Do you think certain things can make a child look loved?

(126 Posts)

I was chatting to my nan, after recently learning to knit, and she said that hand knitted things make a baby or child look loved. I could see her point, that someone had taken the time to make it etc. My mum said that hand made anything will make a child looked loved. That and vests, good shoes and being wrapped up warm in the winter.
I was chatting to my friend about it and she looked at me as if I'd lost my marbles! She just said that you can't tell how much a child is loved by these things. hmm I'm not so sure. Do you think certain things can make a child look loved? and if so, what? I'm not talking about how parents interact with them etc. This is if you were to see the child on their own? Is there something in this or is my family just barking mad?? grin

Dromedary Mon 10-Feb-14 12:13:42

No, not really. A well dressed child perhaps more likely to come from a well off SAHM kind of family? Doesn't mean they're more loved. A child whose parents struggle with lack of money and time and have lots of problems to deal with may look less well dressed, less clean etc, but may still be very much loved.

I see your point. I'm not talking about designer or expensive clothes etc. Just the little touches that someone has thought about.

Mojang Mon 10-Feb-14 12:18:18

Not hand knitted nowadays no, although your Nan may well be right about when she was raising her own DC.

Anything that is the opposite of neglect will help them look loved I suppose e.g the child who always turns up at school in a dirty shirt and with no coat looks un-loved so the opposite must be true?

It's all rubbish though. I honestly can't say I've ever considered whether my DC look loved. DS1 went off in the rain without a coat this morning and DS2's hair was doing all sorts of wild things....

Mojang Mon 10-Feb-14 12:18:56

Oh and IME parents who are over concerned with appearances are some of the coldest...

MarthasHarbour Mon 10-Feb-14 12:19:41

I think its a generation thing. I cant knit or crochet to save my life but i love my son more than life itself!

my nan and mum on the other hand can knit, i dont think i was loved by them any more than i love my son IYKWIM

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 10-Feb-14 12:22:25

I think my mother thinks that ironed clothes do it. DH and I haven't ironed since we moved in together (fulltime jobs, hours of commuting, yadda yadda yadda...) and when we had kids we had even less time for it! My mum irons their stuff while I'm not around.

They're generally in handknitted cardies and jumpers in winter and do get a lot of comments on how nice the stuff is, though no-one has ever commented on how much we must love them!

BabysNewName Mon 10-Feb-14 12:24:18

MIL reckons that if white baby vests/sleep suits are grey due to washing the child looks unloved.

I hope you're not referring to me??? I'm the warmest, fluffiest mummy you could meet! grin

I'd never really thought about either until this conversation when both my mum and nan had very firm ideas on it. (Both are very warm, kind people BTW) It got me thinking though...

ShoeWhore Mon 10-Feb-14 12:27:51

Surely it's whether the child is actually loved that is important rather than the appearance of it?

My youngest hates wearing a coat, he just about tolerates it but won't fasten it up. Hope noone interprets this as him being unloved hmm - of course I adore him!

givemeaclue Mon 10-Feb-14 12:28:01

Hilarious that well dressed children are more likely to have a non working mum! Really?

Wishihadabs Mon 10-Feb-14 12:28:06

Shoes and clothes that fit and are not necessarily new but well maintained ( eg shoes cleaned, coats that do up, even if the buttons don't match)

Oh, so people do think like this, just not the younger generation. I did put a vest on my DD recently that was greyish from washing. Better get rid of that one then. wink

weebarra Mon 10-Feb-14 12:30:52

Not sure. A mum who lives near me dresses her children beautifully. They are immaculate. However, her oldest is late for school (yr1) every morning, despite the fact they live ten minutes from school.
I'm not saying this means they are in any way unloved, just that this mum appears to prioritise her children looking good over them getting to school on time.

Mojang Mon 10-Feb-14 12:32:51

I agree givemeaclue. IME, among DC's friends, it's the children's whose parents both work long hours who are the best turned out. I don't know if it's over compensating or whether if you're driven to work hard the material things that brings are more important to you, just a coincidence among the children I know or something else completely. Absolutely sure it has nothing to do with how loved a child is but maybe it does give that impression.

