Children, clothes, and stress show up in a variety of ways that ultimately test our patience and creativity.

What kind of kid do you have?

Complainer- Complains about everything you can think of and takes a long time to get dressed. children, clothesSeams in the socks have to be just right and tags must be removed for him to be comfortable. The shirts that are deemed uncomfortable are never worn again.

Tip: Let them put their own socks on and give them extra time. Kids seem to tolerate the seams more when they are doing their own adjusting. Children are empowered to be in charge of their own comfort.

Fashionista – Changes her outfits numerous times a day thereby outgrowing her outfits before they even look worn.

Tip: Shop in thrift stores or better yet, switch your shopping to the free mobile shopping app called Totspot. Download the app on your smartphone, create a profile for your kids and start shopping. Shopping is personalized by your kids’ sizes and brand preferences. You can also browse shopping. https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id729244965

Repeater- Wears the same outfit every day for a month. I cringed each day I dropped my daughter off at school in the same turquois blue jean skirt… for an entire month. I learned to sneak in a wash while she was sleeping. While she was wearing out only one outfit, the rest of the new outfits stayed new and again she outgrew them.

Tip: Wash it every few days and let them wear it. They will get feedback from their peers and teachers. Natural consequences provide a good learning experience for children and mom gets to take a back seat.

Mind Changer- Changes their mind after they profess their love for their new outfit and after you cut the price tags off. Child decides they no longer love this outfit and they had absolutely nothing to do with picking it out. This brand new, never worn outfit cost a pretty penny and it hangs in the closet until it is outgrown. You feel stressed every time you look at it.

Tip: Sell it! Totspot is a free mobile shopping app on iPhone, iPad and iTouch. https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id729244965 Download the app. Snap photos, load it with a short description, and sell. When your items sell, Totspot deposits 80 percent of the transaction into the seller.  I am usually technically challenged and I found this app super easy to use. (The Android and web versions are expected by the end of the year.)

Hider- Hides their clothes with their friends usually while playing the games “vacation” or “airplane.”  Children pack suitcases filled with clothes for their trip. You think you have really lost it when you can’t find your favorite outfits you know you just bought. Then you find them when you pull suitcases out for next trip…. after they have outgrown them. Yes, this happened to me…. I was relieved to realize I wasn’t losing my mind and there was a plaid outfit with a velvet collar in the closet at one point.

Tip: Take deep breaths and smile about how creative your child is. Affirm that you are perfectly sane.

While I poked a little humor at the clothing dilemma, I know all too well that all of the above can leave a parent and child feeling stressed out. I have learned that it is best to take deep breaths and be flexible. I applied the phrase “pick you battles” to the clothing battle and decided it was not on my “pick my battle list.” One of the biggest stressors is the amount of money I wasted on kid’s clothes. I recently learned about Totspot and I wish I had it for all of those suitcases I found packed with clothes that were barely worn and no longer fitting anyone in my house.  Totspot is a very active and engaged community of moms that communicate in the app and on Instagram @mytotspot, Facebook and Twitter.

Lori Lite is the author of Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety. Her award winning children’s series, Indigo Dreams introduces stress management techniques through storytelling. Lori’s constant upbeat presence on Facebook and Twitter make her a real-time resource for anyone seeking practical advice for stress free living.