Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's No-Coat Season

Last week on Facebook, a high school classmate posted a picture of her son walking to the bus stop in a short-sleeved T-shirt and jeans. The thermometer that morning looked something like this:



Yet teenagers are walking around like this:



On Facebook, we all thought back to our own adolescence. Did we do that? No...mostly because our parents wouldn't let us. But if our parents didn't know, we might have gone without a coat. Or, in the case above, pants. I did point out that boys were frequently coatless in the 80s. I always just assumed they were too tough for the cold.



For girls, it's all about fitting in and looking "cute." If nobody else is wearing a coat, they'd stand out. Plus, warm clothes cover their figures.



Interestingly, this has become such a thing, there are countless articles discussing it. This blog suggests teens don't wear coats because they want to fit in. This article emphasizes that kids won't get sick from walking around in summer clothes in January. And this article says if kids don't want to wear a coat, parents shouldn't make them. 



How do you think parents should handle children refusing to wear a coat? Should it be different once the child reaches adolescence?

Also--if you didn't win a signed copy of 25 Roses last week, check out my Goodreads giveaway. I'm giving away five signed hardbacks--perfect for your autographed book collection!


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92 comments:

  1. My Valentina is a tween.. it is like pulling teeth to wear a coat. Her father is from the really cold part of Russia and knows how to dress for the weather.. he gives her countless coats.. yet she only wants to wear a hoodie .. . We have come to an agreement, she has to carry her coat, just in case the school calls me ( they have ) ... she'll have to learn the hard way... :-/

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    1. At least schools require it. That's good to hear.

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  2. Shorts and snow is just stupid.
    Several of the places I lived had snow and below freezing temperatures during the winter. Trust me, we wore coats.
    Which means it's a good thing I'm not a parent, because no way my kid is leaving the house without pants or a coat.

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    1. I'm with you on that last sentence, Alex! I remember my mom telling me to wear a coat as a kid. Although I will say that even now, if I'm going to our huge outlet mall where we'll be walking around a lot, I weigh the pain of being cold for two minutes as I run in against having to carry a coat for an hour. Usually "being cold" wins!

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  3. I remember those days. I didn't wear a jacket unless it was below 20 and the wind was blowing...I wanted to acclimate so I could ski all day that Saturday without ever having to go into the lodge to warm up.

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    1. Everyone keeps complaining about "today's kids" not wearing coats, but I know that's always been a thing. Especially with teenage boys. They want to look tough. I guess if they don't have to stand outside at any point during the day, it's not a big deal, but waiting for the bus gets COLD!

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  4. The thing is, wearing a coat in cold weather isn't about getting sick or not. It's about if you get stranded somewhere so you don't freeze to death. In the last snow storm in western New York (where I used to live), people literally froze to death in their cars because they got stuck. And even if it doesn't snow where you are, vehicles break down. So it's kind of dangerous and really stupid not to dress for the weather.

    I was watching Dr. Phil on Monday and he was showing this new trend of teenagers filming themselves SETTING THEMSELVES ON FIRE. I have concluded that "kids these days" are actually dumber than my generation. I hate using that phrase and usually it makes me feel old, but in this case it just makes me feel intelligent.

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    1. And for the record, we always wore coats in the winter, even when we were teenagers.

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    2. I believe social media and "selfies" have given kids a little bit more of a license to be self-absorbed than we had. Adolescents seem inordinately concerned with what other people think--I think because they're still forming their own self-images. Add social media to it and it's just magnified. Instead of worrying what people think about a new outfit, they're snapping a photo of it and counting the number of likes. I think not wearing a coat is about what everyone else will think...as you get older you realize it's freakin' cold out there! Who cares if nobody else is wearing a coat, I'm going to be warm! As a teen, you're so worried about standing out, you'll apparently freeze to death to avoid it. It's like that old SNL skit with Billy Crystal where he said, "It's better to look good than feel good." As you get older, feeling good is MUCH more important than looking good because your self-image isn't based on what other people think of you. You know who you are.

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    3. Agreed. But in that case, just get a cute coat! lol They make some nice, stylish ones.

      My daughter is 20 and she never behaved this way, though. And I will say that not wearing a coat when it's cold bothers me much less than the setting themselves on fire. I mean, seriously??? You learn about fire danger when you're 3 years old.

