At 15 years old, I rocked a fedora as my own personal fashion trend. I spent my free time in the local arcade and braved Canadian winters in nothing but a jean jacket. Strike that… I had clothes on, but none of the appropriate outdoor variety. While we weren’t wealthy by any means, I assure you that my parents provided a winter coat and boots. They even gave me gloves and a hat, although I feel that was a waste of their money. A toque on a girl’s hair in the eighties? I think not.
Thirty years later and I’m the parent to a 15 year old who opts for a hoodie over a winter coat, even on the coldest of days.
You may think my memories of doing something similar would make me sympathetic to the refusal of the coat. No. My kids are smarter than I was and I expect them to act as such. Last winter I argued with that child on a daily basis; I threw the coat into the car on our way to school. I found it shoved into the backpack after school. It was a battle I couldn’t win.
This year started out similarly. My requests to wear a coat are answered with “you don’t get sick from being cold”. I tell him that a lower body temperature reduces the immune response, making you more susceptible to viruses. He says he’s never cold. Still, I shove the coat into his hands, and he drags it along with him, never putting it on. He tells me he hates the coat. I tell him I’m not buying a new one when he won’t wear the old one.
It’s a vicious circle and not a battle I’m ever going to win. So I’m calling it. I’m out. I will not say another word about the coat. Wear it or don’t, it’s not my problem. I feel obligated to drive to school each day because he’s not dressed properly, but I am not doing it anymore. Unless it is a dangerously cold day, being cold won’t harm him. Maybe a few brisk walks home from school will be enough to convince him to put it on. Or maybe not. Either way, it’s a battle I’m not fighting anymore.