how can i get my 4 year old to wear what i choose for him?

Rana - posted on 12/14/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

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every morning, Fady Jr looks at the clothes I picked for him the previous night and he either changes the shoes or the shirt or the pants or the raincoat or all of the above! its so frustrating to deal with his stubborness at 7 in the morning! I know I shouldnt make a big issue of this but i dont want him to leave home looking like a begger and i dont want to declare defeat! so I loose my temper! what should I do?

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Christina - posted on 01/07/2010

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Maybe you could take out all the clothes out of his closet that you would NEVER want him wearing. That way, when he does pick something out, it's always gonna be something you approve of. OR, you could put his "beggar" clothes that he plays in, or whatever, in a seperate bin. And, when he goes out to play or do something that he needs those kinds of clothes for, he'll know where to go to get them.

Inky - posted on 01/07/2010

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Why not let him choose out of two tops, two trousers...two of everything he's going to wear, that match.That way he will think he's made his own choice and you won't have to worry he looks like a 'begger'.

Lyndsay - posted on 01/06/2010

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I personally think that you should let him choose his own clothes, especially if thats what he wants. Encourage some independence. If he ends up looking like a clown, just let his teachers know he dressed himself.

Shannon - posted on 01/05/2010

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i offer my lil girl a couple outfits the night before, and let her pick what one she likes right now, and she can wear the other the next day........if i don't do it ahead of time though, there's no getting her to wear what i pick.

Amber - posted on 12/22/2009

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I give mine a choice between two things (outfits food whatever the battle) that I can be comfortable with. It gives me what I want and makes her feel like she has power as well.

Monica - posted on 12/22/2009

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don't loose your temper. since you pick his clothes out at night have him in there when you do it and give him 2, i repeat 2 choices. have 2 outfits that can easily mix and match or just 2 outfits and let him choose. kids need to learn to make choices for themselves, i just think at 4 keep the choices limited to 2. and if he doesn't like the choices you pick and call it a day and say oh well i gave you 2 options and you chose not take either so you wear what i pick end of story and in the morning if there is a struggle puttin on the clothes, don't loose your temper and scream just be extremely firm even if he pouts but do whatcha gotta do when you gotta do it. hope this helps. the bible says train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Kim - posted on 12/21/2009

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today my youngest (5) chose a halloween costume-- vampire. she went to work with me in it. when she took off her coat, my customers couldn't stop giggling to themselves, and giving her compliments on her outfit. it made her day and theirs!

i'm just glad she got dressed when i told her to.

[deleted account]

Let him pick his own things out and if it does not match at that point say it looks good, but we need to match and give him only 2 choices to make the match! See how that goes?

Crystal - posted on 12/20/2009

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I find it easier if I let my son pick one thing such as the shirt or pants then I match whatever he has choosen. So then he gets to wear what he wants so he is happy I have matched the rest so I am happy. Much less hassle so early in the morning.

[deleted account]

Let him wear whatever he wants, as long as it's weather-appropriate. And that includes pajamas!!!

When I was three, I INSISTED on wearing my PJs to school one day. Rather than arguing, my mother let me. At school, all the kids pointed, started and laughed. I was so embarassed I never asked to wear my PJs to school again!

It might not work as quickly with your son - every kid is different. But it'll be a great lesson in self-awareness for him.

[deleted account]

You can't, let him decide. It's good that he makes his own decisions on things, even if it doesn't match it makes him feel good about himself. Try getting things that match with anything. Eventually they get it. Don't sweat over small stuff like this, bigger things will be coming your way. Mine is 9, believe me I know.

Patricia - posted on 12/19/2009

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The key here is to make the child feel like he is a part of the process, children tend to reject things if they do not feel like they have some kind of control. The solution is to give him a choice between two different out fits that he helps to pick out, then tell him that he has a choice to make but only from the two outfits that he has help to create, let him know that the other one he will have to wear on the following day. In the end, you will have taught your child the art of flexibility and compromise, which are tools that he will need to learn through his life, why not start now.

Kate - posted on 12/19/2009

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The other thing I do is to lay out multiple outfits (which I have still chosen of course) and have her pick things (these undies or these ones? Do you want the pink socks or the Hello Kitty socks?). It gives her a sense of control even as I am guiding the choices.

Kate - posted on 12/19/2009

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Losing your temper is the worst thing you can do. Children need NEED to start making their own decisions and establishing their independence, even at four. There may be some events or days that he has to wear everything that you choose, but I suggest letting him change at least one item. Set the ground rules "You can change one item" or "You can choose whatever you want to wear on Saturdays". My 4 year old daughter goes to the grocery store with me in a feather boa, a ballerina dress, funny glasses, and plastic rings on her fingers now and then. She has a bt of freedom to be imaginative and expressive, and there's nothing that makes my day more than to see her have harmless fun that tends to light up the faces of people who encounter her!
Of course, you can't let him do this on a daily basis, or even a daily basis; decide what you can be flexible on, and be flexible.

