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Old 08.03.2012, 10:56
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School Uniforms, good or bad?

I would like to know what everything thinks about school uniforms?

Back home we all had to wear uniforms, each day the same thing. Sure as kid you hate it and wish to wear what you want but that point of view changes when you get older. I see now that at least everyone was "the same" and nobody was judged by wearing the wrong shoes or not having THE name brand shirt.

Here in Switzerland the kids are allowed to wear what they want. As my daughter will start her first class after the summer I took a look at what the kids here are wearing. Luckily we are out on the land and it seems that most kids are "normal" dressed. But how it is with children who for example live in bigger cities like Zürich or Basel, Bern, ect?

How do you cope with the situation when they only want to wear name brands and have more expensive clothes than the rest of the family? Does fitting in mean you have to copy the others? How important is it for you as parent to make your point clear but also understand how the kids feel?

I know I am far too early to worry about such things but it would interest me to know how other parents cope.
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:08
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I have raised 2 kids here, both are now working full time. I found the answer was to investigate the price, of say a jacket, at C&A or Vogele, and give them the money. If they wanted something fancier they could use their pocket money.

I felt it taught them the value of money, and gave them some responsibility.
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:16
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I wish they had uniforms!!! Trying to dress 3 girls each morning causes major headaches!! I tend to stock up on clothes when I go back to the UK so luckily their clothes are a bit different to the clothes that can be bought here so they (especially my eldest) seem to enjoy wearing things that cannot be bought here!
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:18
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I wore a uniform in elementary school as a kid and I really wish my kids would have to wear them too. I have 3 girls that rush around in the morning dragging different clothes out of their closets searching for specific clothes that are usually in the wash. So we end up with clothes all over the place, grumpy kids and an annoyed mother. It would be SO much easier with a uniform.

My eldest girl has been pretty much "forced" into wearing jeans and plain shirts since kindergarden. There were a couple of nasty girls in her class that made fun of any girl who wore dresses or anything remotely girly and she couldn't deal with it. So she already started wanting to blend in very early on. I always felt a bit sad about it because it put a fast stop to that princess faze which she had always seemed to enjoy. Anyways, now in the fourth grade, and in a different class, there's no pressure as of yet on what to wear in respect to specific labels, but I expect it'll come eventually. I think it also depends a lot on the mix of kids, you're either lucky or not. My other 2 girls wear exactly what they want whether it matches or not and I haven't heard any comments as of yet from other kids (and there are a lot of kids already walking around in designer clothes).
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:31
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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My eldest girl has been pretty much "forced" into wearing jeans and plain shirts since kindergarden. There were a couple of nasty girls in her class that made fun of any girl who wore dresses or anything remotely girly and she couldn't deal with it. So she already started wanting to blend in very early on. I always felt a bit sad about it because it put a fast stop to that princess faze which she had always seemed to enjoy.
Oh my, that is terrible. I was thinking it would only be school where they are "picky" but if they start already in the kiga then it must be hard. We have luck that in the kiga there is just one girl who asks around how many shoes do the others have. I think that 16 different pairs are maybe not needed and told my daughter that before she would get to wear them all then they would be already too small. If there is a pair that she falls in love with and it is time for new then sure I will get them for her. But 16 pairs!!! and that with 5 years. naja..
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:47
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

16 pairs of shoes ? How will it be in 10 years? Not to mention the fact that I'm always tripping over the usual 4 pairs that are always lying around. I wouldn't know where to put so many. Shoes are sooo expensive here too, so I usually try to pass them from one girl to the next unless they're falling apart.

As for wearing expensive designer clothes, if my girls feel the pressure to wear such things, I have nothing against them having a few items, but that'll be their Christmas or birthday presents, or they will need to save up for them.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:15
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

FYI, a few years ago, some of the Basel schools tried an experiment with uniforms - which failed.

From what I understood, a large factor was that the uniforms chosen were very un-uniform like, that is, they chose clothes that were almost like everyday clothing, just not cool labels. (Rather than the UK style traditional blazers, etc.)

