I admit, I am often guilty of buying that “oh-so-cute” outfit for my baby even if he doesn’t really need it – after all, it’s my first baby (does this urge diminish with additional children? hope so, or I will need to get a job!). But, when I see the headlines on those magazines in the grocery store telling me Suri Cruise got a new stylist or some such nonsense, I think our society has gone too far in trying to make babies look good. Do babies really need to wear designer clothing? Being cute is one thing, but taking out a small loan to have children in the latest fashions is quite another in my opinion. Not only does this extreme children’s fashion emphasize the external, which matter very little after the “awww, isn’t that a cute outfit” fades, but focusing on fashion and other “stylish” trends doesn’t develop children into mature adults.
My goals for my children encompass more than just to have them look cute. I want them to be well-rounded individuals, who can think and reason, who have a deep understanding of God, life, and the world around them. To this end, I hope to focus my children more on cultural aspects of life, not the “couture-al” aspects.
- Instead of TV-watching, I hope we’ll be bird-watching.
- Instead of knocking people out on a video game, I hope Asher learns the elements and meaning of the martial arts, which teaches respect and self-control as well as self-defense.
- Instead of reading up on the latest fashions, I want us to be reading the Bible and Shakespeare.
- Instead of knowing all the stats for his favorite MLB or NFL team, I hope he knows who our Founding Fathers were and how our government works.
- Instead of metal, rap, or simpering modern day love songs, I hope we’ll listen to Mozart, musicals, attend classical concerts, and learn to play an instrument.
I will stop short of going to the ballet (phew, good thing I didn’t have a little girl, tutus are NOT for me!).
Perhaps my goals are too lofty. But I like to aim high… then maybe I’ll get halfway there at least. I’m sure someday, you’ll find us watching Saturday morning cartoons in our PJ’s – it’s bound to happen. And I’m sure I’ll have future posts on clothing, style, etc. because we do have to put clothes on the baby, and they might as well be cute. But I also don’t want that to be my focus in child-rearing – and if I ever get too “style-conscious” someone snap me out of it!
We started small, adding culture to Asher’s baby-world. This past Friday we took him to his first concert: an outdoor park near our house hosted the Hartford Pops orchestra – we had a picnic dinner and listened to themes from Phantom, Fiddler, Lone Ranger, and other fine marches and wind pieces. Asher seemed to enjoy it and stayed awake for the entire concert even though he would normally be sleeping… I hope it’s the start of frequent excursions that build his mind and character as he grows, learning more about culture than couture.
What are your opinions of baby fashions? What are some ways you try to develop culture in your children?
Here’s a video of Asher enjoying some music with Auntie Lori: