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... to expect a 5 year old to get dressed for school?

(18 Posts)
HappyWanderer Fri 19-Aug-11 16:22:53

We're hoping to get DSD dressing herself for school this year. We lay out her uniform the night before (she chooses the pieces) and let her know before bed that it's her job to get dressed in the morning now. This worked the first and second day of school.

The third day, DP got her up, made sure she got out of bed, and went downstairs to make her breakfast. She promptly hopped back into bed and had another 20 minutes of zzzs before we caught on. DP finally threatened to take her to school in her PJs if she didn't get dressed, which got her motivated.

Unfortunately, we left the house without time for her to brush teeth because otherwise we'd be late for work. Cue tears and a bad mood and wanting to use the childminder's toothbrush until I taught her the inside-o-sleeve over the teeth trick (yes, it is manky, but she'll thank me when she is 19 and backpacking in Asia).

AIBU to expect her to get dressed for school by herself, even though it is her second year of Primary? AIBU for leaving the house sans toothbrush? And has anyone else contemplated hiding a uniform in the car to follow through on the above threat, or are we cruel and unusual-type parents?

worraliberty Fri 19-Aug-11 16:26:28

Of course YANBU

But maybe a different routine is in order

Mine have always come down in their PJs, ate their breakfast and then gone back up to wash and get dressed.

Silverstar2 Fri 19-Aug-11 16:26:31

I would have thought to be honest at age 5 she would be dressing herself - what does she do at weekends then?

As for brushing teeth - I would never leave the house without brushing mine, so would always do make sure the kids did theirs - even if just for 1 minute.

So yes, since you ask I think YABU. She is five fgs.

Silverstar2 Fri 19-Aug-11 16:27:38

sorry meant you are NOT being unreasonable to expect her to do it, sorry.

LineRunner Fri 19-Aug-11 16:42:54

I also found it easier when the DC were young to have them out of bed, given breakfast, and then told it was time to go and get dressed and brush their teeth. They needed help with their shoes and coats (and school bags)long after 5!

GeneralDreedlesNurse Fri 19-Aug-11 16:44:29

YANBU - I threatened ny DS he would go to school in his PJ's or part dressed - it only happened once grin - I did feel like a crap mum though

5 year olds get easily distracted, maybe have breakfast in PJ's then upstairs to wash and clean teeth and then into her bedroom to getdressed with one of you popping round the door to make sure she's getting dressed and not decapitating Barbie or whatever fun things children find to do rather than get dressed

HappyWanderer Fri 19-Aug-11 16:47:44

Cheers, just needed some reassurance, I think! I never had kids until DSD came along, so a lot of it is still brand new. Some of the other adults in her life still dress her (the grandmas...) so I think I'm prone to second-guess sometimes.

Last school year, she did dress herself on weekends and dressed herself for bed. But DP ended up dressing her for school because we ended up late for work a few times when we tried to get her to do things independently. Decided we would rather not mess around in the mornings and have battles over, "You do it Daddyyyyy". Trying again this year - she has been dressing herself all summer and likes choosing her clothes.

I'll yakk with DP about routine. We're thinking of making a chart for her too, just so it's written down what she's expected to do.

CurrySpice Fri 19-Aug-11 16:49:33

I don't think YABU to hope she'll dress herself and I'm sure she's more than capable.

What she will do though, IME, is do it s-l-o-w-ly! And you'll be late. And you'll end up shouting

At that age they have only the sketchiest idea of time or urgency and are very easily distracted

Yuo could ask her to bring her clothes into your room and get dressed with you while she does. Or constantgly keep up a running commentry about what she should be dong now (this is VERY wearing) or let her do the easy bits and then help with the tricky bits at the end (tights ime are a challenge at any age or the buttons on a cardigan)

AlcoPop Fri 19-Aug-11 16:50:25

YANBU - Your DSD will have to get dressed herself after gym etc at school; teacher doesn't do them all even with an assistant.

