When my mum received my first pre-school photos back when I was three years old, she said "JoJo, why are you wearing this outfit? I didn't dress you in this?"
A three-year-old me flicked my bob over my shoulder and smirked, saying something like, "I didn't want to fight with you, so I would just change into what I wanted to wear after you left for work. Pop didn't know what I was wearing when he dropped me off".
The sass. Mum was beaten by a three year old. (Something I think all mums can relate to).
From that day forward she let me explore and develop my own sense of style - I don't think she had much choice.
Now, with three kids of my own, I'm all about letting them explore their unique personalities through what they wear.
As an educator, former gifted and talented advisor and now author ( is a book for parents and kids to help unleash their gifts and passions and provide coping strategies for life), I have done copious amounts of research in developing creativity, resilience, and encouraging autonomy in children. My Happy Book
But the biggest learning has been from the education my children have given me. When I let them explore, they teach me to just be.
Allowing your child to choose their outfits at times models to your child that you accept them for who they are; you celebrate their creativity; you value their opinion; and show them that they don't need to be 'perfect'. Experimenting means being OK to take risks and make mistakes, and solving problems along the way.
We all choose our own outfits each day, which allows us to model the above to our children, so why not extend that same empowerment to them?
That's the purpose of Next's #DressingTheNextGeneration campaign, which encourages kids to dress themselves. The Next children's range is made from quality pieces that are great for kids to explore, play at the park, jump in muddy puddles, paint, draw and ride bikes. The idea is to let kids be kids - their true selves.