My kids don’t go to private school, but they were part of a pilot project that introduced school uniforms into the regular school system. I soon realized that uniforms are a hot debate topic for parents, teachers and administrators.
So what do I think? In short, it is one of those little things that has helped me maintain a bit of sanity while raising my half dozen kids. The benefits are many for this mama of six. These are the reasons it works for me:
1) All the kids are dressed the same. I like that school does not become a fashion show and that clothes don’t define the child. I’m a big fan of level playing fields for kiddos, and I think this can help in those leveling efforts. Some parents will argue that kids should be able to express their creativity with their clothes. I feel comfortable with my kids expressing their creativity through other avenues – maybe their academic subjects and artistic interests. I’ll be dealing with tattooed goth teenagers soon enough – I don’t mind delaying that self-expression for a few more years. Oh, and when all kids are wearing the same colours, it makes for happy times in laundry land.
2) What a pleasure it is to wake up in the morning and not be required to think or discuss what is going to be worn that day. Mornings are busy enough around my hectic house and having to debate with pre-tween girls about outfits at 7:00am would bring a bad start to most days. I like to avoid morning conflict so I can focus on my task at hand - getting people out the door!
3) Many parents would argue that uniforms are expensive. While I agree I made a fairly decent original investment, I did some calculations and in the long run I can say with great confidence that I have saved a lot of money. My fifth kid is going off to JK this year in a golf shirt that has been worn by four older siblings. For smaller families who don’t reap the benefits of my spectacular hand-me-down situation, most schools have a ‘gently-worn’ used clothing sale.
Here are the biggies going off to school this year in their R.J. McCarthy school uniforms. Don't they look dashing? What do you think about uniforms - love 'em or hate 'em?