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  5. My girls always wore coats, but my son is a different story. Part of the problem was that he was a year round tennis player (and practiced everyday indoors) and was just too lazy to keep changing clothes so he always had on shorts and a t shirt. I figured if he wasn't complaining about being cold, then I didn't care. We did make a rule about him having a coat in his car for emergencies.

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    1. I have had many days in my life of running into the gym without a coat on because I'm going to be walking for the next hour and when I come out, the cold will actually feel good!

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  6. Once the kids got past the age of "understanding" and could make their own decisions, I kind of let them decide if they wanted a coat or not. My daughter went for the coat more often than not, my son went with the trends of his friends. We were mainly living in Montana at the time and I think they "toughened up" or something because you saw a lot of people not in coats in winter; almost like they were used to the cold frigid air. Me, I was wrapped in multiple layers, a heavy coat, gloves, hat and was still cold.

    betty

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    1. I see young girls in the mall in their Uggs, mini skirts, tank tops, and scarves and wonder if their moms just dropped them off at the door. As Renee above said, though, you'd better hope your car doesn't break down on the way home... It's never quite that cold in Nashville, though.

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  7. Yeah right, I'd never let a kid go out without a coat or pants on just because. If they had some sport practice and ran to the car to the gym to the gym to the car, etc. yeah. But just to go out and be "cool" with no coat, pffft to that.

    But the cold does not make you sick, it can give you hypothermia haha but it doesn't make you sick. The germs you have in you make you sick while your body stops fighting them and fights to keep you warm instead.

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    1. Good point...also, as I once heard a dr. say, going from cold to hot to cold to hot can make your nose run and your eyes water. Touching your face to remedy that spreads the germs. When I worked in IT, people were always telling me not to touch my face while working on a computer. I had hand sanitizer at my desk, but I always forgot to take it with me. You have to touch people's keyboards and mice when you're in tech support and just hope you don't catch whatever they have...

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  8. Yes, did exactly the same, strange isn't it, maybe the fact that I was teaching long hours, hadn't time for being ill :0)

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    1. I don't have time to get sick, either. I stay out of the cold as much as possible.

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  9. I don't remember not wanting to wear a coat or a jacket but I do remember arguing with my Mom about having to wear a hat or about having to wear tights/leggings under my uniform skirt. Funny, because now I'm almost always cold. :)

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    1. We would freeze before wearing something we didn't think looked "cool!"

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  10. A well bread kid will not refuse anything :) And those two wenches walking in skimpy shorts will probably lose their female organs in about ten years or even less...

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    1. The funny thing is, girls who walk around like that think they look hot...most of the time people are looking at them, thinking, "Why are they wearing heels in ICE? Are they CRAZY?" Okay, maybe it's just women thinking that.

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  11. Thankfully my girls aren't this way and still listen to me but I have seen many teenagers dressed like the above when I drop my girls off at school. It is just nuts!

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    1. I think most of the time parents think it reflects badly on them when they send their children out to the bus stop wearing short sleeves and no coat in January... But other parents may realize you have to pick your battles!

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  12. There's always a cost for stupidity. Eventually one has to pay the price.

    If the girls only knew how immature and stupid they look without proper warm clothing, maybe they would smarten up and dress appropriately for the weather. Someday, they will learn a hard lesson. Being stupid isn't cool. I'd like anyone walk without a winter coat this morning. It's was -27°C or -16.6°F. this morning.
    Hugs
    JB

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    1. It reached 0 degrees last week and they closed Nashville schools due to "cold." No lie.

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  13. growing up in wisconsin, we remained bundled. until may, that is, when we'd get sent home from high school for wearing shorts when it finally hit 50 degrees. :)

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    1. I think in May, Nashville is already hitting 90 degrees usually!

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  14. I can't imagine why anyone would want to walk about coatless in freezing weather. Any guy who only wants a girl who looks "cute" and sacrifices comfort for mindlessly following fashion and seeking male attention isn't the type of guy who's good partner material anyway. I never understood the girls who pranced about in skintight booty shorts in the middle of winter, nor why their parents or guardians would even allow that.

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    1. What is it they say? Women dress for other women, not men? I think this is an example of that. Although men probably would look at any woman in skintight booty shorts, regardless of the weather!

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  15. I had no problem wearing a coat. I would certainly have my child wear one. It's hard on the body and catches up with you later. The two on the ice in heels are being stupid.

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    1. That's just crazy! I want to believe that isn't a real picture but I think it is!

