5 year old dressing himself?

Megan - posted on 01/27/2011 ( 69 moms have responded )

27

74

1

my 5 year old son wants to dress himself daily. he is in headstart (prek). i am just worried that he will look tacky but i know i shouldnt worry what other people think. what age did yall let ur children dress themselves. help plz!!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

My boys were both 5 & I started letting them dress themselves. They would usually pick out a shirt & I would say oh see how this has blue in it, well blues goes with blue jeans or see this has grey in it that goes with black. They really started to pay attention to what they were wearing & tried to match. When every they did it right I made sure to tell them how nice they looked. Sometimes they looked tacky I would try nicely to see if I could get them to put on something different. I didin't want to hurt their feelings & usally they would change. Other times we just went with whatever they had on. Also if you really aren't comfortable with it, you can pick out say 2 or 3 outfits & let him pick which one he wants to wear,that way he is still being a big boy & choosing. PS: as long as they are clean that's the most important thing :)

Lissa - posted on 01/27/2011

1,047

0

98

As soon as they could they could put their own trousers and t-shirts on by 2 underpants and socks took a little longer to get the hang of. They could do buttons and zips by 4. He want's some independence here, let him have it you can always let him do it for himself then tidy him up a little if his shirt is hanging out etc.

Sylvia - posted on 01/27/2011

1,315

8

31

I think DD was dressing herself without my help by the time she was about two and a half -- certainly by the time she was three. And she was picking out what she wanted to wear even before that.

She came up with some pretty bizarre outfits (for example, for a while she took the view that anything with stripes matches anything else with stripes), but unless it was, like, photo day at daycare or something, I didn't intervene. She was only going to come home covered in marker, poster paint, bits of playdough, and playground dirt anyway.

Jennifer - posted on 01/27/2011

4

9

0

My wanted to choose his own clothes around 4 or 5. For me, I was honest with him. I told him that people choose shirts and pants that match. Big tip I gave him, everything matches jeans (easy with boys :). Other than that he asked if some colors go together and he began to figure out what looked good together a while. It was a learning experience and bringing me pants and a shirt and asking if they go together or match didn't destroy his independence, it helped build it.

In the beginning, when he was 4 or 5, there were a few days were he was sure he looked awesome and what else could I do but smile and say "yep, you look great." It's okay to let one go every once and a while. I think most people understand, but wouldn't it be great to have stickers that said "I dressed myself today!" :)

One more thing:
Now that my son is 7, sometimes he still has questions, especially after we shop for new clothes. He wants to look "cool" and I respect that. So I feel like he has never felt like I've made him feel like he can't do it on his own... I think he has always felt like I've helped him, but not done it for him.

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2011

58

27

3

As soon as they were able. And some days my sons came downstairs from getting dressed looking sooo tacky. But I still showed pride and told them how great of a job they did getting dressed all by themselves. Eventually, once they got older to understand what matches, I would go upstairs with them, and if what they picked didn't match, I would say "that's a good choice, but what do you think about this one? or this one?" Then I would give them 2 or 3 different shirts (that did match), and they would pick which ever one they wanted. This way they still felt like it was their decision. And it's really cute, and I used to laugh soo hard(not in front of them) at some of the combinations they came up with! It is soo very important to let them feel independant...especially at this age. Good Luck

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

69 Comments

View replies by

Vanessa - posted on 08/07/2013

81

12

14

My son started this year and he's five. I say your lucky that your son is doing it himself. And while I let my boy pick out what he wants for usual days, I do sometimes give him a choice between a few different things on special occasions. And I also use dressing as a time to teach him how to match, etc...Sounds like your son is doing great!

Michelle - posted on 07/04/2011

22

21

1

my daughter is six and she has been picking her own clothes out for a long time and dressing herself too. My son is two and he is just starting to pick his own clothes out as well. If you meet him halfway that would be a big help for you, let him pick something and you pick something

Shari - posted on 07/03/2011

17

25

0

my son helps me pick his outfit for the next day right before bed I will ask him what shirt he wants to wear all his shirts are hanging in his closet so I have to get it down for him. He usually knows right away what he wants if not I will give him about 4 choices and if he still can't decide I will make a suggestion. ater that I will get pants or shorts and ask him how about we wear this and this? then he picks what shoes he wants to wear...he has a pair of bright red shiny lace up boots that look soo goofy but he loves them so if that's what he chooses then it's up to him...the great thing about it is most fellow parents understand completely and I recieve very few comments

Sylvia - posted on 02/23/2011

1,315

8

31

@Nicole -- If I were you I would let him wear the shorts, but tell him he has to pack a pair of trousers in his backpack also. He'll get colder and colder on the way to school (I'm assuming 40 is chilly -- I fail at Fahrenheit!), and at some point he'll decide (since you're not watching anymore, so he's not losing face) that the shorts were not actually such an awesome idea, and he'll stop and get out the trousers and put them on. And you probably won't have to fight that battle again for a while.

