Mittens, Hats and Gloves, OH MY!

Or should I say, mitten, what hat, no gloves, oh BOY!?

So many little lessons to be learned in this seasonal kabuki theater of winter accessories.  I hear you, "WHAT?  Mismatched gloves and parenting go together?  Things can be learned?  No, no Paige, my kids are just careless and entitled jerks."

Winter Accessories and parenting do go together because we often find ourselves in conflict over them.  "Where did you LAST see that SKI GLOVE that cost ONE HUNDER DOLLARS, that we bought, ON THE MOUNTAIN, because you lost the other glove on your way to get that $7.00 HOT COCOA??"  "No, no sweetums, you WILL be cold, you MUST wear a hat."  "WHY IS ALL THIS CRAP ALL OVER THE HALLWAY!!!"

See how organizing and parenting go together?

1.  Buy cheap stuff.  Keep the good stuff in the basement in a bin, up high.  Budget for them (and maybe you) to lose a pair of gloves each season (or more).  Do you feel the anger touch point simmering down when they come home with only 1 $3.50 Target glove?  You smile down lovingly and knowingly, "Yes sweetie, we all lose gloves, no biggie."  Parent/child relationship stays plump and encouraging.

2.  Make it easy, no, make it RIDICULOUSLY easy to put away accessories.  Open topped bin, not overly stuffed (this is key, no one likes to stuff things in or unstuff them out), near the door, in clear eye sight.  I kid you not, a lid on the bin will leave you a puddle of gloves, hats and mittens surrounding the bin.

3.  Chill.  I don't have any scientific proof, AND yet, I know in my heart of hearts, kids run on a different thermometer system. They simply are not as cold.  Truly.  Say the parent / child relationship can only handle 3 nags a day and one or two terse words, why waste it on a hat?  Why?  Take a minute, really think about it.  We are going to waste our perfectly good parenting mojo on a hat on a kid who is going outside to walk to the bus for 10 minutes in weather that is 36 degrees?  Let's save our nag for something better - practicing piano, writing that thank you note, clearing the dishwasher.  Have faith in kids that they can monitor their own bodies semi-effectively.

4.  That said, please go ahead and be overbearing on a long winter hike, on a ski trip, on a dangerously cold day.  Maintain the firm and friendly tone (be overbearing, nicely).  Save it up for when it really matters.

The point of organized parenting is that we decrease the friction points in our house and family.  This little, innocent, seasonal bin of goodies provides a short exercise for us to practice some of these skills and see if you can't warm up your relationship over mittens and gloves and hats, oh my.