I'm A Clothes Thief

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We all do this. As our older kids grow out of their clothes, we put them away for when the younger ones are big enough to wear them. This is nothing new in our house. husband and I have saved all of difficult child's clothes for easy child since difficult child was a baby and easy child was not even a thought in our heads.

    Yesterday I took most of easy child's clothes out of his drawers since he is getting too big for them and replaced them with the old clothes from difficult child. Fine. No big deal, right? Not in difficult child world!! This morning easy child is wearing one of the shirts that I put into the drawer yesterday and difficult child comes screaming at me that easy child stole his clothes. I calmly explained to him that easy child did not STEAL anything. I GAVE him the clothes that difficult child does not fit into anymore. Then he tells me that I stole his clothes and he wants them back. I told him no. He is too big for them and they fit easy child now. difficult child, as the oldest, gets all new clothes while easy child has to wear old ones. Of course, when I won't give him his way what does he do? He runs to daddy. husband told him the same thing I did.

    difficult child carried on about this half an hour, having a fi at me when I went downstairs to do laundry. I said, "If you want me to really steal your clothes, that can be arranged. By law all I have to give you is seven outfits, one for each day of the week. Everything else you have is extra and I will take it away if you don't close your mouth and get yourself into even more hot water than you're already in!"

    Amazingly, I have not heard one more word about it.

    Just to clarify, easy child does not only get hand me downs. He gets new things, too, but alot of what he has are the things that once belonged to difficult child and were good enough to save.

  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Maybe -------you can have a "giving of the clothes" ceremony where difficult child being the older guy is a nice big brother and you and him go through all the clothes for easy child and you mark the tags with easy child's initials and he GIVES them to his little brother. I had a little sister - (annoying still at 44) so I kinda get where he's coming from - you never asked him if you could GIVE his things away - you just assumed you could because you bought them. Maybe he'd just like to be asked, and give them to his little bro - himself. It might make him feel like a big brother too, and kinda good at the same time.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I had kiddo go through all her clothes with my help to decide what she didn't want or couldn't/wouldn't wear. There were a few things she wanted put aside for "memories" (we're talking about making a quilt from them when she's older) and a few things I added to her "memories" pile, but she really surprised me with some things I didn't think she would part with but did.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I did that with my boys when they were young. I was particularly lucky with the younger two. Oldest one was heavier so only the shirts would fit and I had to give the pants away.

    With Jamie and Cory when they were young I could save both pants and shirts for a long time. Then Jamie ended up in slims and Cory in regulars. So I ended up with Husky's, Regulars and Slims in just about every size known to mankind...lol.

    Now I have been keeping all of Keyana's stuff for Hailie but Billie made it abundantly clear she wouldnt take it so years ago I sent some of it to a member on here. Gave some more away not too long ago to someone here in town that had a toddler a bit younger than Keyana but wearing a size 2/3. Now someone is giving me a ton of stuff and I am so grateful I would do handstands if I wouldnt hurt myself. Keyana loves getting her boxes in the mail!
  5. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    I love this idea!
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm really glad Keyana is enjoying it, and I hope she'll be equally happy to pass on whatever is still in reasonable shape when she outgrows it. :bigsmile:
    (I know some have a bit of wear already, kiddo can be rough on clothes)
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine has trouble parting with things....still.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We had some problems at times with this. A ceremony might be helpful if you think your kids would "buy in". I think letting your difficult child know that if he kept it up he would lose all but 7 outfits was an excellent way to handle it. I didn't pass too much down among my kids because I had a girl in between 2 boys and the spread in ages was just so much - 3.5 yrs between the first 2 and 4.5 between the second 2. Mostly just tshirts got passed down. I did let them keep a couple of special shirts to maybe make into a quilt later, but other than that it just wasn't an issue I would accept debate or discussion on. I had the problem of a mother who sent a large box of clothing and toys at least 3 times a month. So nothing was really special or irreplaceable much of the time, esp to Wiz - the contents were usually primarily for him, later for him and thank you but not nearly as much for Jess (a huge problem with my mother that took a real toll on her relationship with Jessie and still does).

    Anyway, I wouldn't allow too much discussion - it mostly is just about wanting to control everything. I am sorry it upset him so much. I have a cousin who had the opposite problem with her youngest kids - boy and girl twins. They would NOT accept any new clothing regardless if their current clothes didn't fit. Their mom would have to put clothing that was too big or for the next seasons into their drawers three to five MONTHS before it was needed or the kids just wouldn't cope. Wouldn't keep them on, stop crying for weeks if htey even touched the "new" clothes. Their first child was 8 years older so they didn't have handmedowns from him, but it was an enormous problem that lasted until middle school.

