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Dutchess_III's avatar

If your kid wanted to go outside without his or her coat on, and it was really cold, would you let them?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36153points) January 29th, 2014

I would. The ding dongs!

When I had a daycare the kids would usually walk to school, which was around the corner. One kid didn’t want to wear his coat. He was trying to push buttons, and it probably would have worked with his Mom, but not with me. I said, “Fine, but you do have to take it with you.”
“OK, but I’m not going to wear it!” he claimed.
“I don’t care,” I said.
I watched him. By the time he’d gotten to the next-door neighbor’s house he’d put his coat on.

Ding dong.

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17 Answers

creative1's avatar

I would and I would do exactly what you did make them take it with them. My daughter decided one day to refuse to put on her shoes, mind you it was winter and freezing out so I let her step outside without them and no sooner she did that she was back in the house putting on her shoes. I can say that she never tried it again.

The way I look at it if it isn’t going to hurt them then why don’t we let them see why we want them to do things when they are looking to show their independence. I find by giving my daughter a bit of indepence in finding out things for herself causes a lot less struggling on my part. I do stand my ground on things I know will hurt her and find those times have less struggles when I can remind her of what happened when she didn’t listen to me before.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I told my mom I wanted to run out in the snow barefooted. She said “Go for it.” It was pretty cool, actually. The snow was a combination of crumbly, soft and tickly on the soles of my feet for about 5 steps. Then I couldn’t feel my feet any more.

josie's avatar

My kids used to go out into the winter in cargo shorts.
Kids are idiots. But experience is a great teacher.

Dutchess_III's avatar

At the beginning of every winter my kids would complain about how cold it was in the house. I kept the thermostat pretty low and I layered. When they complained I’d say, “Well, you have on shorts and a T-shirt. Go put some clothes on!” They just didn’t want summer to end, you know?

DWW25921's avatar

Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

Buttonstc's avatar

A few years ago someone observed kids exiting cars at school in only shorts and T shirts and asked what type of parents would allow their kids to do that.

Obviously parents who knew how to pick their battles wisely was my answer.

Its only a few feet to the school door so its not like they’d be freezing or something. And if they didn’t care about looking like idiots in the middle of winter, why should I ?

I save my ammo for the serious things like drugs, teen pregnancy, stds etc.

If you can get a kid to age 18 without a criminal record, an addiction, or an unplanned pregnancy, who cares whether they wear shorts in winter or have blue or green hair ?

The latter aren’t worth making a fuss over while the former can seriously derail their lives for years. Perspective.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Buttonstc Yeah. It’s like “You want to be a fool,” knowing you can control the outcome, so be it. Good way for them to learn for themselves.
Only problem today is, in letting your kids figure out the obvious for themselves, someone is liable to call SRS. :(

SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, I would. There are a lot of things that just aren’t worth forcing, and sometimes it can even do more damage to try. My stepfather was extremely controlling, which eventually led to my stepbrother running away from home. Now he’s 32 and just getting out of rehab. This is a far more extreme case than making a child wear a winter coat, of course, but the point remains. Squeeze too hard and the kid will pop.

Seek's avatar


It took exactly five seconds for my kid to come back in the house begging for shoes today. 50 degrees outside and raining. Uh huh.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh, yeah! They were SO invented for a reason!

zenvelo's avatar

My daughter, who just turned 16, will not wear rain gear. her mother used to make her wear raincoats when she was in Kindergarten and first grade, and she hated them because they were heavy and hot and didn’t breathe.

So now she will only wear a hoodie. She says she’s never out in the rain long enough. She’s gotten soaked a couple times, but will not admit being uncomfortable. I’ve offered to buy her nicer, more stylish, jackets to keep her warm and/or dry, but she says no.

Oh well.

linguaphile's avatar

I went to a sunrise drum circle and friend of mine called me out for not forcing my 11½ year old daughter to wear a coat. Unsatisfied with my response, she criticized me again 30 minutes later. I sure was peeved.

It was in the high 30’s. My daughter’s 11. She lived in Minnesota for 6 years. She had a coat in the car. And decided not to wear it. Ok, so she either gets too cold and has to walk back to the car in the parking lot to get her coat, or she is comfortable enough to sit in that temperature in a sweater.

I definitely believe kids, by a certain age, should have some choices. They learn from their choices.

If it was -30… of course, I’d have been way more firm.

jca's avatar

If I had the option, no. Sometimes if I am outside, my daughter will run out without shoes or without a coat. If it’s really cold, I make her get back inside asap. If it’s not that cold, like 50 or something, then she can be outside for a few minutes.

cookieman's avatar

Sure. My daughter is going through a phase now where she doesn’t want to wear a hat or gloves – despite the fact that it is 10°F out.

I don’t want to fight that battle constantly. I just make her shove them in her school bag. If she gets cold enough, she’ll put them on.

As others have said, kids are idiots and experience is a great teacher.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca What would happen if you didn’t make her go back inside to put shoes or a coat on?

I sometimes see grown adults wearing nothing but a hoodie when it’s cold outside. I’m all bundled up in my duvet-coat. I don’t know how they can stand it! But I’m also really “cold blooded.” I’m always freezing when others are perfectly comfortable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is too funny! As we were talking on another thread yesterday about trashy neighborhoods/money, the city came and dumped an outhouse in my yard.

Then today my son came over with his two year old daughter. I was on the deck when they showed up. It’s about 40 degrees, so she had on a long knit dress that came down to mid-calf, a pair of jeans and a black coat that was shorter than the dress. Her hair was messy and she had chocolate on her face from eating chocolate donuts. I told my son she looked like a homeless child!
Anyway, we went in the house where Adrionna took off her coat. Abut 20 minutes later my son and I went back out on the deck. Adrionna followed us out and was traipsing about in the yard. About 2 minutes later she went back inside and came out with her coat in hand for dad to help her put it on. Neither of us had said a word. :)

rojo's avatar

Could, would and have. It is amazing how fast they learn.

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