About one in five (22%) adults thinks children should start choosing what to wear before the age of eight
Back-to-school season is here, and many parents and kids are heading to the stores to buy backpacks, school supplies, and new outfits. But who’s making the decisions: the kids who have to use and wear the items, or the parent who’s paying for it?
New research from YouGov Omnibus finds that in many cases, kids have at least some say in the back-to-school purchases. When it comes to clothing, kids are included in the purchasing decision 82% of the time; for book bags, they’re included in the decision 84% of the time. As for school supplies, they have at least some say in the decision in 75% of cases.
Only 12% of parents say they make clothing choices for their child without the child’s input. Even fewer (8%) say they choose their child’s bookbag for them, and 18% say they choose their child’s school supplies for them.
For some families, clothes shopping is made simpler by schools that require a uniform. Many Americans say that uniforms have positive effects on combating bullying and discrimination, encouraging discipline, promoting school pride and reducing decision fatigue. Parents of school-aged children are especially likely to say uniforms have a positive effect in these ways.
However, they’re almost evenly split on whether uniforms have a positive or negative impact in terms of “promoting a student’s individuality.” While 30% of parents say it has a positive effect, 31% say there’s a negative effect. Among the total population, about one-quarter (26%) say it has a positive effect on promoting individuality, while 35% think it has a negative effect in this regard.
Over half (55%) of Americans thought that school uniforms have a positive effect in terms of “saving parents money on clothing.” Parents themselves tended to agree (53%), but another 17% of people in this group said uniforms have a negative effect on saving parents money.
Of course, there does come a point where the kids themselves are choosing what to wear, and eventually buying their own clothes. About one in five (22%) adults thinks children should start choosing what to wear before the age of eight. Another 15% say “8 to 9 years old” is the best age for a child to start choosing what they wear, and 19% say “10 to 12 years” is the best age for it.
As for buying their own clothes, almost a quarter (23%) of adults say the best age for that is “16 to 18 years old” while a similar number (19%) say “13 to 15 years old” is when kids should start buying their own clothes.
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