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Talk to me about teens sharing clothes in your house. What makes it work well?


unsinkable
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Any advice? Any rules? Warnings?

 

(If, per chance, your kids share and it's Shangra-la with no rules and it's just peace-love-same-size-sweaters, congrats).

 

Two of my kids are almost the same size and I'd like for them to have some guidelines BEFORE it becomes an issue. Ideally, I'd like to say, "I've heard this works for families" and then have them hammer out their own rules.

 

TIA!

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What works for us is: having already perfected and practice the art of sharing in the first several years of their lives.

 

It isn't magic that makes it work in our household. Its mutual respect and a willingness to share and compromise from time to time. If *you* have to figure out how sharing something will work for your teens, the odds are good that *they* haven't learned to share as well as they possibly should have...

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Two rules have saved our sanity:

1 - Borrowing someone else's stuff requires verbal permission from the owner OR in the case of a dire emergency, parent permission with the understanding that the parent will "make it right" if somehow things go wrong.

 

2 - Borrowed clothes come back in good shape or the borrower has to "make it right".  In the event of an unanticipated catastrophic event, Mom may choose to make things right (replace, repair).

 

My boys are the same size and have been for the last four years.  When DS22 is home, he often borrows DS18's clothes since what he owns these days are mostly uniforms.

 

My girls have been getting closer and closer in size as DD12 gets older.  DD20 was borrowing some of DD12's things last summer because she had left most of her things at college.  Of course many of DD12's things were hand-me-downs that older DD had left behind when she went off to school, so what comes around seems to go around again.....

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What works for us is: having already perfected and practice the art of sharing in the first several years of their lives.

 

It isn't magic that makes it work in our household. Its mutual respect and a willingness to share and compromise from time to time. If *you* have to figure out how sharing something will work for your teens, the odds are good that *they* haven't learned to share as well as they possibly should have...

I didn't get the impression that she was expecting any kind of major problems, but rather that she was trying to ensure that things would go as smoothly as possible and she wanted to help the kids set some basic ground rules.

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What works for us is: having already perfected and practice the art of sharing in the first several years of their lives.

 

It isn't magic that makes it work in our household. Its mutual respect and a willingness to share and compromise from time to time. If *you* have to figure out how sharing something will work for your teens, the odds are good that *they* haven't learned to share as well as they possibly should have...

I didn't ask how to teach my teens to share their clothes. I also specifically said, "Ideally, I'd like to say, 'I've heard this works for families" and then have them hammer out their own rules.'"

 

I'm happy that you practiced and perfected sharing at your home!

 

We're not so perfect here.

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Two rules have saved our sanity:

1 - Borrowing someone else's stuff requires verbal permission from the owner OR in the case of a dire emergency, parent permission with the understanding that the parent will "make it right" if somehow things go wrong.

 

2 - Borrowed clothes come back in good shape or the borrower has to "make it right". In the event of an unanticipated catastrophic event, Mom may choose to make things right (replace, repair).

 

My boys are the same size and have been for the last four years. When DS22 is home, he often borrows DS18's clothes since what he owns these days are mostly uniforms.

 

My girls have been getting closer and closer in size as DD12 gets older. DD20 was borrowing some of DD12's things last summer because she had left most of her things at college. Of course many of DD12's things were hand-me-downs that older DD had left behind when she went off to school, so what comes around seems to go around again.....

Thank you! It's is helpful to hear specific examples like yours.

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I didn't get the impression that she was expecting any kind of major problems, but rather that she was trying to ensure that things would go as smoothly as possible and she wanted to help the kids set some basic ground rules.

Can I borrow your avatar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:lol:

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Interestingly, clothes are not something my girls have ever really shared. I'm not sure why because they share pretty much everything else. Maybe because their tastes in clothes run radically different. Although, they do pass around items as they tire of them or they gain or lose weight or grow in height. So I guess what works for our family is no sharing. I kind of like it that way since I don't have to police the wardrobes.

