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Getting DS to dress himself on his own for school

(29 Posts)
adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 01:37:27


DS has turn 5 and is currently in reception.

DS can get dressed by himself- if I'm next to him-reminding him to put his clothes on. I would like DS to get dressed without no prompting for me.

Also, in the mornings when he goes to school- it's practically me dressing him up as we are always in a rush and he is just too slow. I can always wake up a lot earlier, so that he is able to get dressed by himself.

DS has issues with his fine motor skills- so he cannot do buttons, unless they are big. So I still help him with the buttons.

So two things really.

I want DS to get dressed, without me prompting him to get dressed. I.e. Go over to his draw, pick out the clothes and put it on by himself without me in sight- does anyone have any suggestions?

Plus- any ideas on how to get him to get dressed in the mornings for school?


Oh- forgot to add. DS is severely language delayed too.

SoonToBeSix Mon 29-Dec-14 01:50:36

He is only in reception, you are expecting too much of him. You need to pick out his clothes for him
and help him get dressed.

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 02:39:42

Oh, I didn't know that this was too much.

I was only judging from what other parents were telling me. Though, I would like for him to increase his independence with his dressing- even if it's a little step at a time, and some suggestions on how I can increase this.

ShitHotAwesome Mon 29-Dec-14 02:52:48

My DS is 4.5 with no motor difficulties or language delay and generally takes a lot of promoting and cajoling to get dressed and undressed. We did a sticker chart to encourage him to do it without asking and prompting and it's working a bit when I can be bothered

SavoyCabbage Mon 29-Dec-14 03:16:22

I get the school clothes out and put them on dd's toy box the night before.

My oldest was about eight before she seemed to realise that every morning she needed to get dressed after breakfast, although she is really dippy! My youngest got the idea as soon as she started school but she had the oldest to copy. And, like I say, I get her clothes out.

spookyskeleton Mon 29-Dec-14 04:28:06

I think it depends on the child. DS2 is in year 1 and will get dressed without prompting (I still get his clothes out though). DS1 is 8 and I still have to nag and prompt him over and over again every single bloody morning hmm

JoandMax Mon 29-Dec-14 04:38:54

DS2 is in reception and I help him get dressed everyday....... We are in a rush in the morning so although he can do it it would take far too long and he faffs about a lot! At weekends he dresses himself so thats enough for me.

I leave both DCs clothes out downstairs ready for the morning, DS1 is 6.6 and in Yr 2 and can pretty much do it himself bar sometimes needing help with his top shirt button but they always need prompting to get going!

DropYourSword Mon 29-Dec-14 04:39:31

I wouldn't put so much stock into what other parents are telling you theirs are doing. He's his own individual and develops at his own pace. It does to me seem like quite a lot to expect him to achieve.

Like you say, break it down into manageable chunks. Maybe get him to help you pick out his clothes the night before etc.

GingerbreadPudding Mon 29-Dec-14 05:05:10

As a teacher, we expect children to be able to dress and undress by the time they're in school - otherwise how do you think PE lessons take place?! If he has some special needs, which it sounds as though he might it can be expected that he take a little longer or need a little help. I think it's entirely reasonable for your son to be able to put on clothes by himself if you laid them out for him. Children at school respond well to being timed and the getting a sticker if they 'beta' their previous time. Maybe you could get him a sand timer and if he is dressed before the sand runs out he gets a sticker/reward. You can buy sand timers for any amount of time and it's very visual for him.

HSMMaCM Mon 29-Dec-14 05:18:51

I used to put DDs clothes out the night before. If he has trouble with buttons, can you see the buttons on the button holes and put Velcro behind them, so he can change by himself for PE at school?

3bunnies Mon 29-Dec-14 06:04:32

We are now at the stage where they check their clothes when they take them off at night. They put them on the toy box and I replace underwear and dirty clothes. In the morning they are not allowed to watch tv or play until they are dressed. I still sometimes need to remind and help ds who is the oldest in reception. He has his older sisters to model himself on. I still need to check that things aren't on backwards etc.

I actually think that getting dressed for PE is a different story. I can always tell when ds has done PE. Something will be on backwards, shoes will be on the wrong feet, socks might be missing. I know and accept that teachers have 30 so I don't mind but I think that if I regularly sent ds in the state that he emerges from PE then the school might think that I was neglecting him. PE is generally always in late afternoon in the lower years in our school for a very good reason.

Dd2 has sensory issues and it took until yr 2 before she was able to put her socks on exactly to her specific requirements (dh never did get how she liked it). If she took socks off at school she came out in considerable discomfort and wouldn't go anywhere until it was rectified. She couldn't go to school like that all day every day.

