4 Moms on clothes and silliness

4moms35kids 4 Moms Q&A
Laura wants to know,

Any methods for how much clothing you allow per child? Does it vary by gender/age?  [I have] 4 kids, one boy that is five, three girls, ages 3, 19 months, and 4 months.


I wish I was that organized, because it would sure simplify our lives!  Much depends on how well you do at keeping up with laundry.  If you are right on top of things, you can make do with very few outfits.  The bedroom floor will be clean, the laundry room will be room, and your budget will be happy – until the washer breaks and laundry reaches Red Alert levels in 48 hours because that’s all the clothes your kids have.  Sometimes it’s nice to have two week’s worth of clothes in everyone’s closets – but not on the laundry room floor.  That’s not nice at all.

I do know that boys need more clothes than girls because apparently they consume them.  Socks, underwear, and whole outfits mysteriously disappear – or just turn up with big holes, like somebody got hungry and took a bite out of them.  For your 5yo boy, just plan on buying new socks and pants every 6 weeks.

Oh, and be suspicious if you never see his underwear in the laundry.  I’ve explained how things work in civilized nations, but he just doesn’t believe me.  An underwear quote from my own boy: “Mom, should I just these back in the drawer since I only wore them two days?”  Another quote: “Parker!  Don’t put those in the laundry!  You just put them on yesterday!”

In our house, younger ones need more clothes than older ones because they stain them more often.  There is a solution: If we were better with bibs, we’d be better with clothes too.

In my experience, very little ones don’t need many clothes at all.  If your diapers are doing their job, there shouldn’t be many stains from one end, and breastfeeding babies don’t generate a lot of stains from the other end.  Besides, my summer babies just live in onesies at home, and winter babies live in pj’s.  Like little rednecks, they only get fully dressed when they go to church.

From Amy:

How much silliness do you allow from a kindergartner at school time? Things like intentionally answering incorrectly to be funny? I’m not sure if it is her that needs to be more disciplined or me needing to be more patient… Or some of both.


I think this is largely a matter of personal opinion and toleration.  How much silliness are you willing to tolerate?  When does it become disruptive and counterproductive?  Does your daughter understand that there is a time and a place for silliness, or does this silliness feed into other areas?

We do a lot of laughing in our house, but when I feel that silliness is turning into foolishness or idleness, that’s when I put an end to it.  If we can laugh while we learn, why not?  But if we’re just wasting our time on nonsense, it’s time to redirect.  If our children start acting silly during church, it may be time to set firmer boundaries.  But if it’s working, then you and your little girl are making good memories together while she learns.

 Your turn: How would you answer the questions above?

See what questions the other moms are answering today:


  1. Aaaahhhh!!! I have the same underwear issue with my 5 year old boy! Lol. Either that or he just doesn’t wear them!

  2. Also be suspicious if you don’t see any of your son’s underwear in the laundry because he hates wearing them. Mine is 10 and I still have to ask, “are you wearing underwear?” before he leaves the house! 🙂 At least they’re not dirty though, I guess…

  3. I once had a son reveal that one of his older brothers, who happened to be in charge of folding socks and underwear, had decided not to change those items often because he thought it would lessen his workload.

  4. These are great. I can’t imagine the amount of clothing you have with ten kids, as I get overwhelmed by the laundry from four sometimes! I would love to get organized and have a sort of “clothing plan,” but I have found that kids wear clothes differently even if they are girls. My second daughter (who I always say was God’s way of preparing me for my son regarding energy level) goes through clothes like crazy. Hand-me-downs that looked brand new after my first daughter are practically rags by the time Daughter 2 is done with them! So yeah, I think it all depends on the kids.

    • I agree. It definitely depends on the kid. My youngest daughter is EXTREMELY hard on clothes. She can stain her clothes in nothing flat. My middle daughter even told me once, “Mom, don’t buy that for her. You know she doesn’t need anything white. She’ll never keep it clean.” My son is much easier on clothes, except that he wears holes in the knees constantly.

  5. Perhaps the bigger question is how many clothes should an adult have? LOL! I always think I have a decently thinned out wardrobe until it comes time to put washed clothes away, and then it seems that I have half of the Mall’s inventory that needs put away. 🙂

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