Dear Parents... It's Cold Out... Please Dress Your Child Appropriately.
I really shouldn't have to point this out, because it should be common sense, but it astonishes me how many parents out there do not think about it.
Every year, without fail, when the cold starts setting in I see children out and about in shorts and t-shirts without any coat or even a jacket. I see infants in just a diaper or, if they're lucky, a onesie when the temperatures are steadily dropping into the 20's and 30's. Are you kidding me? It's cold outside and they are children... make them wear pants and a coat. Furthermore, if you yourself are bundled up in a coat and gloves, then you certainly should not be toting around an infant in a onesie or a toddler in a light weight jacket. Rule of thumb- if it is cold to you, it is also cold to your child. Please for the love of God make sure they are dressed in accordance with the weather.
For any parent out there that wants to say: "I try, but my kid just takes it off and throws a fit." I respond kindly with the following: Put it back on them... again and again and again. Let them throw their fit. Yes, it's annoying and inconvenient, and if out in public possibly embarrassing, but it's a matter of the child's well being and it's much better to be embarrassed or inconvenienced than to find yourself being accused of negligence. Kids are not always easy, regardless of age, but you are the parent and you need to assert your authority. Especially in instances relating to their well being.
For any parent out there that wants to say: "I can't afford to get them a heavy coat right now." I kindly respond with the following: I understand times can get hard and finances can become tight. Maybe you've been laid off and you're looking for work and right now you just can't manage the expense, I get it. I've been there... but that's when you swallow your pride and you reach out to assistance programs. Contact the social worker at the school and they will help you find a way. It may not be new or name brand, but it will be WARM and that is the objective when push comes to shove.
Finally, for any parent out there that wants to say: "You just don't understand the situation or how hard it is to be a parent." I kindly respond with: I have four children. I have been a mother since I was 19 years old (I'm now 30). For a long time I supported my first three children on $600 a month because my ex-husband couldn't hold a job. Still, my kids were always clothed appropriately and always had a coat that fit and gloves and a hat. They would sometimes argue about wearing them, and occasionally throw a royal fit, but they wore them. They would sometimes lose gloves or jackets but I always found a way to replace them. I do understand tough situations. I do understand how hard being a parent can be. I also understand how important it is to protect a child's well being.
My point is simply that: It can be done. Not always easily, but it can be done. So please, if you are walking out the door with a coat on. Make sure your child has one on too. If you are bundled up in layers, make sure your child is too. It's not only common sense, but it's common courtesy to your child and shows them you care about their well being.