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Nearly 4 year old won't do dressing up

(24 Posts)
amyboo Fri 28-Feb-14 11:42:56

So, DS1 is nearly 4 and absolutely refuses to ever dress up in costumes. Yesterday was "carnival" at his school (we live in Belgium) and he was the only kid in his class who didn't dress up. He enjoyed all the other aspects of the day (including the parade), but absolutely refused to wear any kind of costume - not even a hat! It was the same at Halloween. His teacher came and spoke to me this morning and said he got very quiet when she offered him dressing up clothes from the class, and didn't like trying on the masks they'd made earlier in the week in class. He's the same at home. I ask him if he wants to dress up - he says no - and I can't get him to try and explain what it is he doesn't like about it.

I guess what I want to know is, is this normal? Is he likely to grow out of it? It's true we don't have any dressing up stuff at home, because he's always refused to dress up for things and never plays with that kind of stuff at other people's houses. He's fine with imaginative play and spends hours with his play kitchen, or building dens, or talking with his lego cars and things. Will he miss out on some stage of development if he doesn't "get" dressing up? I read that it's important for developing imagination. And it kind of breaks my heart to see all his little friends dressed up and him shyly (he's normally pretty talkative and outgoing) standing to one side...

Chasdingle Fri 28-Feb-14 15:24:18

my DS is 3.9 and also doesn't do dressing up but it doesn't seem to bother him if he's the only one not in fancy dress and he still joins in. I don't know the answer to questions but it never occured to me to be worried about it before- i just assumed some kids don't like dressing up.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 28-Feb-14 15:31:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paintyfingers Fri 28-Feb-14 16:14:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mawbroon Fri 28-Feb-14 21:03:40

DS1 has always hated dressing up. He's 8yo now and still not interested. He has never cared that others are dressed up and he's not.

He is definitely a facts and figures type of kid and pretend games or fiction of any kind are tossed aside in favour of factual book and doing "real" things rather than pretend.

His wee brother is completely different.

And that's the point, they are all different. Dressing up in fancy dress is not a milestone winkgrin

TheGreatHunt Fri 28-Feb-14 21:46:11

It's not fundamental to his education. Leave him be!

Martorana Fri 28-Feb-14 21:50:03

My ds wouldn't dress up. And we had a massive dressing up box because his siblings loved it.

It's fine. Just something he doesn't like. No problem. By the way, ds was prepared to wear jeans and a t shirt and tatty trainers with an almost imperceptible scar on his forehead, so if he needed to dress up he could be Harry Potter.

riskit4abiskit Fri 28-Feb-14 22:00:37

When I was small and to some extent even now I have a dread of dressing up. I cant explain or rationalise why it makes me feel uncomfortable. It just does!

justwondering72 Sun 02-Mar-14 06:06:26

Both my ds refused to dress up, though the older one has taken to it on his own terms from around aged 5. I just made sure they had a dressing up box around, eventually he got interested enough to try it.

We are in France op, and have carnival too. It h

justwondering72 Sun 02-Mar-14 06:10:44

Oops sorry posted too soon!

We have carnival too, and ds has been the odd one out during maternelle. The teachers seemed slightly bewildered that he didn't want to dress up, but as the pp says, it's not exactly a developmental milestone! Leave him to choose, and try and help him have fun whatever he's doing.

youbethemummylion Sun 02-Mar-14 06:36:40

My DS wouldnt dress up at this age so for World Book Day last yr he went as Timothy Pope so normal clothes a telescope and a toy shark. He got so much attention from his teachers for his "costume"that he is happy to dress up now but always had to have a prop i.e sword for a pirate as this to him is being allowed to take a toy to school and makes the whole thing more enjoyable for him.

TimeToThinkOfYourFuture Sun 02-Mar-14 06:45:04

My sister and I both refused to dress up as children and we still won't now! Our DDs, however, love it. Strange, but not important!

