Does anyone else's 4 1/2 year old have a melt down when getting dressed?

Brenda - posted on 11/16/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My daughter, who will be 5 in January has a very difficult time getting dressed. She wants to pick out her own clothes but sometimes take 30-45 minutes choosing what to wear. Mostly, she starts to have a melt down and says stuff like "these jeans don't feel right" or "I don't like pockets on my pants." If i suggest clothes, it's "i don't want to wear that." I am late to work like everyday because of her fits. We tried having her pick out her clothes the night before but by morning she has changed her mind. We've threatened to send her to daycare in her jammies if she can't decide but the truth is that the daycare would not like it if we did, so we have to make sure she gets dressed. I don't know what else to do. Does anyone else have this problem? Anyone have ideas on what to do? I am sooo tired of fighting with her.

Thanks,

Brenda

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What if you set a timer? If you're not ready by the time this goes off, then I'm helping you and we're leaving. I know if I start a count down things happen a great deal faster around my house.

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Katherine - posted on 02/02/2011

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my daughter is 4 gonna be 5 in August and her biggest issue is wanting to get dressed on her own. my husband and I knows she can but chooses not to. we tell her we cant leave if your not dressed. she has no problem picking out the clothes that would be my 8 yr old Audrey. my diva. lol takes her forever to come out dressed for school. Emily is very stubborn. but i win the battles. ive never had her wear her jammies anywear fear of her wanting to be lazy and not try to get dressed at all. I dont hover over her i tellher 1 time get dressed so we can go, if she starts in with i dont want to, i just walk out. i dont respond to that stuff. i come back in another 3-5 minutes and remind her we need to leave and to please hurry up we are waiting on her. some days it works somedays it doesnt.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2011

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i have the same issue with my daughter! What works for me is having her pick out her clothes the night before, so when she wakes up everything is ready. I pick out what pants she wears, and I give her options with her shirt. While she is not looking, I pick out 3 or 4 shirts for her to choose from, and before bedtime, I tell her to pick one for the next day. After she gets dressed in the morning, we do the same type thing to find pajamas. I tell her if it will be cold or hot that night and she picks them out. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY!!! Also, I moved her clothes to a spot in her closet where she can't really see them. She has pretty much stopped running to her closet every 5 minutes to pick something else. The thing I think helped the most is that when I give her the options with the shirts, I TELL her that she will wear the pants I have picked out. It's a very direct statement, I don't say "OK?" at the end of the statement. I just tell her how it is and she knows I'm not going to change my mind. I hope this helps, and things get easier for you!

Melisa - posted on 01/12/2011

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Oh yeah I finally broke that habit, and now she won't even try to find something on her own to put on. She cries if I don't do it for her. There's no happy medium. Good luck!

Heidi - posted on 01/12/2011

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I have never had that problem my daughter just picks out something and puts it on, I think i got lucky with this because I know she doesn't like to wear dresses or skirts so all she owns are different shades of blue jeans and any shirt will go with them so it works out pretty good.

Lindsey - posted on 12/28/2010

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I have had the same problem with my child since she was a baby. She has been particular about everything that goes on her body. She won't wear jeans, pants with buttons, etc. So when she was 2 1/2, she started doing her own shopping. I take her to the store, she picks out her dresses, leggings, shirts and tights that she prefer and fit right on her body. Every morning, I pull two outfits (season appropriate) out of the closet and tell her to choose one. If she can not choose one, then I will choose for her. This entire outfit choice and converstation should take no more than 3 minutes. Since your daughter will have done the shopping, she will like everything in her closet. If she doesn't like the options, that is too bad, you stand your ground and choose one of the outfits your pulled out and put it and head out the door. Believe, I have been through it, but my child is so strong willed it started at 3 months and I am not kidding. I would put little baby jeans or pants with buttons on her and she would scream and cry until I took them off. Strong willed children can be hard, but they can be great leaders as well. Good luck, I hope that helps you! It has really helped me!

Kelly - posted on 12/21/2010

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Oh Brenda; I see that you also have a little diva in the making. My daughter is the same way, but I pick out three outfits and tell her to pick one. She has no other choices than the ones I give her. The one she picks is the one she wears. I want her to make choices but also learn to stick with them. We know the clothes are not to small so I don't play those games with her.

Holly - posted on 12/15/2010

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I have found that my daughter is the most "picky" and demanding when she is tired. Since your daughter is in day care (or school), she is probably very active during the day. Does she get enough sleep, or is she like mine, who won't go to sleep until 10pm and gets up way too early?

Amanda - posted on 12/02/2010

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well for the most part my son will pick out his cloths and get dressed in about 10 minutes..if he is getting contray about not finding his favorite shirt or not finding anything to wear then we give hima shirt and say put it on or go back to bed and he does...we just say this is what u got to wear so put it on and we usually don't have a problem...if he wants to pick out his own cloths then he needs to do it fast (not taking forever which he has done also) and with no complaining or else mom or dad will pick out his cloths and then he got to wear it weather he likes it or not...

Alison - posted on 12/01/2010

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Let me say that I totally identify. My daughter is very picky about sensations, so she can get very frustrated about her shoes not being tight enough, negotiating her leggings and her socks (which one goes on top, etc.). She also wants to wear dresses a lot of the time and doesn't have enough leggings for that every day.

Now my 2 1/2 year old is turning into a princess and not only wants to wear a dress, but it has to puff out when she spins. I am so exhausted.

Jessica - posted on 12/01/2010

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my daughter has become very independent and wants to do the same thing in the mornings. i want her to have her own sense of style but sometimes the things dont match (im kind of picky about that) or she wants to wear summer clothes in december! she too gets angry if i pick the wrong things for her and says "mom! ill be embarrassed!" or "this isnt even stylish mom" (where a 4yr old heard these is beyond me, bc i dont talk about whats stylish or not unless she asks) and she freaks out if i make her wear what i pick. so lately we've been picking two outfits out together the night before, making sure that either top would look fine with either pair of jeans, and thats seemed to make some sort of a difference.

Ashley - posted on 11/24/2010

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My daughter used to do this and I after pulling my hair out and trying everything i could think of I decided to take away all of her clothes and every morning i would give her 2 outfits to choose from. She didnt like it but it worked. Hope this helps

Kellie - posted on 11/23/2010

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Great suggestion Holly. That's pretty much what I do too. I lay out two or three outfits. Usually slacks, jeans, and a skirt outfit and tell her this is what she has to choose from. It works for the most part. There are times when she wants to wear jeans but not the ones I picked out and that's ok, as long as she knows which jeans she prefers. Sometimes she takes awhile to decide so an egg timer comes in real handy. Set the timer for 5 minutes and tell her if she does not choose by the time it goes off then you get to choose. A really radical thing is to strip down her closet and drawers so her choices are limited that way. She can pick out whatever she wants, but the volume of clothing is not so overwhelming. Six, seven, eight, ten, twelve, pairs of jeans can become daunting to a soon to be 5 year old. Not to mention the shirts,skirts, socks, shoes, it all has to be coordinated and weather appropriate. Try to see it from her point of view and how overwhelming it may be.
We want our children to make choices and its good for her to learn how to, but she may need you to set some limits so she feels more capable of handling the task.
I hope this has helped.

Holly - posted on 11/17/2010

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I have found that limiting my sons options from his whole wardrobe down to maybe 3 options has worked a treat. He still had a few tanties but after a few days he was happy to get dressed and I got to get to work on time! I have also taken him to daycare in his pyjamas and he was quite happy to get changed in the car when realized I was (sort of) serious! ;) On days when we're not in a rush, he can independently choose what he wears. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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