Just a thought ;^)

Roxanne - posted on 02/22/2011

4

16

0

I did the same, as soon as they were 5 I let them put on their clothes. What I did was picked out their clothes the night before. I would pick out an extra shirt or bottom and have them pick one in the a.m. that they would then choose from. That worked for all 4 of mine. This way they think they're picking it out but in realityyyyyy :) Hope this little trick helps ;)

[deleted account]

My 4 year old dresses herself but I help either I pick out her clothes and set them on the bed or I explain that what she picked looks silly and if she put on this instead of that it would look beautiful. She is usually eager to change her clothes. On the weekends I let her put on whatever she wants I have taken out to the grocery store in her princess dresses or a purple shirt and green pants people will understand that he is a kid and is starting to try to be independent. If someone has a problem with it oh well he has to develop his own style My 9 year old starting dressing herself at 4 also she is 9 now and still needs help matching sometimes.

Nicole - posted on 02/13/2011

1

0

0

I have an 8 yr old son. He generally picks out what he wants to wear within certain guidelines, but we have MAJOR battles over these. He wants to wear shorts tomorrow since its going to be 70, but what he doesn't understand is that it will on by 40 when he goes to school. So I say no and he crys and basically throws a temper tantrum. It is so very frustrating. I'm at my wits end with this but don't know how to deal with it. Ugh.

Lisa - posted on 02/11/2011

1

13

0

We use a color code system for our 5 yr old daughter to dress her self. I put colored dots from Sharpie markers on the tags. If the colors of the dots on the tags match she can put them together. I have red, pink, blue, green, brown, black, and orange markers that I use for her. A mother of a little boy gave me the tip and it has worked great for both of us so far and her son is now 10 and she still uses the color coded dots. Good luck

Blossom - posted on 02/09/2011

17

30

1

Let him dress himself. what i did with both my kids is i would put and outfit on their bed, when they wanted to dress themsleves. Then i would fix it if needed after they were done.

Yvonne - posted on 02/09/2011

17

20

1

Embrace his new found independence! My almost seven year old won't even dress herself without pushing and prodding, so consider yourself lucky:) Target, Childrens Place, Sears, etc. now sell mix and match clothes that go together. I would pick up a few sets and then he can choose and they will match! Also lay out a few pants and shirts that go together and let him choose the night before. Don't worry as far as Preschool goes. Teachers are not there to judge a fashion show (if they are they're in the wrong profession!) and they understand at that age that children like to help dress themselves. I agree it could also be a great way to learn colors and matching outfits, socks, etc. Luckily now mixing plaids with stripes are actually in style:) Have fun and don't worry. If your son feels happy with his outfit then you can smile about it too!

Latoya - posted on 02/08/2011

6

8

0

My daughter is 5 yrs old and she dresses herself and other daughter is 2 she does the same, i say if my daughters are happy with wat they wear than i hav no problem with it

Karen - posted on 02/07/2011

33

1

0

My kids are 5,7, & 8(almost 9). I still get their clothes ready for school. They sometimes have interest in picking out their clothes.

Dee - posted on 02/07/2011

40

12

0

My son has been dressing himslef for a long time and he is pretty good at picking out his own outfits. It's ok if somedays they look a little silly but they are becoming indepoendant and at this age they really don't care about what they look like. They are just proud of themselves for doing it all on their own. Althoough if you want to help any I keep all of his outfits together in the drawers. So most times he goes for the whole outfit because it's just an easier choice.
There are those days when he mixes them up a bit but I just let kids be kids when it comes to these things.

Suzanne - posted on 02/07/2011

115

28

4

dressing himself at 5 is more and ok and any person who has children would look at your child and say to them self... he dressed himself and understand. but if you are worried try colour coordinated hangers so he can be told pick 2 hangers the same colour, it will ease your mind and make him feel like he is doing it all by himself

Lynn - posted on 02/07/2011

18

22

2

This is a good way for him to express himself and to build self confidence. If you are concerned that he is not dressing appropriately you could set out options and let him pick between two or three options.

