My son won't wear shorts!

Erin - posted on 05/28/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My 3 and a half year old who is pdd nos won't wear shorts.It's getting really hot and I worry about him getting too hot in pants. This was never an issue in previous years. He'll wear short sleeves but gets very upset when I try to put shorts on him. He says ''''don't like shorts, want pants." any advise?

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User - posted on 05/29/2011

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Hi Erin,

I always bring it down to a life skill or a life choice. If he is too hot, he will wear shorts...get pants that are made of very light, summery materials. If it were the other way around (only shorts and it's below zero) then it is a real safety issue....but, if he is comfortable, allow yourself to be comfortable with it.

I am wondering...does he wear a bathing suit? If so, he might just prefer pants.

Sheila

Jennifer - posted on 05/31/2011

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It maybe that he doesnt like bugs or the feel of grass on his skin. Maybe a light weight pair of pants may work. Or what about getting him to pick out his pants/shorts when you go clothes shopping or picking out his clothes in the morning.

Joy - posted on 05/31/2011

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. I live out in West Texas, and it is HOT! There are so many cowboys out here that wear jeans all summer long. My dad never donned a pair of shorts until I was a grown woman. Just keep him hydrated and see if you can have him wear white or light colored shirts and pants.

Shelley - posted on 05/31/2011

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I was persistant with my son & started by rolling up his pants for the first week, then I bought a few pairs of the pants that the bottom zip off & did it by mid day. Now he has no problem wearing them this week it was a good three week process to get him to wear them I also made sure I got fun ones that are longer.

Firebird - posted on 05/29/2011

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Let him wear pants. Get him light fabric pants to wear for summer. My daughter won't wear capris. She only has one pair of them and she hates them. As far as she's concerned they are pants that are just too small. Maybe your son doesn't like to have his legs bare like that.

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Cam - posted on 05/02/2013

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Hi I thought I would make an account just for this message. By the way I'm not a mum ( I'm from nz excuse my accent in words), I am the son. I'm 12 years old and I won't wear shorts or t-shirts . I saw your comments and wanted to fix some stuff up.

It's not the feeling that us anti-shorts kids and its not SPD ( sensory processing disorder) don't like its what other people think of us that we are worried about.

And it is not temporary i does get worse!
When I was 5 I loved to wear shorts an t's but soon I began to hate shorts at about the age of 8, I reached 11 and now I hate wearing t-shirts, and another obvious thing is I won't go swimming because I hate wearing togs, and even jandals when I go to the beach.

Hope this helps. :-)

Angela - posted on 06/27/2011

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I had the same issue with my son at that age. I think it was definitely a sensory issue...it feels 'different' to have bare legs (and it definitely broke his routine)! One of my son's therapists suggested that we keep shorts in view for a while, such as on his dresser, and offer him to wear them every day. After a while of sweating it out in his pants, and all of his family members bragging about how cool we felt in our shorts, he decided on his own to wear them one day! He may sweat for a while, but he may decide to try them eventually! Just keep trying, my son is 9 now and we still have to break him of 'seasonal issues', such as how different the grass feels after a long winter!

Erin - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have found some very lightweight summer pants for him that also turn into shorts.

Chrissy - posted on 06/27/2011

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Oh yeah Erin, I think it's a delay tactic all bent on not wanting to wear them, it's a struggle hey, cos you know that for weather reasons it makes sense for them to wear what you want them to, but they don't see it that way. Difficult! But like the other mothers said, it shouldn't be too much of a problem, and I've also heard that jeans are actually good in hot weather because they soak up any sweat that you might get, although I'm not sure how true that is :)

Jacquie - posted on 06/27/2011

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A friend of mines son is the same. He is now 12 and hasnt changed. Your son may change his mind once at school and is seeing his "mates" in shorts. Just top up his fluids if your worried. ;)

