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how much help does your 3.5 year old need getting dressed?

(27 Posts)
elliott Thu 12-May-05 12:07:04

Just want a quick reality check really. Ds1 is 3.5 and perfectly competent at getting himself dressed, apart from coats, zips and buttons. Getting him to do it without having to ask several times is another matter. Whilst I think it is expecting too much for a 3.5 year old to get dressed quickly and independently at the first time of asking, I do wonder how we can stop the endless nag, nag in the mornings without doing it for him when he's perfectly capable. Share your experiences, please!

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:08:26

Mine is capable, but not inclined to get dressed - he's better at getting undressed. I tend to dress him myself in teh morning - saves hassle

Kayleigh Thu 12-May-05 12:10:21

same as lima. He is perfectly capable but we need to get out by 8:30 in the morning and not 11:00

I usually let him start off and then give him a hand if it all starts to take too long.

gingernut Thu 12-May-05 12:12:21

elliot, my ds1 is nearly 3.5 and can manage/not manage the same things as yours. As for getting him to do it without nagging, I just give him his clothes and leave him to it and he usually just gets on with it. Sorry, that's probably not much help. If I come back and find he hasn't done it I just dress him myself.

lima, my ds is very good at getting undressed too .

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:13:04

in fact I usually dress my 6 yr old as well on a school day - saves my voice and temper.

They both dress themselves at the weekend though, and can do it amazingly quickly when they are incentivised by a trip out

Hulababy Thu 12-May-05 12:13:08

DD is 3y 1m and can get most her clothes on her self - not all, can't do socks, buttons, zips. But as others say it takes her so much longer that we tend to do it for her on days when we have to get out of the house. I let her practise at weekends though.

Kayleigh Thu 12-May-05 12:14:47

lima, at the weekend they have been known to get dressed even before coming into our room. Has that EVER happened on a weekday. Ummmm No.

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:14:47

but 3 yr old is actually not too good with socks and shoes - I wasn't counting them in 'getting dressed'

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:15:10

kayleigh [ grin]

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:15:33

try again

Hulababy Thu 12-May-05 12:15:52

Watching DD try to put her own tights on is always good for a giggle though Bless her!

lima Thu 12-May-05 12:17:50

what about when they put their pants on and get their waist through the leghole

Magscat Thu 12-May-05 12:22:57

My lad is 4 in July, perfectly capable but almost never gets dressed unless I help him and/or turn th telly off and refuse to turn it back on until he gets dressed. That usually works when best when he's in the middle of watching Noddy.

elliott Thu 12-May-05 12:24:18

gingernut, does he know he is expected to do it? Do you mind if he doesn't? We have tried various strategies but if we just leave him he will get distracted by playing (naturally). There are days when we do get wound up because he is deliberatly delaying/faffing on - bad trap to fall into because he's getting rewarded by our response. We should back off a bit really - but I don't want to end up doing it for him, because I know he CAN do it.

gingernut Thu 12-May-05 12:34:24

I just give him his clothes and ask him to put them on. So, yes, he knows. He is often watching TV because it gives me a chance to get ready to go out. He just starts to put them on while trying not to take his eyes off the screen. He usually does it but if I have to help he puts up no resistance so it's easy. It's one of the few things we don't fight about TBH. Now, washing hands after toilet visits is another matter...he seems to regard it as water play and takes forever. I'm afraid I often use the tactic of telling him I can't hang around any longer and am going out without him [bad mummy emoticon]. He's still young enough to fall for that one.

BTW I started getting him to dress himself when I was pg with ds2 last year, as I thought it would be one less thing to do when I was busy with the new baby. At the time I made a big thing about what a clever, big boy he was, being able to dress himself. Don't know if that made any difference.

bakedpotato Thu 12-May-05 12:41:50

DD, 3.5, gets into her pyjamas by herself without hassle. Mornings are a different matter, mostly bcs she's so hungry for breakfast that she's pretty on edge. Whatever avoids a first-thing meltdown is OK by me, so we tend to help her into everything. As she gets fussier about what she wears, I plan to hand the responsibility over to her

LIZS Thu 12-May-05 12:48:50

dd is same age and can do most including coat sleeves but not fasteners. ds was slower and under more pressure to get out for preschool. He has since been identified as having motor issues and seqquencing problems which would have affected his abilities to do it so I feel guilty for all the times I nagged and yelled and how that must have made him feel . However we used a chart on which I drew an outline of his body and clothes to put on it and as he became more competent we'd colour each piece in. By 4 he was much better and largely getting himself ready although still needed a lot of prompting.

elliott Thu 12-May-05 12:51:45

with ds1 it is definitely inclination and not competence that is the issue. We do try to be very positive when he does it himself and when he faffs on it is often naughtiness. i think perhaps we just need to back off and not let him wind us up....

LunarSea Thu 12-May-05 16:08:23

Well ds (3.8) can dress himself - but it's a fair bet that when he does at least one item of clothing will be either inside out or back to front, so in practice we still need to hand things to him aligned ready for him to put on.

Wallace Thu 12-May-05 16:44:17

Dd will be four in June and has just learnt to do the buckles on her shoes...such a small thing makes such a difference when getting ready to leave the house (until the novelty wears off and she wants me to do it again!)

She can't start a zip yet, but her jacket has got a tricky one.

singersgirl Thu 12-May-05 20:13:30

Well, like most of the other posters DS2 (3.7) can dress himself (witness how quickly the Robin or Superman outfit goes on!) but I usually have to sit with him and chivvy him along on school days, otherwise we'd never get there. I really want him to do it himself, but often I end up helping out just so we can leave. I also operate a counting system - "I want trousers on by 10" etc. This seems (for some obscure reason) to motivate both of them.
Finally I can leave DS1 (6.8) to dress himself without constant nagging....

hoxtonchick Thu 12-May-05 20:17:58

my ds is surprsingly efficient for a 3.3 year old. he can do everything himself, socks, buttons, buckles on sandals. mostly he's fairly quick & i'm not above a bit of bribery to encourage him.... he's always been very interested in clothes so maybe that's part of it.

zebraX Thu 12-May-05 20:41:32

My 3.5yo can't dress herself at all... not least because she favours fiddly dresses.
My 5yo can get dressed but is a right pain about it.

Blu Thu 12-May-05 20:44:58

Uh Oh! DS is hopeless! He's 3.9. I'm feeling really bad now, because I clearly haven't put in the time to facilitate him to learn!
He can put on pants and trousers back to front, and his socks and (velcro) shoes - that's it. No buttons or zips!

Also he has absolutely no inclination!

TwinSetAndPearls Fri 13-May-05 10:50:38

dd loves to get herself dressed although the consequences can be qute funny! But she takes it very seriusly all the colours ahve to match although she will try and wear her best party dress to nursery.

To help her I have organized her wardrobe into outfits, so skirt, tights, blouse cardigan onto one hanger so all she has to get is vest and knickers. This means that although she does choose her clothes this is a structured choice.

She does struggle putting tights on though it involves her jumping around the room yanking at her gusset!!

Such is her love for choosing outfits we have to put locks on all her cupboards and draws as she can be up all night getting dressed and undressed and all her ironed clothes end up all over the floor.

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