Here's an article:

http://www.nzz.ch/2007/02/18/il/articleEXMUR.html
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:38
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

School uniforms make life much simpler.
The only drawback, uniforms are not always made from comfortable materials and can be costly.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:42
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I think that there is quite a bit of upside to kids wearing uniforms during their primary years; it is much easier and for the more particular types, there is not any school-morning hassle about what to wear. In my experience, it was also easier to take care of the uniform clothing (easy care laundering; no-ironing) than regular clothing.

When our family was in the US, all the children in (public) elementary and middle school (age 11-14) in our district were required to participate in "standard dress" (read: khaki pants, shorts, capris, or skirts and a collared polo-type sports shirt each day). For the older kids, the idea was not so great. The whole notion of cost savings, which was touted by the school district, was hogwash as for the most part the kids still wore labeled clothing (A&F, Hollister, Aeropostale, etc.) to any after-school event and on weekends. Therefore, unless they simply refused, parents ended up purchasing both clothing for school as well as clothing for all other non-school occasions. To be honest, I sympathized with my daughter's disdain for those khakis and polo shirts, and wanted her to be able to wear more fashionable, flattering clothing during the times when she was not in school. In hindsight, it would have been better just to invest in a single wardrobe consisting of the clothing she liked.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:47
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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16 pairs of shoes ? How will it be in 10 years? Not to mention the fact that I'm always tripping over the usual 4 pairs that are always lying around. I wouldn't know where to put so many. Shoes are sooo expensive here too, so I usually try to pass them from one girl to the next unless they're falling apart.

As for wearing expensive designer clothes, if my girls feel the pressure to wear such things, I have nothing against them having a few items, but that'll be their Christmas or birthday presents, or they will need to save up for them.

shoes can be got for the cheap in places - even here! My girls have tons - once you add up all the flip flops, sneakers, boots, dressy shoes, play shoes, etc. you might be surprised how many you really have.
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Old 08.03.2012, 13:02
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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shoes can be got for the cheap in places - even here! My girls have tons - once you add up all the flip flops, sneakers, boots, dressy shoes, play shoes, etc. you might be surprised how many you really have.
Absolutely agree - shoes are not actually expensive in Switzerland. If you move away from Manor and those places and go to Schuhe Paradise, Dosenbach and similiar then you will get perfectly good shoes from 30 - 80CHF.

If you want to get expensive shoes then go to Australia where they have been expensive for years and still are, if anything shoes in Switzerland expecially decent quality are cheaper then Australia.

I don't think I have ever paid more then 80CHF in Switzerland and that was for hiking boots that have now lasted 5 years and if you shop when there are specials on then 30-50CHF is the typical cost of shoes
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Old 08.03.2012, 13:13
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

My girls were all cursed with extremely narrow feet, so I stopped looking in the cheaper shoe stores long ago as the shoes there never, ever fit them.. (If anyone knows where to find shoes for very narrow feet, I'd be very grateful!)
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Old 08.03.2012, 16:16
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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I would like to know what everything thinks about school uniforms?
I think they can look great, particularly the japanese-style ones.

Oh, you mean for _children_. Sorry, misunderstood you there for a moment...
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Old 08.03.2012, 20:48
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

You have also to consider the legal aspect of it. In normal countries it's a problem to limit personal freedom and expression by imposing a dress code.

Besides that, imho also kids have to learn to handle also with unjustified criticism (e.g. of being "badly" dressed).

And it might help them maybe to find their way for not being so extremely strangely or even badly dressed as many Britons or Americans are from a normal Europeans' view ...
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Old 09.03.2012, 00:03
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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Besides that, imho also kids have to learn to handle also with unjustified criticism (e.g. of being "badly" dressed).

Sure, I can understand that the kids should "stand up" to what they are but kids in a group can be very brutal to one that stands alone. The same as there is always the class clown and the cutest guy, there is also the one who gets pushed to the side and more or less teased. Be it for the hairstyle, the wrong school bag or also for the clothes.