Erin - posted on 06/27/2011

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Chrissy, When I try to put my son in shorts he will grab them and say "wanna wash them." and put them in the hamper.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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my son is 4 years old , He does the same thing, he will try to wear long pants and a fanel shirt, in middle of summer ,we will have fights about it pluse he wanted to wear what his grandfather would wear , it was not so easy because i dad refuse to wear short, but I did get my son to wear shorts , I tired hiding his pant wear he had to wear short but that did not work so i started telling my son it is very hot out side and we need to wear short and you can wear your swim suit pants and alot other kids wear short too and when you where your short you can play in water basicly fine something that he is intrested in and run with it

Chrissy - posted on 06/26/2011

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That's interesting because my 13 year old son (with Asperger's) is exactly the same, only he absolutely loves shorts and totally hates jeans, and for no apparent reason. It's all I can do to get him out of shorts it drives me nuts, and when it comes to his jeans, what a headache.
I've caught him out throwing his jeans in the wash when they haven't even been worn, so he doesn't have to wear them, "accidently" leaving them at Nana's, and gotten reports from others who he has stayed over with that he hasn't worn them after I've told him to, and makes the excuse that he forgot and put his shorts on instead.
But if I insist because its colder weather, or I want him to look smarter for some occasion, he will put them on.... begrudgingly. I seriously don't get it myself, but I guess it's one of those things that comes with have a form of Autism.

Grace - posted on 06/26/2011

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Sometimes it is a tactile thing. When any breeze hits the part of the leg not covered by clothing, and temperature difference in and out of hot and cold (air-conditioned room) bothered by son for a long while. We started putting some really light lotion on before he puts on the shorts and that worked. He is now quite used to shorts whenever it gets hot enough. No lotion needed now either.

PeaceMama - posted on 06/02/2011

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Often my 16 year old aspie goes to school in long sleeves and jeans in hot weather. For him, a touch, a light breeze, are all stimulus, and he is already on sensory overload. Our kids are very wise and know how to accomodate themselves often. Unless he passes out, I'd let him try it. It may mean watching him sweat, but if he's happy, that's all that matters!

Antevasin - posted on 06/02/2011

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My 16 yr old refuses to wear shorts. He is very shy and too self conscious about the having hairy legs.

Corvett - posted on 06/01/2011

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my 12 year old will almost exclusivly only wear sweats. We finally just turned her sweats into shorts and she's happy as can be with them.

Anna - posted on 06/01/2011

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My daughter has a similar issue and does not tolerate the change from winter to summer clothes or the summer to winter change either. The problem I have with just letting her wear pants in summer or shorts in winter is that part of the sensory problem is not being able to identify "I'm hot" or "I'm cold". Our OT told us that many kids with SPD have trouble identifying hot, cold, hungry etc. So that is my word of caution. In my experience it takes about a week of crying over the "short pants" and then she adjusts. If it were me I would evaluate what other battles your fighting right now and decide if this is one of them. If he has other stressors right now just let it be....but check his body temp on hot days : ) !

Karen - posted on 06/01/2011

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my son is exactly the same he got very upset at first but once he had the shorts on soon forgot about it. I think it just feels different and he had to adjust

Crystal - posted on 06/01/2011

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let him be. I had a aunt who at the age of 8 insisted on wearing her winter coat in July! It was a down coat and really hot. My family tried every thing and NOTHING worked. At the end of July that year on a day just over 100 degrees she was hit by a car.

The doctor told my grandmother that the coat saved her life. I guess im trying to say it wont hurt him. men wear jeans in the summer all the time and who know it could make your son feel safer and thus easier to handle.

Zerry11 - posted on 05/31/2011

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I had a similar issue with my 4 year old son with socks and I found massages that the occupational therapist gave me to do on my son desensitised him enough for him not to wear socks on his feet all of the time but he is still very jumpy about people touching his feet. I hope that helps.

Zerry11 - posted on 05/31/2011

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I had a similar issue with my 4 year old son with socks and I found massages that the occupational therapist gave me to do on my son desensitised him enough for him not to wear socks on his feet all of the time but he is still very jumpy about people touching his feet. I hope that helps.

