Hello all Child and Youth Care workers,
A question has been recently brought up about whether it is appropriate to let youth wear their pajama's around the facility during the day. Residents feel that because the facility is their current home, they are entitled to feel comfortable while wearing their pajama's whenever they want. However, some staff feel that this type of dress is inappropriate for residents and that residents should be properly dressed in the facility throughout the day. Another concern regarding this issue is that youth are now starting to leave the facility while dressed in their pajama's. I would greatly appreciate it if you could write back with your thoughts regarding this issue.
I am not sure where you are located, but here in Vancouver B.C. you would be fighting the current fashion. Girls in the 13 to 16 age bracket are routinely wearing pajama bottoms to school and to the mall. You might want to check out the norms in your community.
As a parent of a teenager and someone who also wears pyjamas during the day (including going out to the store for movies or snacks), I don't see a problem with it as long as we're talking about the various and assorted pyjama pants and a t-shirt or tank top. I have one client who wears mostly pyjamas. It's just a rage these past number of years to wear pyjama pants out. I see many kids at the high school next door wearing them, even the satin ones, but they are a heavier satin, not filmy negligee type. When I was in university from 1995-2002, I wore my pyjama pants to classes many times, as did many others. They are just very comfy and I think if it makes the youth feel comfy to wear them, then I don't see a problem.
Regarding the residents wearing pajamas ... I believe that it should be ok if the youths want to wear their pajamas around the residence. Mainly because where the youths live is their home; it may not be a home like what some of us live in, but it is still home. Why then would it be ok for those of us in our homes who want to wear our pajamas around the house, but it is not ok for the youths that live in residence? What I do not think is right is having the youths wear their pajamas OUTSIDE of residence ... that can pose a serious health risk for the youths involved; mainly because of the weather outside.
Headline in a paper this weekend: "Kids wear whatever mom hates!" The gist was that kids know what they want to wear, and "it's usually something that would curl their mother's hair."
So what's new?!
Re the pyjamas – I wonder about the definition of pyjamas today – what exactly are people talking about – it doesn't sound like the delicate negligees our soapie stars wear nor the solid garments some of our grandmothers wore – what exactly constitutes pyjamas and what is the idea behind not wearing pyjamas – what is the value we are worried about losing sight of?
I feel it is just a fashion statement going on. It is like back when mini skirts were in. The kids feel comfortable in them and if the school administrative have no problem with this, why should we? I feel there are lots worst clothing out there like the good old weed leaf on a shirt, or pictures of violence on the T-shirts some kids wear. I know some kids wear pajamas for gym, because they are loose, and because they may have a poor self- image of themselves. They feel their legs are fatter than the other girls or not tanned like the others so they wear their pajamas to cover up their legs. Let's give it a few months and the kids will come up with some other fashion statement for us to debate on.
I worked in Sutton classrooms located within residential centres and pajamas were often an issue early in the program's creation. I took a clear stance with the clients that pajamas were NOT appropriate attire for school and all students must come on time and dressed appropriately. Community school students do not wear pjs to school. Thankfully, the programs supported my decision and the youth program of concern no longer permitted it's residents to wear bedtime attire during the day unless they were on 'sick rules'.
A little fun: Well time for the two cent reply.
1. It may be a matter of hygiene. So do kids wear the same clothes to bed and then during the day and back to bed again. I may have some issues about this. Same with kids wearing the same clothes day after day. Silly me, I just think kids should wear clean clothes. I know a lot of kids and adults wear the pj look out and about. I just think they should be clean and well kept.
2. Are they appropriate for the situation. You know that old Time, Place and Manner kinda thing. Some times it is great to have the relaxed look. I am not so sure you want every one so relaxed, including staff, that guests, family and others would be concerned about the level of care. I don't think it is appropriate for the staff to come to work in their pjs and some times it is not ok for kids to wear their pjs depending on the situation.
3. Oh and one last point. This one shows my age or maybe my old way of thinking. Far be it from me to base what is ok for kids to wear and do based on pop culture and fads supported by capitalistic materialism. Oops! Got a bit carried away. Again I want the kids to reflect the values we want to support in the program. Pjs may be ok at times though not if they have pot leaves all over them. I could be more graphic but I will spare you. Fun. I have had a bit of fun but I hope I also was able to communicate some of my concerns. Well it's time to go get out of these pjs and into my boxers.
Or is out of these boxers and in to my pjs -- darn if they just don't all look alike. Oh ya thats it, if I have two or 3 pair of boxers, shorts and pjs on then I have dressed for school. If I only have boxers on then I must be going to bed. Silly me. Some times it is hard to tell if I am going to bed or getting up.