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okay so who has a 4/5 year old who not only can dress themselves but will dress themselves?

(28 Posts)
SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 08:09:46

and how do i get one?

my 4.9 year old is more than capable of dressing herself and has been for some time. every night i lay her clothes out next to the chiar she sits in for breakfast. the rules are she eats her breakfast, gets dressed and then she can watch a bit of tv before school. thing is she wont get dressed and i end up having to spend 20 minutes shouting at her.

the tv does not go on untill she is fully dressed. but she will distract herself by pulling faces and making funny noises at dd2. i hate having to spend all morning fighting with her but am loathed to dress her myself as she is more than capable and surely she should be dressing herself by now. its a matter of listening and doing as she is told as opposed to not being able to do it.

its the same at dancing. she would rather roll anked on the floor than get her dance stuff on. its driving me to distraction. every day is just one long fight.

any tips/experience?

DaisySteiner Thu 11-Sep-08 08:12:26

DS2 was a nightmare about getting dressed until we changed the rules slightly! No breakfast before he is dressed - hunger is a great incentive!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 08:14:24

he is never hungry though sad thats another fight. she has to be reminded to eat.

the incentive is meant to be a bit of tv time for getting dressed and eating. plus she would slop cereal/wheetabix all over her clean uniform.

sarah293 Thu 11-Sep-08 08:14:48

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SmugColditz Thu 11-Sep-08 08:15:47

1 - no breakfast until dressed (ds1 will dress himself while nagging for food, and it does make him shift)
2 - leave dancing if pissing around.

SmugColditz Thu 11-Sep-08 08:16:19

Just dress her. I bet she does it herself for school.

sarah293 Thu 11-Sep-08 08:17:16

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morningpaper Thu 11-Sep-08 08:17:27

I set a Kitchen Timer for 7 minutes

You could give Jellybean for dressing before the buzzer goes off

bloss Thu 11-Sep-08 08:22:04

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SquiffyHock Thu 11-Sep-08 08:22:14

I would dress her - it really won't be long before she becomes quite private about it all and will want to do it herself.
I let DS sit in front of the TV and give him his vest pants and socks so he has to get PJ's off and them on. I call through a lot and he knows that if they're not on when I come in I'll turn the TV off. I then help him with the rest.

Just realised, that sounds easy - it isn't, it's a battle grin grin

LeonieD Thu 11-Sep-08 08:48:27

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SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 09:23:51

yeah she does do it at school herself and the weekends because she can choose her own clothes out of her drawers and is generally up and dressed and playing in her room when i get up, having let herself downstairs to go and get a banana and a yoghurt. so she is independant when she chooses to be.

re leaving dancing she is very hyper and needs dancing to burn of some energy. she also loves it. its not that she doesnt want to get dressed and do the dancing its that getting dressed would require her to sit still for longer than two minutes and she is no good at that.

those lists sound like a good idea, maybe if she had like a big tick/sticker board and had to tick the boxes put the stickers in that might encourage her?

i might just start dressing her myself. the whole day is one big long fight with her and i dont have the energy for it anymore.

she is not naughty per say just hyper and easily distracted. she is well mannered and is generally not nasty or violent towards other children and can be helpfull when she wants to be. she just does not listen to me or anyone else and this is ne battle that im not sure is worth it anymore.

Anna8888 Thu 11-Sep-08 09:27:47

I would agree with others that this is a battle not worth fighting - she will get there in her own good time and if you have to help her to get dressed for now, relax about it.

My daughter is 3.10 and she really needs help getting dressed before school. At other times she manages quite a bit on her own.

gegs73 Thu 11-Sep-08 09:29:56

My DS1 is the same. To save me lots of shouting and stressing out and him dawdling with his socks, I do it before school. He does it himself at the weekend.

smugmumofboys Thu 11-Sep-08 09:34:48

DS2 (4.2) can and does when he feels like it. hmm

Have you tried a jar of marbles? When DS1 started school at 4.1 his faffing used to dement me so he got a marble for getting dressed/brushing teeth/washing face/putting shoes on etc. He chose his reward for a full jar (a toy from ELC or some such).

