Was it wrong to send my boyfriends son to school in his pjs?

Christina - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 48 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend and I live together along w/ his two boys 3&4, and my daughter 7yrs. The two older ones are in school, and the three year old stays home w/me. My boyfriend leaves for work before the kids are up, so I get them all up and ready for school. Lately 4yr old has decided that he don't want to listen to me in the morning, and one day last week he refused to get dressed. I told him if he did not get dressed he would have to go to school in his pjs. His Dad called and told him to get dressed, but as soon as he hung up the phone said he was not getting dressed. I sent him to school in his pjs. Please help me. If this was wrong please help me to understand what I could have done w/o spanking because that I do not believe in.

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Bridgett - posted on 10/28/2009

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I think that it is not appropriate to send him to school on a daily basis in his pj's. My suggestion is to make it fun for him to pick out his own clothes. Understand that he may not always match in the beginning, but it will get easier. purchase seperates for him that way he can choose his own tops and bottoms. Just make sure that they can al be coordinated together. this is how I got my son to cooperate in the morning. Plus give him plenty of time to get ready, if you are in a rush it never fails that he will push against you. From experience. Good luck on the clothes issue.

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Angie - posted on 11/07/2009

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Then you tell him if you can't get dressed there will be no TV or anything fun until you can do what you are told...period. He would have got dressed or I would have called his dad back and told him to come home.

Christina - posted on 11/01/2009

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I appreciate everyone taking time out of their day to respond to my post.. I am not sure some of you have read my other post, but just thought I would write again to express my thoughts.. Matthew and I do have a great relationship, and this stuff does not happen everyday. This happen one day, and one day only. Matt was not teased nor was he embarassed at school four wearing pjs. He was wearing Thomas pjs..lol I don't know about you, but I have not met a four year old that don't like Thomas! Some may say he didn't learn his lessen however he did. Craig and his boys, and my daughter and I moved in together in July 2009, so yes I am new at the everyday situations. Before July I only seen the boys (Matt&Jake) every other weekend. This was not a win lose situation, and I don't think either one of us won. I feel that we both learned something. I have learned that maybe Matt does need a lil more attention, maybe he is sad his brother stays w/me all day, and maybe just maybe he is being a typical four year old and seeing what he can get away with. I think Matt has learned that I am not going to get him dressed and force him to school. He will go to school in his pjs if he does it again. However I do really like the comment about telling him if he wants to stay in his pjs, then he should go back to bed because pjs are for sleeping in.. I will try new things, but I will not allow him to disrespect me. If I did that I'd have all three kids treating me like that, and then I would have a bigger problem on my hands. I have always thought I did the right thing. I posted it on here to see if maybe I was wrong, I am however human, and make mistakes. I also wanted to know if other people had been in this situation, and if there was something I could do in the future should this happen again. Thank you all very much. I am sorry to say I will not be appologizing to Matthew for anything. I am the parent, and I think when you follow through with what you say, and then turn around and say... I am sorry baby mommy was wrong.. I think you open the door for them to walk all over you! All comments were much appreciated thank you all! Hope you all had a Happy Holloween!

Courtney - posted on 10/31/2009

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i'm so glad everything worked out for you. my daughter is 8 and very fussy about her cloths in the morning. doesnt seem to grasp the concept that the bus will not wait for her. she also chooses to wear some silly things to school sometimes. i try to get her to change, she doesnt want to, it turns into a battle so now I let her be stubborn and go to school that way. thinking that if she is made fun of she will learn her lesson the hard way. she doesnt choose silly things out so much anymore lol. so..i would have done the same thing. its called tough love, and ya gotta let them figure some things out on their own. im so glad you followed through on what you said..not all parents do that!

[deleted account]

You did what you felt you could do at the time. That's all any of us can do! I can hear that you're caring & concerned.
That age is often difficult because they're growing up and want to make their own decisions, but often can't. This is frustrating for both the adults and the kids.
It sounds like he may want to feel more in control over his life. This situation allowed him to talk to his Dad, which gave him the feeling of control. When you need to involve his Dad in these situations it gives him the message that you have no authority over him. That message is emphasized when he refused to get dressed after the phone call.
It sounds like what you want is to have him cooperate with you to get ready in the morning. If so, perhaps give him some input in how this gets done. Give him a choice of whether he wants to eat or get dressed first; which outfit he wants to wear to school.
Keep it positive and try not to feed bad behavior with attention.
There is a good book that has helped many of my clients understand their children better. How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish.
Keep positively persevering! :o)
Barbara Schmitt BA, ACC, ELI-MP
Ansen Leadership Development, LLC
Family Relationships, Teens & Life Transitions

Letisha - posted on 10/31/2009

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It wasnt wrong i once wacthed supper nanny where the same thing happened and i my son did that i would do the same thing.