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Interestingly, clothes are not something my girls have ever really shared. I'm not sure why because they share pretty much everything else. Maybe because their tastes in clothes run radically different. Although, they do pass around items as they tire of them or they gain or lose weight or grow in height. So I guess what works for our family is no sharing. I kind of like it that way since I don't have to police the wardrobes.

Ugh. I'm crushed. I thought you'd be my guru! All those girls! I'd thought you'd have a plethora of advice.

 

It's my boys who'd be sharing and their style is the same. It's kind of a funky prep style, I'd say. And they have the same coloring so all the same colors look good on both of them.

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My teens (a girl & a boy) don't share clothes, but here's a piece of advice from the olden days (when my younger sis was into borrowing my clothes)...

 

Most things work out ok, but remember that sweaters are stretchy & if too weirdly stretched by the time it gets back to the original owner, it may never be the correct size or shape again. I swear my sis must have borrowed my sweaters, outfitted some orangutan with them & then would return them a week or two later. The sleeves were always about four times their normal circumference & almost twice as long (meaning the sleeves hung to my knees). After she ruined a fave sweater of mine, I would not let her borrow any more sweaters (or any top, really, that would be sufficiently stretchy that the orangutan could ruin). I'm not against my sister or orangutans, but I don't let them borrow my sweaters either. Just sayin'....

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My teens (a girl & a boy) don't share clothes, but here's a piece of advice from the olden days (when my younger sis was into borrowing my clothes)...

 

Most things work out ok, but remember that sweaters are stretchy & if too weirdly stretched by the time it gets back to the original owner, it may never be the correct size or shape again. I swear my sis must have borrowed my sweaters, outfitted some orangutan with them & then would return them a week or two later. The sleeves were always about four times their normal circumference & almost twice as long (meaning the sleeves hung to my knees). After she ruined a fave sweater of mine, I would not let her borrow any more sweaters (or any top, really, that would be sufficiently stretchy that the orangutan could ruin). I'm not against my sister or orangutans, but I don't let them borrow my sweaters either. Just sayin'....

Outfitted an orangutan! :lol: That's hysterical!

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So, maybe a house rule could be: you may share clothes but are not allowed to then share your sibling's clothing with orangutans (or gorillas or whatever animals you have in your area). I think that's a good blanket rule. I mean, for those who live in FL, can you imagine letting an alligator borrow your brother's or sister's clothing? Might be shredded when returned.... Tsk. Tsk.

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DD and I borrow clothes back and forth, but it hasn't really been an issue.  She takes good care of things and so do I, so I can't really remember anytime that damage has occurred, other than basic wear and tear.  

 

Somethings that we share stay in her closet, some are in mine.  We just grab what we want and return it in clean condition.  If the person is in the house, we ask first or call if we can. 

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I am very much not into forced sharing, due to situations like the example with the orangutang :D (not saying you are forcing them, it sounds like they like sharing clothes, just prefacing to say I would not force sharing of personal items). As an adult I don't blindly share everything, someone needs to be known as responsible and earn trust, etc. To that end, this is how my parents handled clothing, specifically, between my sister and I. 

 

All clothes have an owner. Clothes are quite different to 'family toys' or books we all shared, and the likelihood of two people fighting over a top or dress is higher since they may both want it for a specific event, unlike books and toys which one can use after the other is finished. And when you shop at thrift stores, you often end up with one-of-a-kind irreplacable items, as opposed to being able to replace a torn book or a broken toy. Ruining a vintage top which came from a consignment store is much more permanent. so ALL clothes had a specific owner in our house because of this. If we were at the op shop or store and both saw a wonderful top we would have to come to an agreement between us over who got it (often we would find two tops and take one each). If one child accompanied mum and one did not, the accompanying child got first dibs (however we learnt that if we didn't abuse this power, and allowed some of the nice items to go to sister, they would do the same. If we didn't, they didn't. We learnt about giving and receiving courtesy that way). For a particularly gorgeous off-the-rack item from a department store, we might buy one each or come to an agreement (by this time we were buying our own clothes, so buying two was not unreasonable, especially once we got into adult sizes. I still own and wear some of the items my sister and I bought as teens, so buying one each made sense longterm). In short, do not have 'shared clothes' as such, give each item an official 'owner'. 