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  16. "Put on a friggin coat! It's freezing!"

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  17. Funny! But I salute those who can walk around like those girls in the cold. Wow. If that was me I wouldn't be able to take a step.

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    1. And in HEELS on ice! That requires some skill. Or stupidity...probably the latter...

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  18. I'm going to blame the school. My kids weaned themselves off coats because they don't fit in the new skinny lockers. Or at least that's what they tell their mom and she bought it. But I will say, my college guys took back their coats, gloves, hats, and boots. They walk a long way to their classes, so hoodies no longer cut it.

    The shorts in winter look silly. So glad I don't have a daughter to hate me when I'd tell her tough, wear pants. And they're too short. Leave a little to the imagination. God knew it was wise to give me hoodie loving boys!

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    1. Ignore the butchered tenses in that comment. When I comment from the heart, I go fast and stupid.

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    2. I didn't even notice. I wish they'd let us edit comments without having to delete them and start over. Same with Twitter--don't they realize people need to edit?! I keep hearing that schools around here are cold, so kids often have to wear their coats in the classroom.

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  19. I've learned that you can't make kids do things like this if they don't want to. Make them wear a coat and they conveniently lose it. Oh the games kids can play.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. So true. They never stop reminding adults that they are in charge, do they?! It's their world...they just let us live in it.

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  20. I don't even know anymore. I've seen grown adults wearing shorts this time of year

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    1. I see a lot of adults in shorts, for sure. Mostly men. I think it's that tough guy thing...it never goes away!

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  21. I kinda wonder if they're warm blooded sometimes. Maybe my priorities just changed. I value comfort more than style. No way am I gonna freeze my butt off unnecessarily now. :)

    At certain temps I would force the issue. You're not going out in 5 degree weather with a wind and with bare legs showing. Of course mine are still young enough that they listen and one still likes wearing her snow pants. :)

    Seriously though, it can be a safety issue where we live and at some point I would take a strong stance and say no.

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    1. It can be a safety issue. It rarely gets dangerously cold in Nashville...seems just a few times a year.

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  22. Hi ,my name is David, and I were shorts in cold weather...
    Of course I live in south central Texas so it doesn't get too cold here.

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    1. Did you guys get a lot of snow last year? I seem to remember it being REALLY strange that Texas had snow! I'm in Nashville and we get snow once a year, if we're lucky--usually a light dusting.

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    2. I work in a school (and am a parent) and let me tell you that you can send your kid in a coat all you want to, but he minute they are out of your sight, it will be in their backpack or somewhere besides their back. Kids need to look cool even if it means they are cold.

      That's not a battle I'd choose to fight. When a kid finally feels cold, they'll put on a coat. And they won't catch a cold from not wearing a coat, there's germs for that.

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    3. That reminds me of a friend of mine in high school who always carried a big purse. She'd walk out of her house in one thing and change as soon as she got out of her mom's site. So...yeah...nagging definitely only goes so far!

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  23. The good news is that teens will eventually grow brains and not get frostbite. My parents would tell me to zip up my jacket and to wear long johns but as soon as I was away from their eyesight, i would do what I wanted. Now i was cold and always thought wearing something skimpy to look good was stupid. I was nice and warm while they were freezing. I did do one thing though...wore small little sneakers in big snow instead of boots....no idea what was in my head except marbles

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    1. I went out for New Year's Eve with friends in my younger years. They wore heels and laughed at me for wearing flats. I was laughing about an hour in, when their feet were killing them and I was still fine!

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  24. Parents should send all their kids to Winnipeg! That'll cure them fast. No one, not even a teenager, is walking around in booty shorts during the winter here.

    They really could die here if they dressed like that.

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    1. That's probably the difference between the South and everywhere else. Even though it's cold here in Nashville in the winter, it's not even close to what people experience in other areas.

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  25. When I headed out dressed in inappropriate weather my parents sighed and said 'no sense, no feeling'. And they were right. Or occasionally, 'no brain, no pain'. I did feel the pain, but didn't have the sense to do anything about it.

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    1. And you turned out okay! This definitely isn't a generational thing. It's been going on for as long as most of us have been alive, as these comments have proven!

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  26. Didn't have that problem w/ the teen. He stole my coat, which I was not amused about, especially since he ripped off all the buttons.

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    1. That's a completely different problem!

