4 Tips To Avoid Power Struggles With Young Children Over Getting Dressed
Even though their wardrobe is filled with a myriad of clothing items for every weather and occasion, your preschooler still decides to show up at breakfast wearing a pink tutu with green shoes.
Most parents can relate to the early morning struggles of getting their children dressed. And it is nothing out of the ordinary. Preschoolers and toddlers often use their clothing choices to express themselves and brandish their independence. They are at an age where they are learning more about themselves and that leads them to push the boundaries. But as parents, it is also important for you to be able to teach your children to dress themselves well.
So, how do you avoid the power struggles over choosing what they’ll wear? Here are some tips to help you do that:
Pick your battles wisely
Is it really worth reprimanding your daughter for choosing to wear her polka dotted socks with a floral dress? Or does it really matter if your son decides to wear all red? Remember that a child’s fashion choice is an important form of self-expression, and as long as there is nothing inappropriate about their outfit, you need to give them the choice to wear what they want.
Plan outfits ahead
One of the easiest ways to avoid the morning power struggles and battles over clothes is to plan all the outfits ahead in time. This will not only save time but also save you the frustration of having to explain to them why something is not right. For instance, the school outfits should be planned the previous weekend. You can give them two choices and ask them to pick one.
Manage the environment
It is true that you cannot always control your children, their decisions and their choices. But the environment? That’s a different ball game. If there are certain pieces of clothing or accessories that you would rather they not wear, remove them entirely from the closet. For instance, flip-flops are not exactly winter-appropriate, but if you see your little one gravitating towards them when they dress up, simply store them away till spring. Similarly, if certain clothes are not appropriate for school, you can store them in a separate drawer, away from their school outfits.
Let it go
Want your little one to develop a personal style that allows them to grow up into confident and independent adults? Learn to let it go once in a while. You can surely provide some guidance about matching colors, but it is much more important that they feel like they can make their own decisions. It will go a long way in making your child feel more self-sufficient, confident and powerful.