8 Ways to Get Your Child Dressed in the Morning

From approx 12 months of age, children have this innate ability to drive their parents mad with the obnoxious ?challenging? behaviour, from getting dressed every morning to food refusal. This daily event turns into an ongoing war fuelled by frustration from the parent and tears from the child. I am sure I am not the only parent to experience the daily task of struggling with an unco-operative toddler.

However, there is a ray of hope for those of you with very strong willed children. Here are a few tips to make your mornings run a little smoother…

1. Superheroes, cartoons and other character favourites?if your child is wearing something they love, dressing can be a whole lot easier on you and fun for your child. Characters like Ben 10, Wrestling, Dora the Explorer, Disney Pixar Cars, Barbie, Elmo, Bratz, Spiderman are Batman (whatever your childs favourite) are just a few of the many well known popular brands that could encourage your child to dress themselves in the morning. You could even negotiate here, for example ?You can wear your Dora Shirt, if you put on these pants?.

2. Allow children to select their own wardrobe. Usually your child does not want to wear something because it is uncomfortable or not to their liking. Having them choose something they like is so much easier and less stressful. (Perhaps let them choose from 2 to 3 items ? this limits time and impractical clothing).

3. Attach pictures onto each drawer, of what is in each drawer. This will help older children, but will also teach younger children which clothes go on which arts of the body.

4. On special occasions YOU decide what your child wears. You just need to explain to them that they can choose their ?everyday? clothes but on special days or certain events you get to decide.

5. Another great idea, which leads to much more efficiency in the morning (especially for the ?time poor? parent, is getting your child to decide what they will wear the night before. Once the child has made their decision, the clothes can then be laid out on a chair ready for the next day. This could be implemented into their bedtime routine.

6. Another favourite and especially rewarding for the child is to play a game. Have a competition to see who can get dressed the fastest.

7. It is okay to set certain guidelines when asking children to dress themselves. For example: Tell your child it is winter, so winter clothes only. Explain to them in detail what this means ? long sleeves, long pants?.here you have won half the battle at least! You could even separate the clothes into summer drawers and winter drawers. Making it even easier for the child to choose (this means they have the choice of 1 drawer only ? this can be very effective)

8. Complement your child?s great clothing choice EVERYDAY, and be specific. For example, ?Those pants make you look taller, what a great choice?. Be positive whenever you can. The power of positive re-enforcement is not to be under-estimated. Watch as your child smiles at the complement, this continuous positive talk about dressing and making good choices will make your child?s experience only more positive.

It is important to children to want to look like their peers. As long as your child?s wardrobe is at least ?weather appropriate? and not totally outrageous, it is also important to embrace your child?s decisions. This will encourage sensible choices.

Every child is an individual and unique. Some are more independent than others and dressing is not such an issue. But if you have a highly independent child, implementing these 8 small easy steps could change your mornings forever.

My name is Lisa Haynes; I am a very proud mother of nearly 3 and primary school teacher.

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