*Today’s post is sponsored by Wrangler. All opinions are my own.*
Anyone who has a son has probably experienced what I like to call the “anti-jeans years”.
If not, they’re coming, believe me, they come for us all.
For those who are still awaiting this exciting phase of life, allow me to give you a more in depth understanding of it today.
The “anti-jeans years” are those during which your sweet, adorable little dudes go from wearing all of the cute suspendered knickers and patterned bow ties you can find on Etsy to refusing to wear anything even remotely similar to long pants, particularly if it’s something made from denim, for any reason ever. This phase can last any amount of time, but most often sets in around age 5 or 6 and peters out during the latter parts of middle school.
Right around the same time girls begin to become a thing.
I doubt the two are related.
During this time, it is also often the case that no cold, no wind, no rain, sleet, snow, or hail is going to make them want to put jeans on. They won’t care about being cold or getting wet. Because they don’t care about anything but comfort -something they claim is entirely unachievable while covered in fabric all the way down their legs to their ankles.
Parents tend to find this phase highly frustrating and down right ridiculous. Many are prone to resorting to various forms of punishments and/or ultimatums. Others utilize bribery, bargaining, and various tactics to encourage their children to dress appropriately for the weather and/or activity they are participating in.
Often, these efforts fail leaving both children and parents feeling upset and unhappy with the outcome.
These years may also be known as the “shorts addicted years”, the “no pants phase”, and/or the “basketball shorts are life era”, depending on your child and his preferences.
Of course there are variances among the species with regard to timing and other factors, but the idea that your son will shun jeans at some point in life seems to be a widely held experience that many moms of boys share.
In fact, some say 50% of parenting boys is telling them they can’t wear shorts in the winter and then giving up and letting them wear shorts in the winter.
After successfully raising two boys through the “anti-jeans years” with another living blissfully in it now, I am here to share two things with you: 1) fighting this particular battle is largely futile, and 2) it won’t last forever.
It took me a long time to get myself to number one and even longer to see the truth in number two.
I’m not sure what it was that upset me so much about them wanting to wear shorts all the time, but it probably had something to do with the rants and raves of my own mother.
She said grandmotherly things like, “They’ll catch their death from the cold!” and, “The school will report you,” and, “Your kids won’t learn how to dress appropriately,” and “You’re the mom, aren’t you, so make them listen!”
I sort of got caught up in worrying about all of those things until the daily fighting exhausted me to the point that I passed out a little and woke up with an epiphany -it really doesn’t matter if they wear shorts everyday.
From the factual perspective, we live Maryland, it’s really not that cold and, when it is, school is either cancelled or my children make a better choice, the school doesn’t notice or care, shorts aren’t really all that inappropriate, and while I am the mom, I don’t really get caught up in worrying about how they express themselves when it comes to fashion.
Plus, it’s just not worth it.
I don’t want to damage our relationship because I couldn’t get over the fact that they find pants more restrictive than shorts.
My oldest two kicked the shorts habit in favor of jeans some time in middle school and I’m hopeful my youngest will do the same.
Eventually he will slip on a pair of jeans and see what I see…
A drop dead handsome, put together, young man.
As we’ve begun to prep for back to school and the inevitability of the return of the fall and winter seasons, I’ve made it my mission to find a few items that will help us both find a semblance of school day happiness when it comes to clothing. I want him to have the option of wearing pants when the weather dictates and he just wants to be comfortable no matter what.
Wrangler, the people who have been in the jeans making game since 1947, sent us tons of pants and jeans from their fall collection to try and I am proud to report that we have actually found a few keepers!
We did a try on video for you so you can see how they found the Wrangler pants they like. It’s mostly just them doing a bunch of Fortnite dances in pants, but totally worth watching just so you can see what kind of range of motion kids can achieve in pants if they try.
Trying to get your dude in some real pants this school year? Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin your own search.
Back to School with Wrangler: When Your Son Only Wants to Wear Shorts
Think about texture.
The Dudes’ main beef with denim has always been that it limits their range of movement –they feel tight, stuff, and slow in jeans.
According to the below photo, that is a total lie…
But, since it’s all about perception and feel, we are going to just give them this one.
In reality, because all jeans don’t fit into this mold, there are plenty of options that aren’t so restrictive for young boys who still spend most of their time running and jumping and playing. Wrangler sent a few pairs of their Athletic Fit jeans. They are softer, and made for comfort with 4-way flex fabric.
Don’t get hung up on denim.
If you truly can’t find denim that will give your son the feel he desires, toss the denim thing right out the window and look for something different. There are several other options for pants that will allow your child to stay warm, while looking nice, and feeling comfortable.
Wrangler, knowing that my youngest is not in this life for denim, sent us their Performance Cargo pants to try. They. Are. Amazing! He even told me he would sleep in them if I let him.
Just let it go, let it go.
As a wise princess once said, “Let it go. Let it go.” Because honestly, if the worst thing your child does this year is wear shorts in the winter, I feel like you will be winning this mom game SO hard.
Our solution has been to compromise –I buy him compression leggings (basically tights for guys), and he agrees to wear them under his shorts. They are super comfy, they meet my weather requirements by keeping his legs covered and warm, and he feels good and doesn’t look like his mother doesn’t care about him.
And, now that we have found some pants that feel exactly the way he needs pants to feel (thank you kindly, Wrangler!), he has agreed to add them into the back-to-school clothing rotation, no problem.
I can’t even ask for more.
Check out all of the great styles Wrangler has for every member of your family this season.