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3yr olds refusing to help get dressed/undressed- its driving us CRAZY!!

(15 Posts)
victoriagirl Mon 30-May-11 10:42:45

We've got DTB's who are 3 yr 4mths. On the whole they are good little fellows, but recently they have started refusing in any way to co-operate with washing/getting dressed/undressed. It is driving us to distraction. They wind each other up, think its all hilarious and just run rings round whoever it is helping them. We have tried everything- firm boundaries, shouting, patience etc etc. Tried sticker charts- they couldn't be less bothered, even though they both chose what they wanted as a reward but they don't care about earning the stickers. They don't find the naughty step a problem- they happily go and sit on it and then happily come back at the end, so that's no threat. They would happily go out in their pyjamas, so that's no help/threat either. What on earth is going to work with them? My dh and I absolutely hate losing our patience with them everyday as we are not shouty people, but we just get so frustrated by it. Any tips gratefully received.

Mummyloveskisses Mon 30-May-11 17:50:41

Races? Who gets pants on quickest gets an aeroplane (you spin them round) repeat for vest, trousers, top etc I have a DD 3.5yrs and she often refuses to get dressed/undressed (and countless other things) I found getting cross or coming from any angle where she was ''naughty'' and had to improve didn't work but as soon as I made it a game she does what I want (most of the time).... I use rewards like the aeroplane or 6 kisses or a super special mummy hug (just a big cuddle) I know boys are way more competitive (in most cases) so thought the race might appeal?

Also her toys ''talk'' to her or each other things like teddy says hey cat have you noticed DD can't put on her pj's... then the cat says yes and I though she was getting bigger now.... this is often followed with lots of ''I can do it, I can'' and super speedy getting ready

HTH

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 30-May-11 17:53:08

no breakfast or telly <or insert preferred pastime here> until dressed?
works here but then my dc have always been on the greedy side wink

aliceliddell Mon 30-May-11 17:55:58

I had this, but only one dd. Drove me deranged. Then friend whohad twins suggested - can't have drink/breakfast until dressed. Can't have bedtime drink/story until pj's on. Result! This basic idea could be adapted?

Meow75 Mon 30-May-11 17:58:27

I know it might end up being time-consuming, but have you attempted to split them up so they are not playing off each other.

I know it might upset things like family breakfast time, but it won't be forever. This way you might that some tactic that doesn't work on DTS1 DOES work with No. 2!!

Mummyloveskisses ideas sound good too - are they competitive boys?

Meow75 Mon 30-May-11 17:59:22

I know it might end up being time-consuming, but have you attempted to split them up so they are not playing off each other.

I know it might upset things like family breakfast time, but it won't be forever. This way you might find that some tactic that doesn't work on DTS1 DOES work with No. 2!!

Mummyloveskisses ideas sound good too - are they competitive boys?

Meow75 Mon 30-May-11 18:00:37

Sorry, random double post accident there!! blush blush

victoriagirl Mon 30-May-11 18:54:09

Thanks for your messages- they really help. Good to know we are not the only ones who have struggled/struggle! We have tried the no breakfast till dressed thing- that was what drove me to post this morning. They just didn't crack! Played happily in their room together for hours (and they NEVER do that!!!!). And that's kind of okay for a rainy bank holiday with no plans, but they have just started play group which they are not keen on, so that won't be much of a motivator. But the 'whizzy aeroplane' race thing could just work and is definitely worth a try. Yes separating them works well but that is only possible when there are both of us here, otherwise they refuse to be left alone and it turns into a fiasco just trying to keep them in separate places (the one downstairs wails that he's lonely and then makes his way up the stairs, at which point it all starts again). Grrr. I have to do some deep breathing and remember that every stage does pass at some point....

serendipity81 Mon 30-May-11 19:54:31

I agree with making it a game/fun , even tho it can be exhausting to be cheerful and enthusiatic all the time. Especially when you need to be out the front door! How about getting them to chose their clothes and make a 'clothes person' on the floor the night before? Then race to get them on? Followed closely by next activity as swiftly as poss. Distraction is a technique that should be taught at NCT classes ;)

Greenwing Mon 30-May-11 20:16:56

Time for me to own up ... I never had pyjamas when they grew out of babygro and sleeping bag age. At night they had a bath and put on a t shirt and joggers which they slept in. The next morning they woke up and - hey presto! - they were already dressed. Worked for me. Having five DSs meant I had to find ways to make life easier and the two eldest were a pain like you describe (to get attention away from the babies I assumed).

It too will pass. Good luck!

mercibucket Mon 30-May-11 20:19:31

put their clothes out then absolutely forbid them getting dressed. tell them they are far far too young to get dressed by themselves and they must wait until you have got dressed then you will dress them. they absolutely under no circumstances whatsoever must try to put their clothes on by themselves

Rosebud05 Mon 30-May-11 20:23:17

I'd suggest a race against an egg timer (get a fun one) rather than each other in the name of sibling harmony...

AdelaofBlois Tue 31-May-11 12:17:11

Let them choose there own clothes if they agree to get dressed?

victoriagirl Tue 31-May-11 20:56:48

There are some great ideas here- thanks so much.
Greenwing- Why oh why didn't I think of the joggers and tee-shirt night before solution?!! Truly inspired. Think it may be too late for us to introduce now though...
Rosebud- eggtimer could work. We used to swear by a timer we had for turn taking. It has recently broken, so am inspired to start searching for a fun new one on line
Ade- unfortunately they are really not bothered about what clothes they wear. They did get interested for a while when they had new pants with creepy crawlies on but the novelty wore off.
merci- love the double bluff approach- altho these two little fellows would probably just turn round and say 'great, now we can really concentrate on playing'
And as in the way of all contrary toddlers, this morning wasn't too bad...
thanks again

victoriagirl Tue 31-May-11 20:58:26

oh and I forgot to mention my favourite- making a clothes person the night before. I really like that. thanks serendipity

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