Teri - posted on 12/18/2009

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have him help you pick the clothes the night before that way he will feel he has more of a say in what he wears

Charlene - posted on 12/18/2009

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Two outfit rule... you can pick them out the night before in your mind... place them together maybe.. and then in the AM.. Ok Fady, do you want to wear this one? or this one? and thats it... sometimes too, it takes you being a very strong mom.. You have to stick to your guns.. If you don't want to give him options, you gotta let him know he has no choice, and what mom says goes.. it takes about a week of constant, but they get the hang of it, and go with the flow... Good luck mama...

Teri - posted on 12/18/2009

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I would suggest to do this the night before then that way it will speed things up for morning

Hayley - posted on 12/18/2009

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apparently wheni was little i wouldnt let my mum chose which clothes to buy me. so wht she would do is pick up 2 outfits that she liked and then got me to pick which one i liked. that way i thought i was choosing all by myself! she did the same getting me dressed in the mornings too. good luck!

Jordan - posted on 12/17/2009

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Well, have it set out for him...do not give him a choice.he will wear that or nothing at all.

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2009

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my four year old refused to where a turtleneck one day...she said she did not like turtlenecks.. i said well that was fine...this is a kitty neck..and you like kitties...she agreed and she now loves wearing kitty necks..

Heidi - posted on 12/17/2009

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I guess Im on of those moms that lets my 4 yr old pick out his clothes. There are more things to worry about then letting your kid look like a begger. As long as they are not stained up or have holes in them who cares. 5 out of 7 days he matches.

Rana - posted on 12/17/2009

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thank you all for your advice. I had a breakthrough with Fady yesterday: first we decided together what he will wear the next day to school then for his xmas party at school i surprised him by allowing him to wear his favorite biker outfit! we agreed he will go shopping with me next time for "cool" clothes! Im so happy cos he's happy!

Paula - posted on 12/16/2009

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I think all kids go through some level of this. Give him and option but not to many or you'll still have problems. This is actually a good thing it shows he has his own mind and is capable of making decisions. Always look for the positives in these very trying situations lol

[deleted account]

you should get out 2 complete outfits lay them on the bed and get him to choose one or the other, that why he has a choice, and you are happy with what he is wearing. him choosing his own clothes is a sign of his developing independence, unless you are going somewhere like church or a special party, let him look like a begger if that is what he wants to wear.

Rachel - posted on 12/16/2009

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Just showing he wants his independence! Give him some independence and I love the ideas of two outfits so he can choose or if that doesent work at least let him choose one article of the outfit

Sharon - posted on 12/16/2009

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This is the stage I enjoyed with my son where the fashion and colours comes into play. I would pick out a outfit and than get him to pick it out and compare what colours goes with other colours or patterns. I would get his advise on what I was wearing and he would let me know if I didn't match. Now he matches all the time. I feel if you make it into a game it will work. good luck.

Melody - posted on 12/16/2009

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let him choose...put out a few items and let him come up with interesting things to wear..i do this with my 3 year old.

Rana - posted on 12/15/2009

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thank you so much for your help moms! actually after our fight this morning we didnt leave home till he had on the clothes i chose for him, but then when he went out to play in the garden with his friends I let him wear what he was fighting for in the morning! so it was a win win situation! Merry Xmas to all of you!

Medic - posted on 12/15/2009

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my three year old wont wear anything unless he thinks its his ideas.....thankfully he has pretty good taste.....but i usually tell him ok go pick a pair of jeans......and when he does i tell him ok well go get a blue shirt..or long sleeve shirt..or something specific and he does...so essentially he is dressing himself just within my parameters...and then there are the days where we arnt going anywhere so i just tell him to get his play clothes and he gets a little creative with that but oh well atleast he looks decent at school and church

Tricia - posted on 12/15/2009

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One thing I have done with my daughter is to take her shopping with me. I know this sounds good in theory, however if he has helped in choosing what clothes you buy then he may be more likely to not fight you. Sounds like he is trying to test your limits as well with him. Always remember no matter what YOU are the parent and HE is the child. Give him choices, but also let him express his creativity as well. You could also set up a reward program for him - say one day out of the week (you choose - perhaps a day that you aren't going to be going too many places like a Saturday?) and he gets to pick his own outfit that day if he has been a good boy wearing what you lay out for him all week. Good luck!!

[deleted account]

Offer 2 outfits & get him to chose 1 of them. Either way you like both outfits.
Or have a draw which are his home clothes draw and let him wear what he wants.
We have no trouble with Lotus wearing anything unless it's scratchy on her.
The reason for choosing is so they feel like they have made and independant choice and we are not forcing her to wear something she does not want to.
hope this helps.
Merry Christmas

Jocelyn - posted on 12/14/2009

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I don't think you can! Apparently I would fight my mom tooth and nail when I was that age lol. My son is just getting to that stage now (he's three) and what I have been doing is picking out two or three tops, and then letting him choose the one he would rather wear. Give him choices, but limited choices. So far we haven't had any real melt-downs over what he wants to wear (touch wood!)

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