    I hope that difficult child can come to accept this as just the way things are. Could you give him a separate box or bag to put clothing that doesn't fit and that he can part with in? So that he feels osme sense of control on a regular basis? Be sure that he knows that you can take clothes out of his other drawers, etc... but if he has things he wants to pass down he can put them in the bag? Then maybe give him a small reward if he actually uses it? I am torn on this idea. It might make it easier or he might decide that it makes you taking other items out of his wardrobe an even bigger "crime" against him. It may actually be best if you pick this as an issue you just won't bend on and he has to adjust to - staying on a firm line might make it easeir for him to accept this in the long run.

    You won't know unless you try, but you may not even want to accept this as something to negotiate. While collaborating is a good thing, there really isn't anything wrong with refusing to collaborate on something like this. Only you can know if it is worth trying or not - whatever works for your family is best!
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I love the idea about the ceremony. In my family, things get passed down and down and down, especially very nice dresses, etc. We have pictures of 5 or 6 different girls wearing a dress that started with Kanga and there are 3 more who will get their turn when they get big enough. When we first adopted the kids, I had a very nice job and bought the kids high end formal dresses for Christmas, etc., and they held up really well due to quality and they are only worn a few times a year, Course, now I think I was nuts for dumping that money on dresses, lol.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    When you have a kid who feels that life is so chaotic that he can't cope until he can control some aspect of it, I do think it needs to be dealt with, with compassion. When you force the issue and simply assert your parental rights, the child feels even less in control and often will respond by becoming even more controlling in response. But if you can engage the child (in any way - a ceremony is just one idea) then you are setting yourself AND the child up for success in this later in life.

    difficult child 3 was a terror about not wanting to part with his favourite items of clothing. He might have outgrown them badly, or worn them through. I had to compromise with him about how to dispose of them. He finally was OK with me giving his old clothes away, as long as he knew where they were going. And as it turned out, once they were gone, he quickly accepted the replacements.

    That has been our other problem - getting difficult child 3 to wear his new clothes. I learned to buy old clothes from op-shops for him, because pre-worn and softened were more comfortable for him. New clothes feel wrong to him. Besides, he can be so hard on clothes that it would send me broke.

    One day we were on holiday and happened to stop for coffee right next to a large op-shop. difficult child 3's dressing gown was far too small, threadbare, ragged and generally only fit for the compost heap. But I couldn't get it off him. So I saw a lovely soft towelling robe, very large. It was big enough for me to wear - which I did, that whole holiday, because difficult child 3 refused point blank.
    Then difficult child 3 got sick a couple of months later. He had to see the doctor, and was just too sick to get dressed. So I said, "You can't wear your raggy dressing gown, it is not decent. Here, just for now, wear this large robe." And he was so sick, he didn't argue. But at the doctor's he discovered, he could wrap himself up in it like a blanket, which he did as he lay down on the doctor's couch. I had won him over. That was three years ago. He's grown a lot, the new robe is now old and has a tear in it. It no longer wraps around him, but it now fits normally.

    Old jeans - I keep them, even the rags, to use as patches. I make shorts out of jeans with ripped or badly worn knees. Jeans not so badly worn, I patch. Old shirts - difficult child 3 gives them to a neighbour of ours who is younger than him. Or if they're ripped, husband gets to use them in the shed. But always, difficult child 3 has to have choice. he has to own the decision and be part of it. it makes it easier for him to later on say, "I've outgrown this, I need to give it to the neighbour." And your ultimate goal is to help him learn how to function responsibly and independently.

  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Maybe it's just a matter of what we prefer to wear, but for us brand new is softer. Once it's been washed a few times (especially socks, a major issue) they're nowhere near as soft and pliable as brand new. That's even with using two kinds of softener in the washer and a dryer sheet as well.
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I very rarely got brand new clothes as a kid. Almost everything I had came from cousins who had outgrown them.

    My own kids were a girl and a boy five years apart so there was no hand-me-downs. With my daughter though, she had a cousin 18 months older who was the pampered only grandchild on her fathers side. They bought her so many expensive clothes, she outgrew a lot of them before she could even wear them, and they would be passed down to Allison, many with the tags still on them. When Allison outgrew them, they went to my niece who was two years younger. And my son became the end of the hand-me-down chain of my brothers three boys - very convenient!
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    With my two, it's humorous to watch the T-shirts that get passed down - when Jett, now in 6th grade, wears Onyxx's old shirt from 7th grade (same school)... And so on. Otherwise, though, I have to either hide the Goodwill bags or take them immediately, because Onyxx will go through them. (Ugh.) Case in point - I had a lovely purple and black plaid shirt.Unfortunately, the arms were way too tight, and it would not button across my chest. Drat, drat - I had gotten it super cheap, at a place I could not try it on. Onyxx's arms and chest are larger than mine... I don't even want to know how this looks on her. I'm glad I don't see her before she goes to school... Though I know she is squeaking by the dress code with her tank tops...