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  27. Ahhh! This is a fight my thirteen-year-old and I have EVERY morning. He says he doesn't need a coat because he won't be outside. And I say, "Yes, you DO need a coat because when you're standing outside in the carpool line waiting for me to pick you up, you're freezing your tush off." And he is! Even when he does take a coat, he stuffs it in his backpack and when he gets in the car, his ears are like Ice-Pops. *shakes head* I just don't get it...

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    1. I don't either. They have to look tough, I guess? Maybe for boys it's a rite of passage--a way of asserting their independence?

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  28. Favorite Young Man wouldn't wear a coat as a teen ('90s). It didn't matter how cold it was. So he didn't wear a coat. I couldn't force a coat on him. I could ground him, but he had to go to school. If I had somehow gotten a coat on him, he probably would have thrown it away the minute he was out of my sight. He's 34. We both survived the years of coat refusal. I don't remember not wanting to wear a coat. It was too cold. If I had wanted to go without a coat, I don't even want to think about what my mother would have done to me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I think that's perhaps what the experts mean by not forcing it. It's one of those issues that isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

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  29. I was one of those teens! I'm always hot, so I figured I didn't need a coat in winter if I went out at night. and if the coat ruined my outfit, my mom could beg and plead and I wouldn't bring my coat (or I'd bring it and not wear it). needless to say one time it was too cold and I was not dressed for it and I got sick and learned my lesson. Now i bring a jacket no matter what, even if it's summer!

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    1. Often in hot weather you need your jacket most. Those restaurants can be COLD!

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  30. I'm seeing that more and more too. It's ridiculous. I'd make my kid wear a coat. I hope that my son would have the common sense to wear a coat when it's cold without my making him do so!

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    1. It's interesting how many parents have spoken up today to say they gave up--or that their kids just shoved their coats in their backpacks once they were out of their parents' sight. I think the problem really becomes an issue once they're teens but it definitely isn't all children. I don't think I gave my mom all that hard a time about it when I was a teen.

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  31. I frequently dashed about as a teen w/out a coat. No way now! I now also wear gloves, lol! But they're fingerless, so I'm still cool. ;)

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    1. Sounds pretty cool! I feel like I need gloves while I'm typing on my computer now sometimes. It feels chilly, even indoors, especially in the morning!

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  32. Things don't change. It was always a struggle to get my kids to where their coats in cold weather....except when we lived in WI. grin.

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    1. It's interesting how many parents are reporting that same trouble in the comments today!

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  33. And....I can remember going outside barefoot in the snow when I was a kid. dur.

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  34. I don't have any kids, but at school a lot of kids come without a coat (and wearing shorts). They go outside for recess, so that can be a problem- or when there is a fire drill (they definitely act cold then). :) My mom made me wear a coat, but our school had a rule about the dates that shorts could be worn (and their length). ;)

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    1. I don't remember dates for shorts in school, but I do remember that fingertip test. Your shorts/skirt had to be longer than your fingertips or you were sent home. Actually...we may not have been allowed to wear shorts except on beach bum day. (Yes, we had one of those!) So it was just a fingertip rule for skirts.

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  35. Oh really? I did not know this was a thing. When I'd see kiddos in shorts or T-shirts at this time of year, I just thought they weren't paying attention to the weather reports. (Of course, today here shorts and T-shirts were perfectly acceptable. I won't tell you our high temperature.)

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    1. It's pretty cold here by Nashville standards...but it gets warm-ish in the winter sometimes.

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  36. I have a little bit of this in me, too. I resist the coat wearing till the last possible moment. My light jacket has been sufficient for years.

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    1. I got a lighter coat for Christmas--it's one of those Northface coats that are made to keep you warm without weighing a ton. I had a very heavy, thick coat before that and I never wore it because it felt like I was carrying a bear around.

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  37. Never mind coats, why on earth are those two girls wearing high-heeled shoes in the snow?! Our grandson came to stay for four days over Christmas. He got off the train without a coat or indeed anything else. Nothing! Just the clothes he arrived in, I was concerned as it was so cold my husband was more concerned about the fact that he didn’t have any clean underpants or a toothbrush. We were able to fit him up with a toothbrush and socks but there was no way he was going to wear any of his grandfather's underpants – so he wore the same ones for four days! What it is to be young and carefree – wish I could go back to those days.

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    1. I'm sure we were all that way at one point, although I don't remember it! I guess that's why parents always told their kids to always wear clean underwear in case they were in an accident and had to go to the hospital!

