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Getting 3yo to get dressed, to eat etc. The classic problem.

(2 Posts)
napkinsfordays Wed 11-Oct-17 23:24:55

I have seen people writing about their toddlers and this kind of thing before but until it applied to me (i.e. now) I didnt look into it.

DD is only just 3. I spend an enormous amount of time every day persuading her to get dressed. "Come here," takes 5 minutes. "Put that down," 5 minutes. "Arms up," 5 mins. Then because she's wriggling while I am pulling her jumper down and I have to pull it down hard before she gets away completely, she says "you hurt me!" and starts crying... Then recovers very quickly but wonders off again. It's back to "come here," "Put that down..."

Same with eating. When she's finally sitting at the table (it can take 5-10 mins for her to sit down) the meal is "too hot," "too cold," the bites are "too big," "wrong colour," she wanted a different fork. She's distracted by what DS is doing.

I've tried bribing her. "If you get dressed quickly/eat up your chicken you can have X nice thing later/a story/go to the park etc."

I've tried threatening her. "Do you want to go to the naughty step?" But then it is coming out every 5 mins because she will not do what I ask. Or she'll half do it. Like she's say "no" she doesn't want to go to the naughty step and stab a piece of chicken from her plate, but then complain it is too hot (when it isn't.)

I have tried walking off, which is counterproductive for me because usually we are time sensitive.

What is the solution O Mumsnet?!

Highlove Thu 12-Oct-17 07:18:52

In terms of getting ready, can you encourage her to do it herself? Won't speed things up immediately but might be less frustrating for you if she's actually doing something - I know well the infuriating feeling of standing there doing the "ok, arms up thing" for what feels like a week! Try racing her or making it a competition - it works really well with my 3yo: I bet I can get your top off/on quicker than you can, etc/who (between her and DD2) is going to have cleaner teeth/I can get to the front door and shoes on quicker than you/whatever.

Food-wise, I'd not use threats of the naughty step about this. Some of it is about attention I think so best to ignore/downplay as much as you can. When mine does the too hot thing, I usually give it a beeezy "it'll cool down in a minute" or "oh I don't think it is now" and then move on, don't ask her to eat it and then either eat mine or just potter about the kitchen. Cutlery/plate-wise, she gets to choose before we eat but then that's that - she's stuck with them. My line is usually something along the lines of: "that's the cutlery you chose, it's up to you if you use it, I don't mind" and move on. Not in a grumpy way, just matter of fact. And the same with food - I don't push it. Basically I'm the "they'll eat when they're hungry" camp! If she's taking ages struggling to get through a meal then she's probably not that hungry.

All that said, I'm definitely no expert - just done stuff that helps me!

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