Mostly kids - no matter what age - speak their mind or join the opinions of others before thinking first.

I find the idea of getting the kids clothes in a different country a great idea but I also wonder what parents do who cannot afford this.

Where are the carefree, run around and have a great childhood gone to...or were our parents also worried with such thoughts as we were kids?
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Old 09.03.2012, 00:48
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

Tell your daughter to ask this girl how she is coping since Mr Marcos passed away.

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Oh my, that is terrible. I was thinking it would only be school where they are "picky" but if they start already in the kiga then it must be hard. We have luck that in the kiga there is just one girl who asks around how many shoes do the others have. I think that 16 different pairs are maybe not needed and told my daughter that before she would get to wear them all then they would be already too small. If there is a pair that she falls in love with and it is time for new then sure I will get them for her. But 16 pairs!!! and that with 5 years. naja..
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Old 09.03.2012, 01:26
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I hated wearing a school uniform at high school. There is no way that one style of dress/clothing suits every teenage figure, especially for girls.

My children wore mufti to primary school and there was never a problem about what to wear ( mostly sewed by me.) One of my children had to wear a high school uniform and I found that more of a financial issue, than dealing with the clothing for the child who was able to continue wearing mufti right through school.

As a teacher, I have taught in schools that do, and ones that don't have uniforms. Uniforms are fine so long as parents label EVERY piece of clothing, so that we and the children can recognise ownership. It can be a problem for parents who cannot afford the expensive blazers etc, and faded clothing shows up more with uniforms than with the variety of mufti clothing.

One of my pet hate is mothers who dress their youngsters in designer labels/ fancy dresses ( I think "Hollywood" is a more appropriate description that "princess" rather than ones suitable for an active, working day at school.
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Old 09.03.2012, 06:46
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

We nearly sent our kids to St Georges because they have a school uniform!!!!!!!!
They have been at a British School in the Middle East, with uniform and I love that they wear the same thing everyday, no fashionista temper tantrums spending hours choosing what to wear, no distractions in the class comparing who wears what, no coming home in floods of tears when some other kid picks on them for what they wore!

Come September, our 3 girls will be wearing their own clothes - at first will be a novelty, but hopefully they will quickly settle into choosing their clothes the night before, and not insisting i buy them new clothes each week
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Old 09.03.2012, 07:59
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

I went to a primary school that did not have a uniform, and a high school that did wear a uniform. The issues of bullying for not having the 'right' uniform were certainly there at high school anyway - I copped bullying for having a second-hand uniform, a new uniform, a uniform that was too long, too short, the wrong combination, wearing thick woolen tights in winter (and I would freeze without them)...having the wrong coloured underwear....and if the other kids weren't bullying you about it, the teachers were harrassing you for having things 'wrong'.

I'm sure it varies depending on the culture of your school and also the sensitivities of the kids. But I suspect it's much more a problem at high school than primary school. If anything, I've seen less 'identity' clothing here - the basic jeans, t-shirt, coat thing seems to be standard...

My kids haven't hit the age yet where 'brands' are important...but I can't imagine it's worse than what I experienced with a uniform plus parents who could barely afford the uniform (I went to a government school which was free to attend, but tunics were over $50, $130 for a new blazer, shirts 20-30$)...In my final year I had to go to an award ceremony and borrowed a blazer from a friend who had just got a new one, because my parents would not buy me any uniform stuff in the last year of high school because I was 'leaving anyway'....
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Old 09.03.2012, 08:50
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Re: School Uniforms, good or bad?

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In normal countries
What's a 'normal' country? Examples?

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And it might help them maybe to find their way for not being so extremely strangely or even badly dressed as many Britons or Americans are from a normal Europeans' view
First you express a need to protect personal freedoms and then you make an argument for conforming so that you aren't exposed to someone's personal tastes?
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