PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a battle that’s being fought in households with children across the country every time you’re about to step outside.
Someone has to say the phrase, “Put on your coat.”
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It’s not really rocket science, when it’s cold, wear a coat, is it?
But for some reason, our children’s minds are wired a little differently.
Let’s meet the Elmer kids.
“Three boys and a girl, 14, 12, 10 and eight years old [years old]”, said Paul Elmer. “The eight and 10 year olds still reluctantly respect the mandate, [but the older two] 14 and 12 year olds, they are just that, no – not at all.
Sara Banks is a family counselor at the Cranberry Psychological Center and also a mother.
“The struggle is real,” she said. “I know my nine-year-old really feels that it’s not a real fashion statement.”
Even with how cold it was, you will undoubtedly see shorts and many open jackets…no hats or gloves.
That’s what Paul saw when he picked up his son and a friend the other night.
“It was minus four on my dash and one had a long sleeve t-shirt on, the other had a light hoodie on,” he recalled.
He said their coats were stuffed in their backpacks, but why?
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“Your guess is as good as mine, I have no idea,” he said.
Banks’ answer is quite simple: there is a rebellion factor.
“I’m not doing it because I’m the cool kid and because you said so,” she explained.
As for the younger ones, Banks said an encore would work.
“I love having a visual aid by the door, like a checklist for little ones, which can be really helpful,” Banks said.
If the kids see it as a fashion issue, take them shopping for coats.
“You just have to let them choose and if it’s something they’ve chosen and like, there’s a lot less resistance,” she added.
Sometimes the fight isn’t worth it.
“There are other hills to die in, other battles to fight, and maybe this isn’t the one,” Paul Elmer said.
Now, that assumes safety is not at stake.
“Sometimes it’s not negotiable,” Banks said.
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She suggests setting a family temperature threshold, for her family it’s 20 degrees. Everything below and coats are no longer optional.