Melissa - posted on 10/31/2009

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Being a step-"parent" is difficult. I know. Even if you are not married, you still play a "parental" role in those children's lives. I do not think sending him to school in his PJ's was the best solution. He is a child and I am sure he is dealing with some of his own challenges that we, as adults, do not understand. Also, he is only 4. 4 years is not a long time of living on this earth to have gained enough experience to have the wisdom and understanding that us adults have. I do agree that there needs to be consequences, but by sending him to school in his PJ's not only created more of a wedge between the two of you and the very important relationship that needs to be cultivated in order to live in harmony - but it also subjected him to teasing and ridicule by his peers, which can leave lasting mental scars. - All so you could "win" the battle. Please remember that he is just a baby still... When those times arise, get down on his level and communicate with him. Find out why it is that he doesn't want to get dressed - it may be a simple solution that he feels lonely when he is away from his family.. Fighting him only fuels his fire to push the limits. You are the adult. Take a deep breath, give him a hug, tell him that you love him and that you only want to help him look gorgeous for all of his friends to see. Life is precious and a child's innocence is just a much precious. Spanking will not solve a thing. Gaining his respect by respecting him will. It will also help open the communication. If he feels he can openly tell you anything - without consequence - these "challenges" will disappear and you will cultivate a beautiful, respectful, loving relationship. Having a "life mentor" from a woman who was not my mother changed my life - for the better. It has helped me be a better, more patient, more compassionate "step-parent" - and I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to help mold a child's mind to prepare them for their adult experiences. Apologize to him and tell him you were wrong for doing that. Trust me, it will speak volumes to his little heart... On the flip side, you could be faced with him wanting to go to school in his PJ's everyday... and you can't say anything, because you were the one who created that situation. I think the best thing you can do from here is let him know you were wrong.. and the reason you wanted him to get dressed is so that he could look good, feel good and have the confidence he needs to do great in school. Just love him as if he were your own... and he will eventually love you the same. Hope this helps.

Amber - posted on 10/31/2009

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step-children are hard to deal w/ in any situation.....i mean wat else were u supposed to do? i think that dad needs to help him understand about respect and following directions. that's not something that will go over wel coming from you. Also understand that as a kid it's hard on him too.how long have you had them?

Samantha - posted on 10/31/2009

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as long as he was warm and dry with teeth brushed i'd say he learned his lesson huh?! From one step mom to another ...good job!

Elena - posted on 10/31/2009

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WOW!! GOOD FOR YOU!!! As a mom, I would have done the same.... As a teacher (I teach first grade).... HAHAHAHA.... now I know why some of my kids show up in PJ's every now and then.... TOO FUNNY!

Elanor - posted on 10/31/2009

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4 year olds hey, it's so much to do with control, finding thier place in the world. Keep it up, sounds like you are doing a great job.

Taryn - posted on 10/31/2009

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hi christina



i have a 4yr old son who does the same to me! they tend to do this to us at the best of times to us he often goes to school in his pj's and gets asked why somtetimes it bugs him and he will change other times not at times as long as the school doesnt mind it could just be a phase he is going threw or trying to get more of your attention knowing the other little one is home with you

Kristy - posted on 10/30/2009

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been there, done that. My son went through a phase and liked to play control games with me. I had no time to argue with him first thing in the morning, so I just took him to school in his pj's. Soon the phase was over and he was back to normal clothes. Pj's are not the worst thing in the world, only silly if you ask me...not like you sent him to school naked. In this day and age, as a mother, you need to pick your battles. This was not a battle that was life or death. Keep up the good work!!!

Kim - posted on 10/30/2009

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I think I would have told him that he doesn't have to get dressed for school, but pajama's are for sleeping, therefore he should return to bed. I don't know a 4 year old in the world who embraces going back to bed as "his choice". I think he would have be more apt to get dressed at that point.

Elanor - posted on 10/30/2009

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I think that you'd have been wrong to tIthreaten and not carry it out. But I try to remember not to threaten something I can't carry out. A while back my 4 year old was reallly playing up and sometimes we threatened to take his bedtime story out, if he did againg what he was asked not to do. When I had to take it off him, I fellt awful, really bad, and I couldn't go back on it, or he'd think he could get away with anything!!!

Nowadays, I never threaten anything, that I would not want to carry out, an d a reward chart really works!

Leah - posted on 10/30/2009

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I would have done the same thing. Its not like you took any of his basic needs away, definately not cruelty he chose to go to school that way, you gave him an alternative and he knew the consequence. One suggestion is to have his father or maybe both of you if possible go over the things he needs to do to get ready in the morning. Maybe make a checklist or something he can cross each item off when he's done it to give him some controll. (without giving in!) My son did well with the checklist thing and now he is almost six and gets up and ready 100% by himself.