TamerB Sun 02-Mar-14 06:52:43

If he is happy being the only one not dressed up it isn't a problem. They are all individuals, it is no different to saying 'my child won't play with dolls', my child won't play with Lego' etc. They don't all like all aspects of play.

Surf25 Sun 02-Mar-14 09:36:31

Sounds like it feels awkward that he won't do it, but I hated the idea of dressing up when I was younger and never did it (and I mean, never) and would totally agree with pp that it is not a crucial part of development. There are lots of ways to play imaginatively without actually dressing up, I certainly did and sounds like he does that anyway. He will probably benefit most from your understanding that he's not interested and your support of him in that, which I am sure you're doing. I like the pp about her son wearing normal clothes but getting to take a toy prop for a character - that's v imaginative! But if he really doesn't want to, just be glad for all the things he does enjoy and leave him to just be his own wee person, we're all different in our likes and dislikes after all, kids no different really.

amyboo Sun 02-Mar-14 20:28:10

Thanks for the comments. I know - I'm worrying about nothing and you've all just confirmed it! He's ahappy little boy, loves school but just doesn't do dressing up. I guess I'm reassured to see he's not the only one who doesn't like it :-)

Bedsheets4knickers Sun 02-Mar-14 21:26:04

My son hates dressing up. So what !!'

DeWe Mon 03-Mar-14 09:22:24

Ds is 6yo and until the last year or so he wouldn't even wear a colour for a "wear any colour for random charity day" to the point that he'd choose his clothes to avoid it.
He will now sometimes wear stuff, helped, I think by enjoying performing in panto last year-where he has to wear the costume.

Never worried me, I always gave him the option, and made sure he was aware that everyone else will be in the costume. The only time I knew I would have to give him no option was panto and he seemed to know that, because he made no complaints at all.

ToysRLuv Mon 03-Mar-14 12:59:30

DS (4.5) is the same. Hates it and face painting, and many other things other kids love. It's made me feel a bit frustrated, but I really shouldn't care. He certainly doesn't give a toss about what other people dress in!

ShoeWhore Mon 03-Mar-14 13:04:56

Ds also used to hate dressing up. We kind of eased him into it with a homemade pirate costume - cut off jeans, stripy tshirt etc. He did get into it for school dressing up stuff in the end and now enjoys Halloween etc.

He also hated the idea of face painting - last Halloween was the very first time he had ever had it done at the ripe old age of 9 grin

My youngest adores dressing up and often appears for breakfast with a Jedi cape over his school uniform etc grin They are all different.

mawbroon Mon 03-Mar-14 13:16:26

YY to also hating face painting.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 03-Mar-14 13:21:05

DS1 hates dressing up. He's been the only one in uniform several times when school have asked for them to go in fancy dress for various things. This year though (now age 8) he wants to dress up as Jeremy clarkson for World Book Day!

DS2 has always loved it.

They're all different and as long as it's his decision, don't worry about t.

Flicktheswitch Mon 03-Mar-14 13:21:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sittingatmydesk Mon 03-Mar-14 13:25:40

My 10 year old doesn't enjoy dressing up, and has always refused to have his face painted. He has relaxed slightly since he started school, and will dress up for World Book Day, but hates going in pyjamas etc.

I wouldn't worry - you may find he relaxes a bit as he gets older.

ToysRLuv Mon 03-Mar-14 14:15:53

mawbroon: Interesting that about facts vs pretend.. DS definitely favours factual books (and humorous ones) to fiction and fairytale type stories. They seem to kind of bore him.. He lives very much in the "real" world. I think for him the reasons to dislike dressing up are: sensory (weird, different from what he is used to, materials, etc.), need for familiarity (he hates wearing new clothes), not wanting to be the centre of attention (in that way), and being acutely aware that he is NOT a pirate/doctor/cat/ghost/etc... so it would be stupid to pretend to think so. Funnily enough, he does do pretend games etc. so I'm pretty sure he hasn't got ASD. He is just quite sensitive, stubborn, cautious and intellectual about things..

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