I firmly believe that my tween should wear pajamas to bed, not to school and not to public events. This apparently puts me in the minority. My daughter’s school has Pajama Day as part of its spirit week, and our local park district sponsors “Tween Night” every few weeks in the winter, and tonight’s theme “Pajama Party.”
My daughter very much wants to don her jammies and head out for a night on the town. Isn’t that in the category of a parent’s worst nightmare? Keep your clothes on, kid! Tween night is one of the first chances for kids whose hormones are awakening to interact with members of the opposite sex, so it seems to me that we might want to send them the message that the opposite sex does not need to know what you wear to sleep.
As they mature, tweens are learning what is appropriate and what is not. Sending the message that what you wear to bed is okay to wear out into the world does not help them understand what are acceptable ways of presenting themselves, to their peers and to others. Don’t teacher deserve children who get dressed? Isn’t it a sign of respect? What about schools in poorer regions of the world where school uniforms are hugely important? They understand the respect that comes from dressing properly. Why doesn’t that apply in this country?
Tweens are maturing at different rates and navigating rapidly changing bodies. Why do this to them? Why put them in a position to have to decide what to wear. Several parents I know have gone out and purchased pajamas that are “safer” to wear outside the house. These are children who have plenty of clothing, but a new outfit was needed for this one day, or one evening. And some pajamas do admittedly look and feel a lot like regular clothes. I get that, but I’m not certain that tweens can make that distinction. Tween parents have a ton of discussion topics to cover with their children, covering important topics like saying no to drugs and how to handle cyberbullying and personal safety. Those are important. Why make me spend time explaining why night wear belongs only in the house?
Some scenarios with pajamas are okay, like the sleep over birthday, or the sleep over birthday party that didn’t involve actually sleeping over (Oh, how I love that mother, made life in our house so much easier). A group of girls being girls in a relatively confined space can wear pajamas, but it is very different when large groups of kids are involved, and particularly in situations school. I think that wearing pajamas does not foster a learning environment, nor does it prepare children for the world beyond the school doors. My daughter is scheduled to give a presentation on pajama day. I would have had her wear something nice, because public speaking is a good reason to look nice. If we are preparing children to go out into the world, I envision my girl doing a presentation at her place of employment in, well, a nice pair of pants or a black pencil skirt. I don’t see her doing it in her sleep wear. Why not have her get used to looking nice for important events now?
I’m going to try to compromise. I will let my daughter wear a robe over regular clothing, so she is in keeping with the theme but not flirting with boys in her jammies. That will help me sleep better.
What do you think? Are pajama theme days harmless fun? or is it best to have kids wear daytime clothing when they leave the house?
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