 

The second rule was, we had to ask for permission to borrow a clothing item. Every time. If something happened to it in our care we were responsible for making amends, and we knew it would effect future borrowings (the time my sister ruined a top and didn't care, shrugging it off, I refused to let her borrow clothes for some 6 months afterwards. On the other hand, a few years later she damaged one of my tops and apologized, and gave me one of her tops that she knew I loved and I tended to wear more than she did anyway, and things were fine)

 

These two basic rules made the whole process fairly painless, except for when my sister decided not to share out of spite for something else, but since they were HER clothes, she was perfectly entitled to do that, and I could choose how to respond, just as we now have to do as adults when people are petty and unreasonable. Actually, come to think of it, we learnt a number of really good lessons about social etiquette from the whole process!

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I have evidence:

http://cjonline.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/11904208.jpg

 

How my sweaters fit when returned:

http://blogs.houstonzoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Orangutan-Sweater1-400.jpg.

 

(I would put the photos in directly, but I am on my iPad and cannot figure out how to do that...)

OMGosh...his face in the picture! It's too much.

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I am very much not into forced sharing, due to situations like the example with the orangutang :D (not saying you are forcing them, it sounds like they like sharing clothes, just prefacing to say I would not force sharing of personal items). As an adult I don't blindly share everything, someone needs to be known as responsible and earn trust, etc. To that end, this is how my parents handled clothing, specifically, between my sister and I.

 

All clothes have an owner. Clothes are quite different to 'family toys' or books we all shared, and the likelihood of two people fighting over a top or dress is higher since they may both want it for a specific event, unlike books and toys which one can use after the other is finished. And when you shop at thrift stores, you often end up with one-of-a-kind irreplacable items, as opposed to being able to replace a torn book or a broken toy. Ruining a vintage top which came from a consignment store is much more permanent. so ALL clothes had a specific owner in our house because of this. If we were at the op shop or store and both saw a wonderful top we would have to come to an agreement between us over who got it (often we would find two tops and take one each). If one child accompanied mum and one did not, the accompanying child got first dibs (however we learnt that if we didn't abuse this power, and allowed some of the nice items to go to sister, they would do the same. If we didn't, they didn't. We learnt about giving and receiving courtesy that way). For a particularly gorgeous off-the-rack item from a department store, we might buy one each or come to an agreement (by this time we were buying our own clothes, so buying two was not unreasonable, especially once we got into adult sizes. I still own and wear some of the items my sister and I bought as teens, so buying one each made sense longterm). In short, do not have 'shared clothes' as such, give each item an official 'owner'.

 

The second rule was, we had to ask for permission to borrow a clothing item. Every time. If something happened to it in our care we were responsible for making amends, and we knew it would effect future borrowings (the time my sister ruined a top and didn't care, shrugging it off, I refused to let her borrow clothes for some 6 months afterwards. On the other hand, a few years later she damaged one of my tops and apologized, and gave me one of her tops that she knew I loved and I tended to wear more than she did anyway, and things were fine)

 

These two basic rules made the whole process fairly painless, except for when my sister decided not to share out of spite for something else, but since they were HER clothes, she was perfectly entitled to do that, and I could choose how to respond, just as we now have to do as adults when people are petty and unreasonable. Actually, come to think of it, we learnt a number of really good lessons about social etiquette from the whole process!

Thank you abba! Lots of good thoughts!

 

No orangutan-ing of clothing is sounding like a good rule.

