Faculty Blog


Boys and Shorts

For years  I’ve wondered, Why do boys  insist on wearing shorts when it's freezing outside? Just the other day, as snow and ice covered the ground, I saw a boy trudging through the snow in shorts on the way to his van.

Is there something going on internally that makes them warmer than the rest of us? Technically, yes. Males tend to have a steady and more complete distribution of body heat than women. On the other hand, they may be trying to be their own person; a show of independence from the adults in their lives.

It drives teachers and parents crazy, though it probably doesn't have to. We can probably blame the kids' maturity level on their fashion choices. It's no longer cool to dress the way mom wants. They are starting to have their independence from parents. In their own words, boys say that they run around and are more active than the rest of us, so they really may not be getting cold. In other cases, it might be comfort. Some say they just don't like the feeling of pants on their legs.

If it's 30 degrees and kids are running from car or bus into the school, bare legs are probably something we don't need to worry too much about. In reality, kids have their fashionable Nike Elites pulled up so high that really only their knees are exposed. A good compromise might be to have a boy pack a pair of pants in their backpack for emergencies. Adults can set a temperature threshold to determine when pants are required.

We can also can use the experience as a lesson for their kids. If kids don't dress warmly, they'll eventually learn that they do need to wear more jackets and pants and fewer pairs of shorts when it's cold.

From my research on the subject, if you're still worried about your kids being too cold, the fight shouldn't be over pants-focus on a hat. You lose 40 percent of your body heat through your head, so we should really be after them to wear a hat when they’re outside if we want to help them retain body heat. So in the words of my daughter’s favorite song, let it go. There is rarely any danger in wearing shorts in winter, and common sense and the desire for warmth will eventually kick in!

To read another blog post on the same topic, visit the Washington Post's website. 

Posted by in Jen Waldeck on Tuesday January, 20, 2015


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