DS1's shoes badly needed cleaning when he left this morning...

GingerMaman Mon 10-Feb-14 12:34:16

No. I dress my baby still in babygrows but that doesn't mean I don't love her enough. In fact I love her so much that I put her in the comfiest of clothes despite knowing that people will judge me and look down on me, but who cares, my beloved's comfort comes 1st! smile

choceyes Mon 10-Feb-14 12:35:10

well DS hardly ever wears a coat or gloves or scarf and only the school fleece when I badger him and bribe him to. Even in this weather. I'm sure the teachers must think I'm letting him freeze! Although they have also commented that he tends to strip off his fleece at all times, even outside play time, so I think they do know it's not neglect!

And DD always has knotty hair, she is 3.5. I do brush it sometimes, but she hates it and it needs to be brushed twice daily if it's to look nice, and in the morning, I really don't have the time to argue and cajole with her as I have to go to work. We compromise by having it up in a pony tail.

I wouldn't judge any child on their apprearance as to whether they are loved or not. I don't think you can.

If you judged my DS by those standards, you would think that I don't like him very much. He tends to look unkempt, in clothes that barely fit and hair that sticks up.

But I actually think he is wonderful and he is very, very loved. He is also fiercely independent with fixed ideas about what he will and will not do. So I reserve my battles for teeth cleaning and getting him to eat.The clothes - well - he can dress himself and sometimes that means putting up with him choosing much loved, somewhat outgrown, favourites.

MothratheMighty Mon 10-Feb-14 12:36:06

I am a child of the 60s who was the firstborn for many years.
The number of lovingly knitted and hideous creations I was forced to wear because someone had made them especially for me was wide-ranging. From crocheted dresses in salmon and turquoise to velvet hot pants and huge purple arran sweaters with all the patterns.
What makes a child looked loved?
Looking as if they have been washed at least once a day, reasonably clean clothing (Not still grimy from the week before) Clothes that aren't too small.
Personal touches are great, I saw a child in the supermarket the other day with wellies, leggings, a white tutu, a warm coat and a crusader helmet. That's a child who is loved.
But no, it's the emotional response of the child that lets you know if they feel themselves loved.

DevonFolk Mon 10-Feb-14 12:37:03

I would say the evidence of a child being loved is in their eyes and nature in general. My DD lives in hand me downs because I can't afford new clothes for her. However she couldn't be more loved (I hope!) and this comes across to others because of how happy she is. That, to me, is more important than what she's wearing.

My nan and mum were both working mums by the way, as am I. (I work nights) I don't think it has anything to do with working vs stay at home mums. Or much to do with money either.

MothratheMighty Mon 10-Feb-14 12:38:40

'And DD always has knotty hair, she is 3.5. I do brush it sometimes, but she hates it and it needs to be brushed twice daily if it's to look nice, and in the morning, I really don't have the time to argue and cajole with her as I have to go to work. We compromise by having it up in a pony tail.'

Or you could cut it.

MissMilbanke Mon 10-Feb-14 12:39:25

I think its a nice thought.

But its just a thought - nothing to do with reality.

MothratheMighty Mon 10-Feb-14 12:40:49

'I would say the evidence of a child being loved is in their eyes and nature in general. My DD lives in hand me downs because I can't afford new clothes for her. However she couldn't be more loved (I hope!) and this comes across to others because of how happy she is. That, to me, is more important than what she's wearing.'

That's exactly what I'd notice, DevonFolk. I've worked in schools in very wealthy areas, and in some of the most deprived imaginable. Handmedowns are often very comfortable and worn-in, and you can have more variety on a low budget.

I think babies in baby grows is definatly something that makes them look loved! You've put the babies comfort before fashion etc. Also, nothing at all wrong with hand me downs. I had enough of them and still looked gorgeous! wink

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