For many parents, getting their little ones dressed in the morning can quickly become a daily battle. Many children want to be able to choose their own clothes but from a practicality point of view, it’s not always doable. But, if your child has suddenly started becoming vocal about their wardrobe, it’s a sure sign that they’re growing up and developing their own unique personality. For many parents, it is a case of finding the right balance between allowing their child some autonomy over what they wear, whilst making sure that their outfits are suitable for daily wearing. The good news is that with some compromising, you can come to an agreement with your little one that works well for the two of you. Here are some ideas that you might want to consider.
1. Take a Shopping Trip
Enjoying a fun shopping trip together and letting your child pick out some new clothes for themselves is a great way to give them some more choice and control over their wardrobe. If a trip to the high street isn’t for you, then online shopping from home can be a great idea too – and it gives you a chance to find ideas to suggest to your little one without them being tempted by something else on the rack. And you can find some great fashion bargains for kids online, too – whether you’re looking for unbranded basics or want to treat your little one to their first Gucci t-shirt or Ralph Lauren jacket. There are great bargains on Moncler, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and many other designer brands that you can view here.
2. Provide Some Choices
Rather than laying out one outfit for your child and insisting that they wear it, providing some choices can be a great way to make mornings go that little bit smoother. And many young children try to grasp for control whenever they can, so offering some choice over what they’re wearing is a great way to keep them happy too, without letting them call all the shots. Parenting experts advise that you give your child a lot of little choices about things that don’t really matter to you; allowing them to choose between a few different outfit ideas might not seem like such a big deal to you as an adult but it’s great for helping them fine-tune their decision-making skills from an early age.
3. Learn About Your Child’s Tastes
Chances are, there are some items of clothing that you prefer wearing compared to others. For example, perhaps you hate the feeling of wool on your skin or can’t stand clothes that cling too tightly. Chances are, your child will also have her own tastes and preferences when it comes to what she’s wearing, so if you’re asking her to wear an outfit that she’s going to feel physically uncomfortable in, it’s understandable that she may not want to. After all, there’s nothing wrong with avoiding items of clothing that irritate your child and allowing for her own personal preferences – it shows that you respect her opinion and will strengthen your relationship too.
By the time they are three-years-old, the majority of children are able to handle the basics of getting dressed, including pulling on their underwear, elastic-waist pants, and putting on a t-shirt or sweatshirt. So, getting dressed in the morning is a great chance to turn it into an opportunity to learn something new, such as the trickier tasks like doing up zippers, fastening buttons, and tying laces. And, parenting experts say that most kids like to try and do these things by themselves – once they’ve grasped it, it makes them feel more confident, competent, and grown-up. So, even if it’s not the fastest of processes, it’s a good idea to let your child dress himself as often as possible, especially on weekend mornings when there’s nothing to rush out of the house for. The more control over dressing himself that your child has, the less of a struggle it will become.
5. Make a Game Out of It
Most children don’t get ready in the morning with the same kind of urgency as we do as adults. They’d rather play with their toys or watch a favorite cartoon than get dressed, so it’s a good idea to make this daily task something fun that they can enjoy and look forward to. There are many easy ways to turn getting dressed into a fun game such as putting on a race to the door between siblings with a small prize up for grabs, allowing a few minutes’ more screen time, or the option to choose a movie for the family to watch in the evening. Or, set a timer for 10-15 minutes and reward your little one with a sticker if they make it downstairs, fully dressed before the buzzer goes off.
6. Create a Personalized Guide
Most young kids love to have pictures taken and see photographs of themselves. So, use this to your advantage by coming up with a step by step, personalized photo guide for your child that she can hang in her room. For example, take photos to show her waking up, getting dressed, brushing her teeth, and eating her breakfast. Once it’s on display in her room, it gives her a chance to follow it every day, helping to create a routine that she can easily stick to.
7. Plan Ahead
Last but not least, planning ahead gives you the chance to try and avoid early-morning meltdowns. Before bed is a great time to let your little one pick out an outfit for herself to wear the next day, and it’s usually much easier as there’s no rush to get out of the door and your little one won’t be cranky after just waking up. You could even make a fun game out of it; have your little one choose some potential outfits after dinner and put on a fashion show while you help her decide which one to wear.
Once children begin to grow up and form their own preferences and opinions, getting dressed in the morning can be tricky. By giving your little one more choice and making the process fun, you’ll find mornings easier and more enjoyable.