It worked a treat and I only needed to fill one jar.

elliott Thu 11-Sep-08 09:35:14

I am not of the 'just dress her' approach - she is capable of it and needs to learn to do it for herself, imo. Otherwise you will end up doing everything for her that she can't be bothered to do for herself. Much better just to make it a non-negotiable expectation.
Ds2 is nearly 5 and we have had battles with him over dressing too, mainly because he just likes to challenge things. What really helped for us was when we started letting him choose his clothes. we also have the 'no coming downstairs for breakfast before dressed' rule. And the TV as incentive. this now works well 90% of the time.

But you have to find an incentive/consequence that works for you (well her). Sounds like you ahve to separate her from dd2 if that is distracting her. And I think the trick is absolutely not to get drawn into a shouting match. Just set out the consequences and calmly wait for it to play out, giving her no attention at all (really easy I know!!). Expect to be late and let her experience the consequences, if you can.
I like the idea of bloss's lists too. You could also have a chat with her about being grown up and at school now, and think of a nice treat if seh manages to get dressed by herself for a week.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 09:46:45

oh i have just read MP's timer idea that could work it would make it like a game for her. i.e. get dressed before the timer, come on quick, quick you have x amount of time left. ect. may make it more exciting and appealing to her.

dd2 is only 15 months and cant be left unnattended in her high chair as she will climb out so i cant seperate them.

last week we were also fighting over her going into school on her own i won that battle by telling her we could go to the chinese on friday if she does it all week without a fuss but i thought making that all encompassing i.e. you can go if you eat your breakfast, get dressed, dont dawdle, dont irritate dd2, wear your coat.........would have been too much and would have seem unachieveable to her.

WilfSell Thu 11-Sep-08 09:51:41

Lay clothes out in bedroom, insist she puts them on before coming down, incentivise this with reward chart, much fuss and praise when she does it, teatowel wrapped round front when eating breakfast! Or just attack with the baby wipes when she spills...

Good luck.

elliott Thu 11-Sep-08 10:02:45

You can get dd1 to dress in a different room. i think that might help you stop nagging too!
Having some clear goals about what you can reward might help too, then she knows what the expectations are. The timer might be helpful for that. It sounds to me that at the moment she gets lots of attention for creating a drama out of not getting dressed? That's something we have to watch with ds2 - he is a master of creating a scene and its all too easy to be sucked in...

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 11-Sep-08 10:08:48

yes she does create a lot of drama. the whole day with dd1 seems to be surrounded with drama. this is the one battle i wasnt sure was neccessary when i could just dress her myself.

ill try leaving her clothes in her room and making her put them on before she comes down. she is very small so can fit into those all in one bib things to protect her clothes. and she can have a sticker chart. that sounds like the easiet way to tackle it.

she is very 'high maintenance' so to say and im running out of energy and patience with her.

elliott Thu 11-Sep-08 10:11:40

much sympathy. Ds2 is like this - anything, anything, to be causing some kind of interaction and be the centre of attention.

Oblomov Thu 11-Sep-08 10:17:55

Depends what kind of mood he is in. Sometimes he comes into our bedroom, fully dressed, with a belt on, and a proper shirt.
Other days " I can't do it" = drives me nutty. Thus we, me not being prepared to pander to him, end up in pj's until he asks me to asssist him. No this or that, until he does. Oh its all so tyring. I tell you.

MrsMills Thu 11-Sep-08 10:23:51

how about 'o.k., go to school in your pj's then'?, but you will have to carry it though if she still won't get dressed though (I used this particular line only once, but it had the required effect).wink .

Oblomov Thu 11-Sep-08 10:29:20

I am being very conceited. Ask me again, after we start school next week. And see how we are getting on then. I fear the worst wink

Starbear Thu 11-Sep-08 10:39:21

Oh I think this this is a mix and match thing. I use all of the above depending on time, my nerves and DH's nerves. DS has to learn so most of the time I let him get on with it until its getting late then I help.

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