I am with the other two posters on potentially changing the routine and the importance of oral hygine - for example, ablusions before getting dressed may help her wake up or as you're running out of time, then get her up earlier?

I don't want to be prescriptive it has to be whatever works for your family. Our two DS (5 and 8) get up with us c.06:00 and we breakfast together (dressed) at 06:45.

Out of interest, how would you get your pj'd DSD into her uniform in the car? Or do you have camper-van? smile

Silverstar2 Fri 19-Aug-11 17:16:01

Yes a good idea about changing things round - we get up and have breakfast in pj's, then at a certain time we all go up to do teeth/get washed and dressed (I am already up washed and dressed, but we all do our teeth togother, I find it helps).

Find a way that works, and get up earlier if necessary.

Good luck with it.

janelikesjam Fri 19-Aug-11 17:30:22

My son still needed some help in Y1 etc I forget now, I remember thinking surely he should be able to do this now.

He is 8 now and dresses himself perfectly (and even does tie-up shoes lol!)

Honestly, they will pick it up in their own time, its not worth getting confronational about it IMO, just help her out as and when....

WilsonFrickett Fri 19-Aug-11 17:36:22

Of course she can do it, it's just that she isn't doing it to your schedule, IYSWIM. My DS is the same and it drives me insane - I seem to spend the whole morning shouting.

Definitely do breakfast before clothes IMO - wakes them up a bit and gives you a chance to remind them what to do. Be prepared to wander in and chivvy along as well.

LisasCat Fri 19-Aug-11 17:44:19

I think you need to separate this issue out into the two parts. The first is the getting herself dressed bit, i.e. pulling her own clothes onto her own body, and it sounds like she has that nailed. The second bit, and what she's actually failing at, is staying on task. And that is the universal challenge facing parents of 4 and 5 and 6 year olds (and older, but by then you stop feeling any pity for them). I think you do have to oversee that a bit, because at that age they're programmed to have the concentration span of a goldfish. A goldfish with short term memory issues, at that. My DD (4, starting school next month) is perfectly able to dress herself but, as a poster above suggested, does it in our room, with us nagging encouraging her along. Otherwise it would take over an hour.

Chummybud1 Fri 19-Aug-11 18:01:00

If I got my 8 year old up, then left her to it, she too would hop back in bed. I would try a different routine. I would het her down for breakfast First at least then you know she is up. Then send her to get dressed.

roisin Fri 19-Aug-11 18:10:34

The trick that sorted this out for ds1 when he was little was a challenge.
On the first day we set a timer running from when he was first told to get up and dressed until he came downstairs ready; then wrote the time on a 'chart' on the wall.
Each day he got a star if he was faster than the day before.
With a little reward at the end of the week.

The next week we set a target for him to be faster than x every day.

After that we never needed to set any more targets/issue threats and rewards.

bilblio Fri 19-Aug-11 18:12:24

Totally agree with everyone about the routine. DD is just 4, about to start school and has dressed herself for nursery for about 6 months.
She can do it... but doesn't always do it when we want her too so it gets late, we end up helping her which gets her in a strop. She's very independent!

Our routine is, DD comes downstairs, has breakfast. She also gets dressed downstairs. If we sent her back upstairs she may decide to wear something other than her uniform which would just cause an argument. We start prompting her to get dressed about half an hour before we have to leave.

We're very lucky that we are literally across the road from school so we can leave 2 minutes before school starts and still be on time.

Lonnie Fri 19-Aug-11 18:13:43

YANBU to expect her to but you do need to check up on her in the early parts of her getting used to the routine..

I would have made her brush her teeth fast and been a bit late for work.. but that is me

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 19-Aug-11 18:16:42

We do breakfast in pyjamas, otherwise uniform gets covered in breakfast. Then get dressed.

Son 1 (6, just finished year 1) is pretty quick.
Son 2 (4, just finished reception) would take hours unless I nagged him. He'd be quite happy to go to school in his pyjamas.

Bribery seems to work - "if you are dressed quickly there will be time to watch a cartoon before school". Depends whether you think TV in the mornings is Bad.

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