For the past two years or so, I haven’t bought many clothes. My friends know that I love fashion, so whenever I say that, they’re in disbelief. ‘But what about that new dress you wore the other night?’ or ‘What about that beautiful suit?’ The questions don’t stop! The truth is that I still experience and wear lots of different clothes—I just don’t buy them. Instead, I rent them, using a service called Rent the Runway.

Rent the Runway helps me keep up with the latest fashion trends while looking professional. Their extensive variety of styles gives me the freedom to experiment with new clothing and brands I haven’t been exposed to, without the stress of a return date or the cost of flat out buying designer clothes.

Rent the Runway is a phenomenal clothing brand that lets you rent, subscribe, or buy designer apparel and accessories. When you sign up, you’re able to select a plan and choose how frequently you’d like new items. You are then able to build your own shipments by browsing through styles from over 700 designers. Once you get your items in the mail, you’re able to wear them for as long as you’d like—there’s no return date. In fact, you’re even able to buy the piece if you fall in love with it! Otherwise, you can simply return it for a new shipment.

Because I’m able to wear these incredible pieces, I get a lot of questions about where my clothes are from. And when I tell people they’re from Rent the Runway, I get a lot of questions about renting clothes, so in this blog, I’m going to answer some of those questions. Let’s get right to them!

What if Your Rental Gets Dirty?

Probably the first question people always ask me about renting clothes is what happens if you get them dirty? Because naturally, the moment you need to keep your clothes clean is the moment you’re eating something messy or forget how to bring a cup to your lips—we’ve all been there.

Fortunately, that’s all accounted for. Rent the Runway’s rental coverage takes care of most common, small stains, so the risk is really quite low. They have a team who truly understand the science and chemistry behind getting stains out, so you can always count on having clean clothes, and you don’t have to sweat the small stuff.

How Do You Know What Will Fit You?

The other question I get is about sizing. The biggest trouble with shopping for clothes online is that it can be hard to tell how things will actually fit. And for designer items that you really want to fit properly, it can be even more difficult. The thing that really distinguishes Rent the Runway is the community of users that leave notes on each item. This means that for each item, there’s a record of how different sizes fit different people. This means that I’m able to find items that fit me perfectly.

Why Would You Rent Clothes?

For someone like me, my style is constantly changing. I don’t always want to buy clothes because, well, what about when I get bored of them? With Rent the Runway, I’m able to just return them and find something that fits the look I want.

As a lawyer, it is very important that I look my best at all times without sacrificing comfort. Clothes can signal confidence, power, and expertise, but it’s also important to feel that way when you wear them.

While finding clothes that fulfill my needs can be a difficult task, I’ve found that it’s easier with Rent the Runway—it gives me the flexibility to try a variety of different brands and styles until I’m able to find the perfect style and fit. Plus, I don't have the worry of wearing the same outfits repeatedly, as I can return and rent new clothing as often as I please.

Renting is Easy and Fast

Rent the Runway’s intuitive website and app let me quickly browse styles and make selections quickly and easily. As a lawyer, business owner, and single mother, I don’t have a lot of time available for shopping. When I do have spare time, it’s often devoted to my son or late nights in the office preparing for court, so it’s important to me that I’m not forced to spend huge amounts of time finding new clothing.

Rent the Runway’s quick and efficient shipping gives me the confidence that I will always be up to date with fashion and never have to wonder, ‘when’s that package going to come in?’ Plus, with the ability to schedule a pickup, it takes next to no time to return my items—perfect for me.

Renting Reduces my Carbon Footprint

Renting clothes can help lower my carbon footprint. When clothes are made, like with traditional ‘fast fashion,’ there’s a lot of energy being used to produce the materials, ship the materials, produce the clothes, ship the clothes, and so on. Those clothes are typically low-quality, and not even meant to last much longer than a season—can you believe that? So it’s unsurprising that so many clothes end up in the landfill after a year or so.

Renting and sharing clothes means less clothes are being made, less clothes are being landfilled, and that people are being more intentional about their consumption. A win for the planet is a win for me, which is just one more reason I fell in love with Rent the Runway.

Thanks for Reading!

Have more questions? Check me out on Instagram and hit me with your questions about renting clothes! Don’t forget to subscribe to The Way I See It—a blog about parenting, life in NYC, and much more.

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A child smiles as they read a picture book while sitting on a comfortable, cozy bed.