Sylvia - posted on 02/05/2011

1,315

8

31

Wow, this thread has been a revelation! I've often wondered how some kids DD hangs out with always look so put together, and been surprised at their ability to pick matching outfits. Now I know it was probably their moms doing it! That makes me feel a lot better about vetoing the outfit DD wanted to wear for school photo day this year (all black, and sleeveless -- in October!).

Marsha - posted on 02/05/2011

72

6

3

My almost 7 yr old knows how to dress herself and can put clothes on and off but will wear whatever I or DH pick out for her. She rarely has any care about what it is clothing wise. Her one pet-peeve (which I try to accomodate) is that she prefers zip up jackets/sweatshirts to ones that go over her head to layer an outfit on cold days.

Amy - posted on 02/04/2011

4,793

17

369

I let my daughter dress herself all the time. She has been since she was 3. For school days, I set out three pants, three shirts and let her mix and match [making sure they all go together for me]. She is still choosing, but I'm making sure clothes are warm enough. Only problem I ever have with her dressing herself is she wants to wear just a skirt in -4 degree weather. NOT okay. :)
I've started letting my 2 year old pick out shirts for the day and I pick pants, but all he can do is step into it when I hold things up and put his own arms in. He's not quite coordinated to dress himself, but is loving to choose his own shirt.

Klara - posted on 02/03/2011

136

87

16

I put my daughter's clothes away in outfits, then she can choose an acceptable outfit from the ones that are paired up. If he feels the need to be independent, thats great! I would try to find a way to allow him to do that, but still have the outfits be acceptable. Good luck!

Corrie - posted on 02/03/2011

27

0

0

my kiddos get to dress themselves, but I or dad has the last say. It has to fit, it has to be appropriate for the days activities and I don't care about matching but i sure make of point of noticing when it is close. Good Luck!

LadyLu - posted on 02/03/2011

12

0

2

Simple:
Go into the room with him & hold up 2 t-shirts (which you like) and let him choose.
Repeat with the bottoms...
It works a dream with Ben who i've been doing it with since he was little(r)...
I sometimes let the game go on a while longer too but continuing to get more and more tops out.

Hope it helps, Let me know how you get on

[deleted account]

My kids dress themselves. All of them. My youngest is 3 and she has been dressing herself since she was about a year and a half. She doesn't always match but I can always get her out of the house matching. Even if I veto what she wants totally I do give her choices on alternatives. However, those are few and far between. By 5 your son should be used to dressing himself so let him have that independence.

Crystal - posted on 02/03/2011

55

40

0

Mine was probably around 3... basically as soon as she had the inclination and motor skills to do it... as long as her "parts" were covered, I really didn't care. She tried to wear every color in the rainbow, combined patterns. After awhile, the teachers just found it fascinating what she was going to come up with from day to day and her friends were just thought it was cool. Of course, at that age, peers who show up looking like a walking Lite-Brite are just awesome all round. I'm sure I got looks from the mothers who didn't understand my complete disregard of the polished look for my child, but I encouraged her individuality. Of all the fights I have had and will have in the future, wearing 3 pairs of socks in 3 colors or mixing plaids with stripes just is not important to me.

Jenn - posted on 02/02/2011

4

18

0

For my sanity and to avoid a fight, I used to put outfits together on hangers so my son could pick what he wanted to wear. Now I buy clothes so that most everything goes together no matter what he picks. I think it is awesome that your son is dressing himself. My son just started a few months ago and he is six. Jenn

Kristin - posted on 02/02/2011

1,645

40

305

They started at about 3. I would put my foot down about choices that were totally impractical. Think swim trunks and a sweater to go sledding or snow boot to go play in the pool. They have their own sense of style, you do want to encourage this independence. You can keep some semblance of normal and reduce the tacky factor in what you choose to buy him.

