Why Minnesota Kids Refuse to Wear Coats When It’s Cold
This is something that drove my parents crazy when I was a kid. I would never wear a coat when it was cold out, even though they constantly told me to put one on or take one with me. My winter coat basically lived in the backseat of my car, and only got put on if it was well below zero.
Then one day in college a switch flipped in me. Suddenly I wanted the biggest, warmest, thickest coat I could possibly put on my body.
Initially, I thought the whole "I don't need to wear a coat" thing was all about social status. A teenager couldn't possibly be seen wearing a *gasp* winter coat in an outdoor setting! Or heaven forbid a pair of snow pants. Your coolness in middle school correlated with the coldness your torso was feeling. Or at least that is how I justify it as an adult. But it turns out there is a little bit of science that backs this up.
NPR wrote an article about this subject back in 2006:
Kids are comfortable because they're active. Just as an adult who takes a jog in cold weather doesn't need as many layers as someone who's just standing around.
Kids are active and constantly on the go, whereas adults are a little more stationary. So when parents are telling their kids to wear a coat, it's because we would need one ourselves, whereas they wouldn't need it nearly as much.
Of course, that doesn't apply to the extreme winter temperatures we experience in Minnesota, and kids should be encouraged to dress in accordance with the weather. Even if it does result in an eye-roll from a teenager.
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