"Shoes are the way to accessorize little boys."
It's true, and it's become my motto for getting them dressed in the morning. If I have anything to do with it, and usually I do, my guys are complete when we start the day, from head to toe. I love for them to look cute, even if we are just home alone for the day. That doesn't mean they always have matching outfits, and it definitely doesn't mean they have to be uncomfortable. But it does mean that they look cute. It's important to me.
I have often been teased about the collection of boys' shoes at my house... between the two of them they have nearly as many shoes as I do. But as I've said, it's the way to accessorize boys. They always wear shoes, even if one of my little guys is still a long way away from needing them.
But I have a theory on all of this. Read on.
If a child looks nice, if he is dressed cute (right down to his shoes), people pay attention to him. A stranger is likely to smile at a baby in a sweet little outfit with a fresh bib, but that stranger is less likely to engage with a kiddo who is in a stained onesie and worn-out sweatpants.
When a person engages with a child, however small he may be, that child learns social skills. He learns to make eye contact, he learns to smile at a new and friendly face, and he learns to associate with people. When someone smiles at him, he gains a little more confidence.
It might sound silly and over the top, but I think it's true. I dress my children nicely because I'm teaching them social skills, even before they can talk.
My grandmother used to say, "It doesn't take any extra time to help your child look nice." She's right. Either way, my kids will be dressed before we leave the house, and they might as well look adorable.
They just might attract some smiles.