Many parents want their children to spend more time reading, but aren’t sure how to encourage their kids to read. In an era where phones and tablets are commonplace, it can seem intimidating to encourage a skill that requires prolonged attention.

Fortunately, motivating your children to read for fun doesn’t need to be that hard. In this blog, I’ll tell you how you can cultivate a love for reading in your child from a young age. But before we get into that, what are the actual benefits to reading? Why is it a worthy pursuit for you and your child?

The Benefits of Reading for Fun

The benefits of reading for fun can have a profound impact on your child’s development in many different ways. Some of the main intellectual benefits children that read experience include:

  • An improved ability to focus and stay focused

  • A larger, broader vocabulary, which can improve your child’s ability to communicate

  • A tendency to receive higher marks in school

But reading doesn’t only benefit your child intellectually and academically. In fact, one of the most important things about reading is that it improves your child’s social and emotional intelligence. Children who read can experience the following benefits:

  • An increased ability to empathize with others

  • An expanded worldview, which can make them more accepting of people who are different than they are

  • An increased and more accurate understanding of themselves and their own feelings.

How to Encourage Your Child to Read

The benefits of reading make the case for why your child should read more, but getting to that point is a different story. So how can you do it? Let’s take a look at six steps you can take to motivate your child to read.

Start Early

An important step for motivating your child to read takes place well before they can read, and before they’re even speaking. Frequently talking aloud to your child when they’re very young can help foster the understanding of language that’s necessary to excel as a reader and writer as they get older.

Additionally, it’s never too early to start introducing your child to reading. Spending 20-30 minutes a day reading with your child can help with those language skills, be a great way to bond, and prime them to enjoy reading time as they grow.

Discuss What They’ve Read And Learned

As you read with your child, help them connect stories and concepts to the real world. For example, if you read a book about food, you can connect that to meals, grocery shopping, restaurants and more, or if you’re reading about something like shapes, you can ask them about signs you pass on the street and what they remember about that shape.

By connecting what you and your child are reading in books to the real world, you can help them stay engaged and excited about reading and learning. Another way you can do this, as your child’s reading comprehension grows, is by encouraging them to use their reading skills in different settings, such as following the instructions for a recipe or kit.

Help Them When They’re Stuck

As your child learns and grows as a reader, they may need help at certain points. Reading books with your child by either following along or taking turns reading aloud can increase their comprehension.

Having your child read aloud can improve not only their reading ability as they get into more challenging books, but it can also improve their confidence as they encounter new, unfamiliar words. Reading aloud gives your child an opportunity to sound difficult words out, and for you to provide guidance if they get stuck on words that can be confusing, such as ‘through’ and ‘know.’

Make Books an Entertainment Staple

One of the most effective ways to cultivate a love of reading in your child is to make reading your household’s go-to form of entertainment. But minimizing screen time and encouraging reading isn’t always simple; it requires some planning and dedication on your behalf too (although the benefits of reading apply to adults as well as children).

An important step for making reading your child’s favorite form of entertainment is to model that behavior yourself. Instead of turning on the TV, opening a book yourself can encourage your child to read. Keep plenty of reading materials in the home, and take your child to the library regularly, where they can be surrounded by all kinds of books and reading materials.

Find What They Like and Support Their Interest in It

Finally, it must be said that for your child to become a lover of books and all things reading, they’ll need to enjoy the things they’re reading! Therefore, do everything you can to accommodate their reading preferences.

When your child is young, they might want to read the same book over and over—so be it! It’s better that they read the same thing repeatedly and enjoy it than read many different things and be discouraged or lose interest. Additionally, rereading the same books, which many children like, can help them identify themes or details they might have missed if the book was only read to them once.

The same thing applies as your child’s ability to read grows. Book series, like the “Magic Tree House” and “Judy Moody” books, can help kids learn to identify relationships in books, making reading more and more enjoyable as their comprehension grows.

The Value of Reading is Beyond Measure

Reading is a powerful thing. It can help your child academically and emotionally, and give them the language tools to become a truly unique and insightful person. Encouraging your child to read isn’t always easy, but the results can be rewarding. Plus, all of the benefits of reading hold true for people of any age, so by doing things like modeling reading, you not only benefit your child, but you’ll continue growing too.

Thanks For Reading!

