It is six in the morning and the alarm has sounded. You wake your children and begin the circus routine of preparing them for the day ahead, all whilst attempting to carry out morning routine for yourself. The organized chaos that follows is a practiced routine that never goes to plan, hiccups arise daily and the task takes a great deal of patience, care, tolerance and discipline as a mother. If only I could teach my children to dress themselves better? Well here are some of mum’s secrets that will help your child master the task of dressing themselves and smooth the chaos out just a fraction.
• Start with practice – Teach your child to dress their teddy or doll, this will allow them to grasp the basics before they undertake the harder task of dressing themselves. Practicing on a teddy or doll will teach your child to use zippers and buttons, making it much easier for them to apply these skills when donning a few clothes themselves.
• Make it a game – The best practice for your child when learning to get dressed is repetition. So make it a game, play dress-up with them on a regular basis. The more your child practices dressing themselves the better they will get at, and eventually they will master the skills themselves. Children love playing games and games that teach your child to apply basic skills are the best games to play.
• Avoid the impossible buttons or zippers – If your child struggles with a particular piece of clothing because it has an impossible button or zipper that they just can’t operate, swap it out. There is nothing more annoying than trying to do something you just can’t manage. Start easy and make the clothing you get your child to wear easy to put on, and frustration free.
• Encouragement – Every new skill your child tries to learn will come with its fair share of elation and disappointment as they struggle to grasp the new skill. Getting dressed is no different, it requires constant encouragement to ensure you child feels a sense of achievement every step of the way. Boost their morale and don’t hold back on the high fives!
• Allow adequate time – Make sure that you allow your child adequate time to get dressed, it will take them a lot longer at the start and rushing them will just frustrate them. Get up ten minutes earlier, help them through the task (but don’t take over) and give them a boost of confidence along the way. There is nothing worse than trying to rush a difficult task.
• Go Large – Try buying clothes one size too big for your child. This will allow them more room to slip into the clothes and enable them to get dressed much easier. Often they will not need to undo zippers all the way and when they are first learning this daily duty, it can prove quintessential to allowing them to grasp the skill early.
Teaching your child to dress is an important daily task and should be handled with care, but make sure you don’t rush your child. Make the task fun, encourage your child, allow them adequate time and watch your child shine…..