Getting everyone dressed, ready and out of the house on special occasions can be difficult. The heightened sense of excitement and the addition of new or labor intensive clothing can sometimes be too much for young children.
The good news is that you can help your child prepare for these occasions, whether it’s getting ready for a special event like a holiday party or even just the daily task of putting on winter layers! Here are 4 ways to help your child choose an outfit and get ready independently:
1. Give limited options and let your child choose. Finding a way to let your child choose an outfit will go a long way towards peace and harmony in the morning. A good way to do this is to lay out 2-3 appropriate clothing choices and let your child pick. A gentle reminder of “This was your decision” if met with resistance the next day can help your child understand that their decisions have power.
2. Pick out clothing the night before. When you have a long list of tasks the morning of a party or even before work and school, having a wardrobe decision already made will be extremely helpful. Make picking out clothing for the next day a part of your bedtime routine and get your child involved by using the technique in #1!
3. Have conversations about appropriate clothing for the weather. Children love consistency and repetition. Call upon this natural inclination by speaking about the clothing you wear in the wintertime! For example, “What do we wear on our heads in winter?” Give older children more responsibility like helping younger siblings get ready or swapping out fall wardrobe for winter gear.
4. Practice putting on and taking off winter layers. Mittens, hats, and coats all take extra time and energy to get on and off. Your child may become frustrated, but you can help them become successful and independent by simply practicing. Give yourself 15 extra minutes, sit next to your child, and quietly encourage them to get outer layers on all by themselves, lending a hand only when absolutely necessary.
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