If you liked this blog, check out some of my other recent posts, likeFive Amazing Tips for Teaching Kids About Money, and if you want to see more content related to parenting and life in New York City, subscribe to ‘The Way I See It’ today!

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Children are smart. Really smart. Sometimes it’s surprising when they spurt out a fact and you reluctantly have to admit to yourself you just got (accurately) corrected by a child. And for all the ways children are smart, the areas they don’t excel in are often simply due to their lack of experience. Almost nothing illustrates this as well as money.

Money can be a really stressful topic for many families, and you might feel inclined to shield your kids from money matters until they’re ‘old enough,’ but the truth is that kids start developing an understanding of money on their own by the age of three.

The earlier you start teaching your kids about money, the better financial habits and confidence they can enter their teen and adult years with. But how can you teach your kids about money? Keep reading for some amazing tips.

Give Your Child an Allowance

In pop culture, allowances are portrayed in many ways, from something commonplace among middle-class families to jokes about bougie families, but in reality, allowances are an incredibly valuable tool for teaching kids about money.

And let’s be clear that an allowance doesn’t need to be a lot of money at all—an allowance’s main purpose is to give a child autonomy and control over some money. This is essential for developing good money habits

A good idea is to have your child break their allowance into three sections: savings, spending money, and money that is dedicated to a charity. Allow your child to exercise quite a bit of control over their spending money. They’ll likely make a mistake, and maybe even be disappointed with the outcome. However, making mistakes with money is bound to happen, especially at younger ages, and it’s a critical learning experience—just be sure to help your child understand the outcome and how they can avoid it going forward.

As your child becomes more confident and grows in their understanding of money, encourage them to save their money for something they really want. Learning to delay gratification and assess their wants is an invaluable skill for many aspects of life, not just managing money.

Teach Your Kids About Wants and Needs

Teaching your kids about the differences between wants and needs is a crucial lesson on their road to financial literacy. You can demonstrate wants and needs by talking about how you might want something, but you aren’t going to get it because you don’t need it.

Another helpful way to illustrate the differences between wants and needs is to enlist the help of animals. My son Andrick and I have a dog named Ready, who I can use to demonstrate these differences. For example, Andrick knows that Ready needs food, water, love, and a roof to live under, just like we do. Squeaky toys and bones might be nice to have, but they’re not essential.

You can also ask your child to categorize items as you list them, based on whether they’re wants or needs.

Help Your Kids Understand Money by Visualizing It

Today, more than ever, money is really an amorphous thing. For children whose understanding of money is tied to physical bills, things like credit and debit cards aren’t meaningful. As your children are learning about money, it may be helpful to use physical money whenever possible.

This way, kids can see the money leaving your possession when you buy something, and if you put their savings in a jar, they can watch as it fills slowly over time.

Building a foundational understanding of money is helpful as your child gets older and begins to understand that when credit and debit cards, gift cards, and Paypal and Venmo are used, they represent money changing hands.

Talk With Your Kids About Your Family’s Money Values

So often, kids simply tag along at the grocery store or while on other errands, but they’re not cued into how you and your family make decisions based on costs. Explaining how you compare prices, look for deals, and consider whether a so-called deal is actually worth it can help your children gain financial know-how very early in life.

Additionally, kids don’t always have context for how much things cost or what expenses really are. Helping them understand and keeping them informed about your decisions will not only improve their financial wisdom, but can also make them feel more involved and respected.

Give Your Kids a Budget While Shopping

As your kids gain financial confidence and knowledge, start giving them more freedom and responsibility. Give them a budget for back to school shopping and see how they determine what supplies to get and why.

Not only does budgeting force kids to develop essential decision making and analysis skills, but it also gives them the opportunity to implement their knowledge of wants and needs in the real world.

Learning About Money From a Young Age is Priceless

Lots of kids grow up without very much insight into their family’s finances, experience with their own money, or countless other financial lessons like balancing their wants and needs, sticking to a budget, and saving.

Ironically, parents who ‘protect’ their children from the sometimes-confusing world of money actually do their kids a disservice; without having learned money management skills early on, they may end up learning the hard way in their teen or early adult years.

The good news is that it’s never too late to start learning about money, and it’s also never too early. Teaching your kids about money, how to budget, save, and make healthy spending decisions takes time, effort, and yes—even money. But learning financial skills early is a priceless gift that will give your kids confidence and last them their entire life.

Thanks for reading!

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