Try starting a little earlier in the morning, encourage him to do as much as he can independently, recognise that at the end of term he won't be able to get dressed as well as he can at the beginning. I had to dress ds towards the end of term on a few days.

bigfam Mon 29-Dec-14 06:15:04

My little boy has literally just turned 5, has severe speech delay too.
Half a month ago he would scream and cry if I wouldn't help him get dressed and walk around naked if I didn't help, I knew he could do it he was just being lazy. Now everytime he does get dressed I tell him how clever he is, seems to work.

hazeyjane Mon 29-Dec-14 06:23:06

Adrianna22 - please don't worry about what other parents are doing. Your ds is your ds, he has struggles that their dcs don't have. My ds is a similar age to yours and in reception, due to his disabilities he can't get dressed on his own - he does make huge efforts to, but with a lot of help from me (and his sisters)

I lay out all our clothes in the morning so we all get dressed together, I sign what I want from him, and start him off with things then encourage him to do it himself. He gets helped with clothes for pe at school (in a special needs unit with a statement), and the teachers there tell me that a lot of children in the mainstream part of school struggle with their clothes and need a lot of help.

Ds also has a large pirate soft doll, with removable clothes which we get dressed and undressed, to help teach him, and a baby toy with big buttons, zips, poppers and laces - I expect you could pick up something similar on ebay.

Jessicahyde85 Mon 29-Dec-14 06:42:02

I have an 8 year old who will sit open mouthed with his socks in his hands for 5 mins.... I think your 5 year old is doing just fine, besides he will not always want you to sit with him while he dresses, enjoy it, they grow really fast! My 4 year old has the time of his life in the morning when I sit with him, he giggles and is full of kisses. smile

superbagpuss Mon 29-Dec-14 07:46:13

i have twin boys so they have needed to be able to dress themselves just so we can leave on time

we found it helped to make it as easy as possible for them

lay it all out the night before
their trousers are the pull up elasticated kind - no buttons or zips
white polo type t shirts they can pull on
velco school shoes so no laces

also a routine helped, dressed as soon as they get up, then breakfast, teeth and maybe TV if time

hazeyjane Mon 29-Dec-14 07:52:31

weirdly, I have convinced myself it is easier with more children! The dds(7 and 8), ds (4.7) and I all have our clothes lined up, and the hope is that if we all see each other getting dressed it moves it along more quickly. There is also the promise of TV once their clothes are on and bags by front door.

AuditAngel Mon 29-Dec-14 07:59:16

You don't mention if your DS wears shirts or polo shirts? I find with DS that if his shirts are on the large side, he undoes the top 2 buttons and can slip the shirt on and off over his head. This saves about 4 or 5 buttons each end of the day.

Also, recognise that some kids find certain things difficult. DS is borderline dyslexic, he really struggles to put socks on. He is 10. I have found that buying socks a size larger makes it easier for him to do himself (but I still do it in the mornings as life is too short)

zzzzz Mon 29-Dec-14 08:09:04

Some children are great at independent dressing, some not so good. Certainly there are many children who still need help who are several years older than your ds without additional needs. Teachers unreasonable expectations and how many other children you have so they just "have to" are not really going to drive this process.

If your son can't dress independently then you need to break it down into smaller parts. What about he does his socks by himself? Then pants and socks? Then shirt pants and socks?

I have a large family. One of my children could take off and put on her own socks long before she was 1, one still struggles at 9.5. Different children, different paths.

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 17:33:22

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Partly the reason why, I don't know if other parents of additional needs kids could relate, is because I fear that my DS may not live an independent life- yes he is only 5, but I do worry a lot about the future and I guess I'm trying to implement his life skills now, so that he gains as much independence as possible.

LIZS Mon 29-Dec-14 17:38:01

When ds was that age I drew a body outline to put on the wall and we would add an item every so often to the picture to indicate what he could manage in the mornings. You do need to lay out the clothes first and he can bring you the rest when he has done as far as he can. Gradually he will do more by himself.

zzzzz Mon 29-Dec-14 18:21:23

Why do you think parents of children with (or frankly without) additional needs don't understand the need to strive for independence? confused

Parenting IS teaching independence.

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 19:35:20

zzzzz- I did not mean it in that context.

I know parenting IS teaching independence. confused

WiseKneeHair Mon 29-Dec-14 19:39:06

DS3 is in year 1. We have a race to get dressed every morning. He is currently winning something like 1million and 11 to 9! I may hardly ever win, but I gave a DS who is dressed very quickly grin

HamperNoShow Mon 29-Dec-14 19:46:47

How about a visual timetable? So a pic of his underwear, then his socks, then trousers etc. use Velcro dots and a little car with his name on it. As he does each step move the car along the dots?

We did this on a larger scale for my ds. Such as get dressed, breakfast, teeth, shoes etc.

zzzzz Mon 29-Dec-14 20:02:57

I'm sorry adrianna22 I genuinely don't understand your post.

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