Sharalyn - posted on 02/02/2011

55

36

3

He was doing bits and pieces by age 2. I figured the independence was more important than "matching". If you are worried about matching, how about letting him pick out a shirt or pair of pants that he wants to wear, then giving him two choices for the other? Do that the night before, and you've got the clothes ready to go in the morning. :-)

Erin - posted on 02/02/2011

193

30

6

I let my daughter start dressing herself when she turned 4.
Sometimes she looks silly, but shes a kid! They arent in a mindset of "Oh I hope I look okay" and I think that is really healthy! It lets them use their creativity, and the worst case scenario? Stripes with polkadots! Not the end of the world :) Also with gentle guidance you can teach them colour coordination and matching, and they'll get the hang of it

Jodi - posted on 02/02/2011

39

38

3

I let my son start dressing himself when he asked to, probably JK. I remember one day he went to school wearing a clown costume and he's been miss matched, but he was soo proud of himself and I think that's what really matters! I think any Mom out there that see's a miss matched clothes knows They Did It By Themselves!! It's a milestone!!
So let him pick out his clothes as long as they are appropriate for the weather!!

Becky - posted on 02/02/2011

31

40

5

Whenever they are ready! If you are worried that he will look tacky- let him choose between 2 or three different outfits. Or just stock him up with jeans and shirts- jeans go with EVERYTHING! My 10 year old sometimes comes up for breakfast wearing some really tacky stuff and I just say "are you sure you want to go to school dressed like that?" He usually says he doesn't care and does, so I figure I will let him. At 5 no one is really going to notice if he looks tacky or not. But again- you could say you can choose one of these 3 shirts to wear and one of these 3 pairs of pants, and then you have actually helped him but he doesn't really realize that you helped.

Idella - posted on 02/01/2011

44

16

2

My daughter was the same way, but she started before age three. I simply allowed her to but on one condition....I reorganized her dresser drawers putting outfits together and then tying a ribbon around eah outfit to keep them seperate. Her dress clothes were organized in the closet the same way It did become a great tool in learning days of he week using her panties with the days on them and she had free range with socks and I put out sweaters , jackets , coats and shoes according to season.

Shay - posted on 02/01/2011

21

70

0

My daughter does the same...so what I do is when I wash clothes I put outfits together on a hanger and then she can pick which one she wants to wear!!! She has underwear that are days of the week..so we wear each day of the week..she picks her t-shirts, she picks her shoes and she picks her socks and outfis!!! She is really in to matching...I have been letting her dress herself since she was in headstart!! She is almost five and she does really well!!! Nothing wrong with it....just put the things together and then you will feel safe and he will feel like a bog boy!!! Everyone is happy...

Juliet - posted on 02/01/2011

1

8

0

my son has been dressing himself. i have all his clothes for the season put together in outfits hanging in his closet and all he has to do is pick and get dress. he likes that

Emily - posted on 02/01/2011

20

17

2

It's all school uniforms over here from the age of 4, so there's no debate! On weekends they wear whatever they want, as my 12yr old daughter obviously has set ideas on what is fashionable, and my 5yr old son just wants to be "cool" :) I have no specific matching outfits for the 5yr old, it's all just jeans or tracksuit pants, and long-sleeve t-shirts or a hoodie. He has sensitivity to clothing, so those are the only things he'll wear. Not much choice really, but that means he gets to do it all by himself anyway!

Heidi - posted on 02/01/2011

51

36

2

Yes he should be allowed to choose. Give him appropriate choices for each day, like- bottom drawer playclothes are only for home, nicer pants and shirts are for school. If he comes out not matching, use that as an opportunity to teach him about matching, appropriatness, etc. It is ok to make him change to suit the situation.

Nadia - posted on 01/31/2011

152

19

11

my daughter is almost 5 and she is very capable of picking out her outfits and putting them on. that being said, she most definately does not pick things that i would say match! lol unless we are going out (shopping, school, etc) i let her wear whatever she wants at home or for playing outside with the neighbourhood kids (as long as its not a fancy dress lol). when it comes down to dressing for school i'll let her pick her pants for example and then i will pull out 3 shirtls that would look nice with them, and she can choose which one she wants to wear. she also picks out her own underwear and socks. its a happy medium most of the time. :)

Lynzie - posted on 01/31/2011

1

29

0

My son is 6 1/2 now and he's been picking his own clothes for several years. I do guide him a bit, to be sure he picks clean clothes that are weather and occasion appropriate, but other than that, he picks. Sometimes he picks silly outfits, but he gets a chance to express himself and create his own style.

Donna - posted on 01/31/2011

12

3

0

At 4 DD and I laid clothes out at night. By 5 she was picking out her own outfits. Occasionally she asks and occasionally I try to redirect to something more appropriate or matches better. She's 8 now and sometimes the outfits are still crazy but if she's good with it, so am I unless it is an important occasion that requires something specific.