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  38. I know I'm old now Because I have to wear coat, hat, scarf And gloves!

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    1. And socks...even in the house! If your hands and feet are warm, you're warm!

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  39. Thanks, Stephanie, I need all the encouragement I can get.

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  40. Hi Stephanie! I saw the same article on FB. I remember when my son was in grammar school, a mom called me to rat him out. He was outside playing without his coat on. Back then, all the mom's watched out for each other's kids!

    I think the whole 'summer in winter' thing is crazy. We have warmer clothes because it's cold. DUH! It's not a fashion statement, it's keeping comfortable. I wouldn't have let my kids out of the house without at least a coat. What happens after that is not in my control. If they chuck it in the car or refuse to wear it two blocks into their walk, well, I'll never know. Unless the neighbor lady rats them out again!
    Ceil

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  41. So yesterday, as I'm driving my daughter to school, we spot a teenage boy in shorts. And it's about 20 degrees out! I pointed this out to my daughter and we both agreed that teenage boys are stupid LOL There are times when my daughter doesn't want to bring her coat, but it's because the high schoolers don't use their lockers (not enough time to get to them) and then end up carrying them, along with the 50 pounds of books that they are meant to carry on a daily basis. I make her bring her coat anyway...if it's less than 45 degrees out. I figure that she's layered up and that she will just be cold if that's her choice. She's not allowed to wear shorts to school when it's that cold.

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  42. I've always been warm, but when it's cold I wear and wore a coat. My mom never let me go with her to pick out my clothes, she always came back with clothes and coats or sweaters that I hated and didn't want to wear. But she made me wear a coat..a big plastic yellow coat with rubber rain shoe covers when it rained. Yeah, it was hideous. I always told myself that I would let my kid pick out her clothes when I had any and I did. If she wanted to get something inappropriate I said no, but she did get to pick her own coat out that she would actually wear because it was the same type of coat that her friends had. Same for shoes and shirts.

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  43. My parents made me wear a coat, scarf, and other things in the winter. I remember protesting, but had no choice. I always felt heavy and too covered, having to worry about carrying these things with me.

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  44. I've kinda lost the battle with my soon-to-be 14 year old. For the past few weeks, we've had some nasty early morning cold snaps (I live in CT) where the temps were in the single digits. But did my daughter wear a jacket?

    No.

    Only a hoodie.

    GRRRRRR......

    And then she complains when she gets SICK on the weekends....

    Father Nature's Corner

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  45. I live in Alberta. It gets freaking COLD here in the winter, but when I was a teenager I would often wear a miniskirt, heels and a leather jacket in the wintertime. My daughter, however, is much smarter than her mom. She dresses for the weather, and good thing too because we live even further north now than we did when I was her age LOL

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  46. I think part of the problem is that kids are oblivious to the temperatures! Amara would wear shorts everyday if Mom and Dad would let her. Good thing we live in southern California. Growing up in Michigan I gladly wore my coat!

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  47. Yet another dumb phase that will go out soon enough.
    But, if people don't want to wait... start a marketing campaign (some store or designer should jump on this) aimed at teen girls saying how hot some guy looks in his jacket. Basically, the Calvin Klein billboards of the 80's, or the entire Axe marketing line, but with a jacket. Have Taylor Swift or Katy Perry do a song about how sexy some guy's jacket is. Then have this jacket appear on every teen-aimed tv show and movie for a year. And, if you really really want the fad to stick, have parents and schools openly discuss how much they don't like the jacket. (Just come up with some reason. Anything at all that will get adults to roll their eyes. Even a terrible nickname.) For the ultimate icing-on-top... limited edition versions sold only at college stores with the school logo or colors, or Greek letters. Then, very slowly, release a few to be available to high school athletic teams, edging in on the "letterman jacket" arena.

    And that's how demand works. LOL.

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  48. I must admit here to being a fully grown adult with children of my own, and never wearing a coat. And I live in Pennsylvania, so yes, it gets cold. I just am NOT that cold, and coats kind of bug me. If it is like, below zero, yeah, I'll probably be throwing one on, but otherwise? I am that guy in the picture with the hoodie ;)

    I am 32 now, but when I was in high school and such, my parents didn't really care. I did wear a coat to school, but that was because we had to walk several blocks to get to swim practice, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. My dad gave me "the look" (still does, actually) when I didn't wear one, but they figured I was old enough to know whether I needed one.

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