Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The drama of dressing

Go look at these pics of "the babies".

Don't let those sweet little faces fool you.

Here's the thing - Connor hates getting dressed.

Hates as in kicking and screaming and fighting.

to be 100% honest, this particular pic was taken because he was crying for MY camera. No, he didn't want to play with the small pink Sony Cybershot; he wanted the big black Canon. Um, NO! I don't care how loud you scream.

We want no tantrums or fighting with me, D or Nanny S when it's time to get dressed so we put it on the star chart and that works most of the time.

Then things that gets to me most is that this is something we do twice a day - it is not a random occurence so surely he should be used to it.

Sometimes it's easily fixable (as in "I don't want to wear red; only blue" - if blue is clean, whatever. I don't care if you don't match) but sometimes there is just no reason or logic for the not wanting to get dressed.

Kendra, on the other hand, loves clothes and getting dressed and fitting on clothes. She is a dream and happily lets me fit on all her clothes immediately after a shopping trip, and at the change of seasons when I need to see what still fits them.

Connor needs to be bribed with a jelly baby (my sweet of choice) or a chip.

Connor, fit on these 4 things for me and then I'll give you a chip.

Poor children rarely get treats so this is HUGE for us :)

The thing with Connor is this not dressing lark is hard to predict. It's not always about the same thing.

Then I had lunch with Natalie and the angels came out to sing because she told me D1 dresses himself. :)

Natalie thought it's a boy thing because she also has problems with D1 getting dressed that's why he dresses himself. But I know from Louisa that her little girl is even worse than Connor from the sounds of it.

Granted, I do baby them very slightly :) but I took a chance last night and RAVED about how Aunty Natalie told me D1 is SUCH a big boy that he dresses himself.

And would they not like to also be big kids and dress themselves?!

Understandably, Kendra was on board immediately and Connor gave me this look that said, "D can be a big boy if he wants; I'll decide on the day how I'm feeling."

But this morning there was NO screaming except when he didn't want anything on his feet. I very calmly said (I was actually very proud of myself), "that's fine, do you want to wear your slippers?"

He did a double-take thinking, "are you sure you're MY Mummy?" but ran off and told Nanny S that Mummy said he could wear his slippers (I know it's 27 degrees but it's COLD in the mornings and I have a "lovely summer home").

So tell me, have you ever had dressing problems with your kids?
And more importantly, what worked for you?


  1. I wonder whether this problem is sex related meaning if boys are more difficult to get dressed than girls.
    I also struggled with my son to get dressed until last year (9). He would throw one tantrum after the next. He kicked, screamed and shouted. Always was a struggle.
    My girl on the other hand, is such a pleasure to get dressed. She (now 5) have started to dress herself since last year and since she was born, she was always happy to get dressed.

  2. I am sure that there is not a single mom that have not had dressing issues. Mine were all realted to WHAT they dress in and not actually dressing (but they do dress themselves partially and that does help). So we do the choice of outfit the previous evening where they can hmm and ahhh about what to dress, but not the next morning - you have to live with last night's choice. It works 99,5% of the time. L now has an issue with sweaters - he wants only tops with zips. Untill I realized it is because he has to take his glasses off to take the sweater off or put it on at school and boy, he adores his new glasses. Now I try to comply at least as I can see some logic to it.

  3. This caught my eye because dressing my son (3 y/o) used to be a constant, screaming, kicking awful battle that could easily take 40 minutes to an hour. Three words: Getting Dressed Race. Now, he is seriously competitive and I don't think this tactic is helping him to learn good sportsmanship. He goes crazy if he thinks I'm going to be dressed faster than him. But it does mean he dresses himself in less than five minutes.

  4. I still have dressing problems with Kiara - hers is mainly due to her sensory issues. She dresses easily BUT will only wear select clothes and getting her to put clean clothes on when we are going out is a mission.

    I don't bother any more but its a fight David still fights.

  5. I have to comment… I once read the worst kind of student for a grade R teacher is the one that can not dress itself - simply because it indicates a whole lot of other things that they can not do either… So I knew I wanted my kids to dress themselves early on… I just didn't know how to go about it!!! And here enters the joy of a bigger family, every time a child of mine got to be eighteen months or so I was due with the next one. So the 18-monther was passed on to the father person for dressing. Within a couple of days he is back to his lovely lazy mornings and we have a new nifty dresser in the house… Yes they sometimes need a bit of amending… but if there is, a top and a bottom and a warm sweater if it is cold then they can join us for breakfast. I still have no idea how he teaches them so fast, but I have nothing to do with it, and since I do almost every other parenting task - I am happy to leave this one to him!!!

  6. I giggled when I read this post. I remember B going shopping with me when she was about three. She had one of my skirts worn like a boob tube and fastened with a big safety pin at the back. I found out a long time ago...it is easier to go with the flow than worry about what other people will think. As long as the child is happy, it doesn't matter what they look like.

  7. My SIL has the same issue with her daughter (who would be 3 in October). Has her days where she wants to dress herself and wear the most hilarious combos, think white tights, pink dress finished off with a green t-shirt and sunglasses (plus her mum's underwear on top on a few occasions).

    On some days she refuses to wear anything, her mum has taken her to school and church more than once in pants only with clothes in hand. Worst issue refuses to wear a jacket or sweater in winter, until her mum found one that had pockets and now she wants to wear it every single day (just so she can put her hands in the pocket).

    Shoes are another story altogether,anytime she has a new pair of shoe she wants to wear it all day everyday, so as you can imagine shoes have been known to miraculously disappear in their house :)

    What she said works for her (sometimes) is to pick out stuff together and let her dress herself. The catch word here is work sometimes. Need I say more :))

    Good luck

  8. I am just glad to know that I am not the only one who battles with this dressing thing! Sometimes it will work to give her a choice about what to wear, sometimes it won't and I have to wrestle. Sometimes she wants to wear nothing, sometimes I have to wrestle the clothes off her for bath time. It really depends on her mood of the day.

    We haven't tried the dressing yourself bit yet, undressing she can do but dressing not so much. I'll have to put that on the to-do list in the near future.

  9. I've been thinking about this since I read your post yesterday. We've never had many issues. I don't know if there's a "girl" component to that...but it's always just been a part of the routine at our house.

    A couple of thoughts / ideas...

    1) I'm not sure how much flexibility you have in terms of schedule, but we don't usually get dressed for the day until after breakfast. The girls like to get up, potty, and then play downstairs for a bit first thing in the morning. Could Connor have his mind on something else "more important", as to one of the reasons he's not wanting to dress?

    2) I honestly don't give my girls much choice in what they wear. Over the last few months I've instituted a "kid of the day" who gets to pick her outfit, and the other follows suit. (I lay out a blue and a purple shirt...one kid gets to pick between those two.) Could you give Connor [and Kendra] a little bit of choice...maybe between two outfits? That might give him more ownership?

    Hope you get it sorted soon! It's just a phase...it will pass eventually!

  10. Joel dresses himself. But only on the weekends and after his because I really do not have the time for that in the morning. The only problem I have is that he wants to wear this one specific hoodie every single day - even if I give him choices. We would fight about it every single morning. Now I am done fighting about it. If it's dirty, he can just wear it because really, there are bigger issues than that.
    Other than that, his sensory issues mean that he can't/won't wear certain fabrics or anything that feels scratchy on the skin. This I can deal with. It's that hoodie business that annoys me.


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