Just because he’s not wearing a coat doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one
  • In Wisconsin, winter jackets are optional unless you’re trekking through the wilderness or it’s sub-zero
  • The pulling-off-socks phase doesn’t last forever
  • But yes, dressing appropriately for the cold is important and as a parent it's up to you to decide how to enforce that

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