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My younger sister and I loaned each other clothes for a while, but then my mom nixed it. The problem was my sister was not very responsible with anyone's property, including her own, so she damaged several of my items that were not really replaceable due to thrift store shopping. I would be upset and ban her from borrowing for a while, but then she'd beg and I'd give in and she'd ruin something else or leave it crumpled in some random place for weeks (Mickey T-shirt in the back of the coat closet?!?) until I found it. She even lost my best friend's shirt that she borrowed after spilling something on her own at a party! My mom decided shewas not mature enough to have the privilege of borrowing my stuff and it was nice for me to no longer be the "bad guy" for saying no.

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No orangutan-ing of clothing is sounding like a good rule.

I think I want to get this sentiment made in those custom vinyl letters you can put on the wall. It would be a perfect birthday gift for my sister, so thanks for the idea. (She will *totally* know what it refers to as soon as she opens it!)

 

House Rule: No Orangutaning of Clothing is Permitted.

 

Rofl. (And, yes, I would totally give her a gift like that.)

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I think I want to get this sentiment made in those custom vinyl letters you can put on the wall. It would be a perfect birthday gift for my sister, so thanks for the idea. (She will *totally* know what it refers to as soon as she opens it!)

 

House Rule: No Orangutaning of Clothing is Permitted.

 

Rofl. (And, yes, I would totally give her a gift like that.)

You and your sister sound cool.

 

I'd like to suggest a plaque...with a picture of that orangutan in the white sweater.

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I am very much not into forced sharing, due to situations like the example with the orangutang :D (not saying you are forcing them, it sounds like they like sharing clothes, just prefacing to say I would not force sharing of personal items). As an adult I don't blindly share everything, someone needs to be known as responsible and earn trust, etc. To that end, this is how my parents handled clothing, specifically, between my sister and I. 

 

All clothes have an owner. Clothes are quite different to 'family toys' or books we all shared, and the likelihood of two people fighting over a top or dress is higher since they may both want it for a specific event, unlike books and toys which one can use after the other is finished. And when you shop at thrift stores, you often end up with one-of-a-kind irreplacable items, as opposed to being able to replace a torn book or a broken toy. Ruining a vintage top which came from a consignment store is much more permanent. so ALL clothes had a specific owner in our house because of this. If we were at the op shop or store and both saw a wonderful top we would have to come to an agreement between us over who got it (often we would find two tops and take one each). If one child accompanied mum and one did not, the accompanying child got first dibs (however we learnt that if we didn't abuse this power, and allowed some of the nice items to go to sister, they would do the same. If we didn't, they didn't. We learnt about giving and receiving courtesy that way). For a particularly gorgeous off-the-rack item from a department store, we might buy one each or come to an agreement (by this time we were buying our own clothes, so buying two was not unreasonable, especially once we got into adult sizes. I still own and wear some of the items my sister and I bought as teens, so buying one each made sense longterm). In short, do not have 'shared clothes' as such, give each item an official 'owner'. 

 

The second rule was, we had to ask for permission to borrow a clothing item. Every time. If something happened to it in our care we were responsible for making amends, and we knew it would effect future borrowings (the time my sister ruined a top and didn't care, shrugging it off, I refused to let her borrow clothes for some 6 months afterwards. On the other hand, a few years later she damaged one of my tops and apologized, and gave me one of her tops that she knew I loved and I tended to wear more than she did anyway, and things were fine)

 

These two basic rules made the whole process fairly painless, except for when my sister decided not to share out of spite for something else, but since they were HER clothes, she was perfectly entitled to do that, and I could choose how to respond, just as we now have to do as adults when people are petty and unreasonable. Actually, come to think of it, we learnt a number of really good lessons about social etiquette from the whole process!

 

All of this.  Clothes are so much more personal...more like statement than a possession, particularly for a teen girl. One ruined piece can really wreck up a favorite outfit.