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It sounds like he's going to do fine! If you haven't already, write him a social story about weather and appropriate clothing. When my son was little, he would never wear anything on his arms, nor head. Needless to say, we had to get really creative during the winters in upstate NY. It wasw tough, but we got through it.

Taleese - posted on 05/31/2011

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I wouldn't worry about it. I live where it gets very hot in the summer, when he gets warm or uncomfortable he will go back to shorts. If not he doesn't. As long as u keep him hydrated he should be fine. My PDD NOS now 9yr. Old did the same it was the change from being in pants to shorts that bothered him especially if others say in class were still wearing pants. We go thru it every summer and the first day it hits 100 he wants shorts.

Amy - posted on 05/31/2011

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Hi,
My son who is almost 13 years old has a thing about shorts too. He has Aspberegers. He has had this issue for years. Don't remember when he started but, every spring he says I'm not wearing shorts i don' like them. I have tried many things with him and the only thig that works is taking his pants and hiding them. You can also try telling him pants are for wintwr shorts are for summer or even making some simple pictures for him to see. My son does wear bathing suits as he loves to swim! Good luck and hope this helps!

Lee Etta - posted on 05/31/2011

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Try finding pants that are meant to be rolled up(they have tabs and buttons at bottom) or like someone else said pants that zip off into shorts. My daughter refuses to wear shorts at school and will only wear jeans there. Luckily at home she will wear shorts. Keep him hydrated to keep him cool too.

Holly - posted on 05/31/2011

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My three year old wears several layers... and a heavy heavy coat during the summer :( Was 90 degrees in here the other day and he was wrapped in all of that PLUS wearing a blanket :( He made himself so hot he was VOMITING :( Now I have hidden ALL of the coats and we only allow one layer a day (as opposed to 3-4 that he is used to wearing by his choice). Things have gotten better since he hasn't had certain things available to him.

Amanda - posted on 05/31/2011

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My brother- who is NOT autistic, and is now 40 years old- never wore shorts, and still will not. It could be a problem of needed routine, but it sounds like it may be just a sensory issue. Make sure he drinks plenty of water, and it shouldn't be a big deal.

Erin - posted on 05/30/2011

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He did pick the shorts out. I showed him pictures of himself wearing shorts from last summer. So he did let me put the same pair in the picture on today (actually they were a similar pair but it's all the same to him) But midway through the day he said he wanted pants. And when we got home in the air conditioned house he put them on, but it was a start!

Terrie - posted on 05/30/2011

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I am a Texan and it gets really hot around here, but you will find a lot of Texans that wear jeans in the summer time. You son will probably be fine but if it really concerns you try letting him buy the shorts and pick them out, maybe he will go for that. Just a suggestion don't know if it will work.

Erin - posted on 05/30/2011

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I think that I may just have to put him in pants, light ones like you ladies said. Sheila, I haven't put him in a bathing suit yet. Last year he was fine with it, but he was fine with shorts too.

Erin - posted on 05/28/2011

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I think it's about change too. He's not afraid of the bugs. He doesn't respond to why, I don't think he's quite there yet. He just gets upset and tries to put them in the hamper and says "wanna wash them." (it's his way of getting rid of them) Right before shorts season he seemed excited to wear them he kept rolling up his pants and said he was making shorts. He even kept getting them out of his drawers and asked to wear them and I would let him wear them around the house, so I don't know what the problem is.

Julie - posted on 05/28/2011

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My son is 8 and doesn't want to wear shorts either. He is scared to death that a bug might touch him.
He also about 5 decided he was going to wear the same shirt and pants every day then he even wanted to wear the same underwear and socks everyday. He still draws himself wearing that same red striped shirt and jeans.
I think it has to do with not liking change. If you can try and ask him why he likes pants better than shorts. Will he let you roll his pant legs up?

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