Watch CBS News

Battling Over Bundling Up: Keeping Your Kids Warm And 'Cool'

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's a battle that is waged in households with children across the country every time you're about to go out.

Someone has to say the phrase, "Put on your coat."

It's not exactly rocket science, when it's cold, wear a coat, right?

But for some reason, our children's minds are wired a bit differently.

Let's meet the Elmer Children.

"Three boys and a girl, 14, 12, 10, and eight [years old]," Paul Elmer said. "The eight and 10-year-old begrudgingly still respect the mandate, [but the older two] the 14 and 12-year-old, they're just that, no - not at all."

Sara Banks is a family counselor with Cranberry Psychological Center and also a mom.

"The struggle is real," she said. "I know that my nine-year-old daughter definitely feels that it's not a proper fashion statement."

Even with as cold as it has been, you'll undoubtedly see some shorts and plenty of open jackets...also no hats or gloves.

That's what Paul saw when he picked up his son and a friend the other night.

"It was negative four on my dashboard and one had a long-sleeve t-shirt, one had a lightweight hoodie," he recalled.

He said their coats were stuffed in their backpacks, but why?

"Your guess is as good as mine, I have no idea," he said.

Banks' answer is pretty simple - there's a rebellion factor.

"I'm not doing it because I'm the cool kid and because you said so," she explained.

When it comes to the younger ones, Banks said that a reminder will work.

"I love having a visual aid by the door, like a checklist for the little ones, that can be really helpful," Banks said.

If the kids see it as a fashion issue, take them coat shopping.

"Just letting them pick and if it's something that they've chosen and that they like, there's a lot less resistance," she added.

Sometimes, the fight just isn't worth it.

"There are other hills to die on, other battles to fight, and maybe that's not the one," Paul Elmer said.

Now, that assumes safety isn't on the line.

"Sometimes it's non-negotiable," Banks said.

She suggests setting a family temperature threshold, for her family, it's 20 degrees. Anything below that and coats are no longer optional.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.