 

That said, Unsinkable, you have BOYS!  I can't imagine boys caring enough about clothes to fight over them anyway :D

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All of this. Clothes are so much more personal...more like statement than a possession, particularly for a teen girl. One ruined piece can really wreck up a favorite outfit.

 

That said, Unsinkable, you have BOYS! I can't imagine boys caring enough about clothes to fight over them anyway :D

My son is much more into his 'look' than my dd is! (Dd doesn't care that much as long as the clothing is relatively plain & soft.)

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You and your sister sound cool.

 

I'd like to suggest a plaque...with a picture of that orangutan in the white sweater.

I will be pet-sitting for my sis later this year. She may have a new decorative piece or two over her washer/dryer area when she returns! Lol!

 

ETA: Ironically, my fave sweater that she ruined was a solid white one so the photo is perfect.

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Reminders that they need to keep up with doing their laundry, because if they run out of stuff to wear that is when they tend to "borrow" something from the other without asking if it's okay (that was for the girls). My youngest girl and boy are going to end up being the tallest which is kind of funny. Fortunately they have all mostly been sized so differently from one another that they don't usually wear the same size at the same time...long legs, wide shoulders, wide hips, really skinny, medium, slightly chunky, short, tall, medium. The other thing: styles that work on one don't work on the other. One daughter, short, very thin, looks best in contemporary straight line dresses, skirts, while her younger, taller, also thin sis looks best in fuller skirts, so just tops are the issues between them now.

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Ugh. I'm crushed. I thought you'd be my guru! All those girls! I'd thought you'd have a plethora of advice.

 

It's my boys who'd be sharing and their style is the same. It's kind of a funky prep style, I'd say. And they have the same coloring so all the same colors look good on both of them.

 

For some reason, boys are usually very reluctant to share clothes. I have 6 nephews (3 pairs of brothers), and I don't think I have ever seen them trading clothes. And when I compliment my kids' friends, the girls might say, oh, this shirt is actually so-and-so's, but never the boys. 

 

I might have to ask them why. 

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My three oldest and my Dh are all within 2 inches, 20 pounds and one shoe size of each other, so they share clothes fairly often. They even trade and give each other clothes that they no longer want. It works well, and we've never had any issues. Basically, socks are fair game, as long as they aren't the last pair of that style in the drawer. For anything else, they have to ask. 

 

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Two rules have saved our sanity:

1 - Borrowing someone else's stuff requires verbal permission from the owner OR in the case of a dire emergency, parent permission with the understanding that the parent will "make it right" if somehow things go wrong.

 

2 - Borrowed clothes come back in good shape or the borrower has to "make it right".  In the event of an unanticipated catastrophic event, Mom may choose to make things right (replace, repair).

 

My boys are the same size and have been for the last four years.  When DS22 is home, he often borrows DS18's clothes since what he owns these days are mostly uniforms.

 

My girls have been getting closer and closer in size as DD12 gets older.  DD20 was borrowing some of DD12's things last summer because she had left most of her things at college.  Of course many of DD12's things were hand-me-downs that older DD had left behind when she went off to school, so what comes around seems to go around again.....

 

Basically, all of this. 

 

My big sister and I shared clothes. The rule was that she was allowed to borrow any and everything from my closet she wanted whenever she wanted without asking permission. I had to ask permission and would be denied every. single. time. Somehow, this seemed fair at the time? My girls do borrow from each other, but each have their own wardrobes. I don't think we have had any huge fights over clothing. Or, they beat each other senseless and didn't let me know... It is possible.

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My big sister and I shared clothes. The rule was that she was allowed to borrow any and everything from my closet she wanted whenever she wanted without asking permission. I had to ask permission and would be denied every. single. time. Somehow, this seemed fair at the time?

 

:lol:

 

(Of course, I'm the eldest sibling, so this arrangement makes total sense to me! We've got to keep you young, whippersnapper siblings in line!)

 

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