[deleted account]

I think it's great that he wants to be so independent. Encourage him by letting him dress himself!

I think it's cute when little ones come to school in their own ensembles. You can always tell, and they wear it with such pride. As they should - that's a big accomplishment!

Jody - posted on 01/31/2011

6

0

1

I think as soon as they show an interest they should be able to dress them self if they want to. My daughter started showing an interest early. I think she was just under three but she also is a very strong willed child so I decided I had to pick my battles & just rolled with it. I didn't care what she wore, I was just happy she wanted to take the initiative & do it for herself. It also gives them alot of confidence too so don't be too worried if he chooses miss matched things. I can guarantee you he probably won't be the only one. lol But If you are still concerned with matching etc & to make things easier on you maybe you could choose two or three different outfits for him, lay them out & ten let him decide for himself which one he wants to wear. That way he still feels like he has a choice & you still have a little control over what he chooses. Everybody wins. :)

Janice - posted on 01/31/2011

15

34

0

Hi Megan, just let him dress himelf. He must feel like he wants to be a "bigboy". If you are worried about him looking tacky, just let him know that if his clothes are crooked, not buttoned correctly or not tucked properly you will help him AFTER he tries to correct it himself. If you are worried that he will choose totally unmatched clothing, then the night before you and him will go in his room and decide on the tomorrow's outfit. Give him about 3 pairs of trousers and 2 or 3 shirts to choose from and have him lay them out for the next day. That way you are assured that his clothing will match and he won't try to wear a superman costume or outlandish clashing colors.

Katherine - posted on 01/31/2011

440

0

33

both my girls started at 4. I let it go when around the house and going for walks or to the store. My olest is now 8 going on 9 and well she has control on what she wears but then again I do buy the clothes, she does have a say what we buy because she knows her style. I dont stifle her from being her I just keep it reasonable. I do put my foot down on both if they come out looking like a bumb with the layering system of every shirt they own. If they dont match that gets fixed and if a dress or skirt or shorts aare too small or short. It gets removed and found a new home. My 4 yr old Emily loves playing dressup and I buy her dress up clothes that she wears all around the place. But I dont allow it for school or preschool. THey do need to look presentable.

Jameeka - posted on 01/31/2011

9

93

0

My son dresses himself. He's 4 now. It gives him a sense of accomplishment to say that he did it "all by himself". He may pick out some things that don't necessarily go together, but thats where you can step in and say why don't you try this one instead. Even if he does decide to go with the non-matching piece, we, as parents, can't make our children feel bad about their decisions. It's all a part of them growing into their own persons.

Debora - posted on 01/31/2011

3

4

0

I personally found it is best to give 2 choices, then they get to Choose what to wear, which makes them feel like they got to decide something important. While controlling the total overal outcome -- and in the future, the pile of clothes strewn all over, cause they have pulled out everything from the drawers.. looking for that special shirt..OR changing their minds on what to wear.
Now that my daughter is 9, we have a 6 cube organizer in the closet, it is filled with outfits, but she chooses which one to wear on what day. She helps now on filling it on Sundays :) and loves that her choices are more, but still easy to pick from.

Lindsey - posted on 01/31/2011

16

12

0

I'm lucky here. My son has always had good taste about what to wear and when he's a little askew, I offer helpful suggestions and explain why something won't match. I think it's good to let them so they can foster a healthy sense of independence. My son started around 4.

Michelle - posted on 01/30/2011

305

21

19

My five year old has been dressing himself since he was 2 1/2 or three maybe. He's really particular about what he wears. My older boys didn't care what they wore when they were five and my three year old is particular in what he wears. So what if he looks like a dork, you might be surprised on what exactly he wants to wear, Spiderman, Star Wars Legos, Transformers, etc. Last year when my son was four all he would wear was Spiderman. This year it is Lego Wii like Star Wars, Batman, Mario Brothers, etc and only athletic pants. One of my older sons only wants to wear tie dye t-shirts, the other older one doesn't care, and my three year old normally wants to wear his pj tops.

Sabrina - posted on 01/29/2011

10

30

1

I lay the clothes out for my boys and let the older ones dress themselves. I do check them to make sure they look ok and nothing on backwards. If they want to choose, maybe give him a choice from 2 shirts. I guess I'm fortunate, my boys don't really care about picking out their own clothes.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms