Recently, my children had the opportunity to attend a school where uniforms were not required. For years, uniforms have been the norm for them, so this experience provided some interesting insight. It is clear to me, now that they have returned to their school which requires uniforms, that there are benefits to this experience. Here are some important reflections and observations on how uniforms can have some positive effects for us as parents and our children.
UNIFORMS MAKE MORNINGS EASIER
The morning preparation when wearing uniforms is stress-free. Grab a skirt and shirt for girls and shorts, shirt, and a belt for boys and off you go! When wearing uniforms, it’s a quick process getting ready. No time is wasted picking through all the choices that free dress presents. (For moms: the laundry is less stress too!)
WITH UNIFORMS, THERE'S NO COMPARISON
Without the diversity of clothing options, the students have equal opportunity to succeed without their outfits playing a role. Uniforms offer the freedom of each individual to be equal. With everyone wearing the same outfit it alleviates comparison and competition. The clothes that children wear could be a misrepresentation of who they really are. During times of economic stress, many children cannot wear designer clothes and what may be considered “cool” and “what’s in.” Some children could be left out of groups simply because of what they are wearing or not wearing. Uniforms diminish this possibility and offers all students equality.
UNIFORMS HELP KIDS DRESS FOR SUCCESS
When we are dressed up, looking neat and clean, we feel better about ourselves. When we present ourselves professionally there is a sense of pride of ownership. We have a skip in our step with our heads held high when we are dressing for success. Dressing professionally in a school uniform empowers our children in these same ways.
UNIFORMS HELP WITH DISTRACTION-FREE LEARNING
With free dress there is freedom to wear whatever that student chooses. These choices can be a distraction to other students. What if what is worn is inappropriate? It is important to put limitations on what children wear to school. Uniforms remove the possibility of wearing outfits that could distract others from learning and maintains integrity within the classroom. With uniforms, students can be focused on what’s most important instead of what others are wearing.
UNIFORMS HOLD ADDED LESSONS IN ACCOUNTABILITY
Part of my children’s grade on their report card specifically addresses how they are upholding the uniform standard. It is their responsibility to properly tuck in their shirt, wear a belt, and on designated days wear white shirts with a vest or sweater. This accountability instills self-discipline and order in their daily routine. This structure, when they are young, is a great foundation to helping our children fit into the real world effectively in the future.
My children now understand the value of uniforms and appreciate putting them on every day now that they have returned to their school. They no longer struggle with decisions on what to wear in the morning which slowed down the morning routine of the entire family. It is simple, clean and neat, and they focus only on their schoolwork instead of on what they and their friends are wearing.
My children actually mentioned how proud they are of their school when they attend field trips or when out in public, representing their school in their sharp blue and white uniforms. Who knew uniforms could offer such great benefits to our children’s education with positive effects to boot?