Paula - posted on 10/30/2009

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i think you did the rite thing. I have done it and my son soon learnt to do as he was told. I also knw some1 else who try that but the school her son went to called child, youth and family on her so it didnt go to plan like she had hoped

Christina - posted on 10/30/2009

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I can't thank you all enough! I totally did not know what to expect when I posted that. I am so glad you all responded and even shared your stories with me. I am sometimes at a loss as how to raise boys.. Before I met my boyfriend now it had just been my daughter and I. I never even raised my voice at her I don't think. Everything just ran so smoothly. I think Matt is only four, and has been through divorced parents, and sees his Mom only every other weekend, so I just believe that since I am home with him most of the time right now I get the blunt of all his frustrations, or possibly anger. Overall he is a very good boy, and he does listen for the most part. We all have a lot of fun together. As for making a game out of getting dressed, and making it fun.... Well... My daughter and I used to do those things.lol However when you have three kids in the morning competing for everything it does get to be too much, and there is always someone that gets upset if they don't win.lol We do have our routines, and they seem to like it. Matt does not have a problem getting dressed at all. It is not his pants or anything like that just that day he wanted to throw a fit. One thing I think we are going to try diff is having Matt pick out his clothes the night before then he knows what he is wearing the next morning. (Dad usually picks them out the night before). We are also going to have them getting up 15mins early in the morning, and see if maybe he is feeling a lil to rushed in the mornings. Maybe this was his way of expressing himself that something needed to change, so thank you all again! I'll for sure keep you posted if this happens again. I sure hope it does not! lol

Paige - posted on 10/30/2009

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I would've done the same thing. And I think my husband would be one board with it. We were both raised pretty strict and don't put up with our kids refusing to do something they do everyday. Luck for me, my kids don't let me get past the threat of sending them to school in their pjs. They know they will get teased and get dressed! My daughter has beautiful curly hair and knows that if she doesn't get dressed in time for me to spray her hair and brush it that she will go looking like a bird slept in it all night. (she's 5) Any time I've told her that she's going to school with her hair a mess, she jumps right up and gets finished getting dressed and finds the brush and water bottle and spray so she doesn't go all poofy headed. : )

Ranay - posted on 10/30/2009

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I feel that if the boy would not listen then I would have sent him in his pjs as well.

Jennifer - posted on 10/30/2009

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I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Usually once they get made fun of from their friends for having their pj's on he'll get out of the habit!! Make sure he's getting enough sleep at night, which could cause him to not want to do much of anything in the mornings, including get dressed!! And try to make it a fun thing to do, and if you can allow him to choose what he wants to wear - perhaps soft shorts that have elastic waste and a comfy shirt. Good luck!!

Christy - posted on 10/29/2009

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U go girl! I bet he won't do it again anytime soon and if he does...send in them again...If it becomes a routine thing then a new approach will be needed. I have actually told my children I would do that and they were scared right into getting ready!

Angie - posted on 10/29/2009

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Good for you! It's good that you followed through with your threat. I see nothing wrong with what you did. Now he'll know that you are serious when you tell him to get dressed!

Karen - posted on 10/29/2009

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One thing I do to encourage my kids to get up and dressed quickly is to tell them if they are ready (dressed, teeth, shoes, backpack) by 7:15 (or what ever time you want to leave) everyday for the week then on Friday I will take them to get donuts before school. You can substitute any reward. Good luck!

Darcy - posted on 10/29/2009

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i had a teacher tell me to send them to school in them if they dont cooperate.. my daughter does the same thing, she has adhd so she can be a bit challenging.

[deleted account]

This made me LOL!!! My 6 1/2 year old dresses herself everyday.....the only problem is she looks like Punky Brewster half the time...at this age I let her wear want she wants...because the day will come when it will 'only the cool things' will do...I think you made the right choice...I do it almost everyday!!! :)~

Stacy - posted on 10/29/2009

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I have never had this problem. I did however see an episode of Supper Nanny, and a lady had this problem with her daughter as well. Supper Nanny had the mother do just as you did. I don't see nothing wrong with it. The boy may be trying to see what you will let him get away with, trying to push your buttons. I hope he got the picture!

Christina - posted on 10/29/2009

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Thank you again to all of the responses and the ones I am still getting. They all are great advice. For the record it has been a week today since I sent Matthew in his pjs to school, and I think he learned that he needs to get dressed for school. His teacher did tell me that they did talk to him about it, and told him that it's kind of silly to wear pjs to school unless it's pj day. He was not mad he wore the pjs to school, and is not mad at me for sending him. I do believe he did learn his lesson though. He is a good boy I think he just likes to test me when his Dad is not here, and I think that is typical for his age, or any age really. I just need to be carefull on how I react and address each situation. Thank you so much.. I love to hear how many people would do the same thing as me. I am new to Circle of Moms but I really love it!

Heather - posted on 10/29/2009

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you did the right thing, hopefully it embarassed him enough that he will not defy you again. good job, kids these days need that sometimes :)

Kristen - posted on 10/29/2009

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I don't know if it was 'wrong' per sey, but I think he might have won. I've had this same problem with my 3 year old and him wanting to wear shorts ALL the time. Anyway, my advice is you need to be tougher than him. Tell him it is unacceptable to go into public in his jammies, and if he doesn't want to get dressed, he can stay in room all day. Another thing that worked for me is compromise. I explained to my 3 yr. old, "If you argue with me about wearing shorts, you will have to wear pants for 4 days." That threat was enough to get him in pants. In short, you need to be tougher and more stubborn than he is.

Susan - posted on 10/29/2009

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A perfect response! I would have done the same thing! One thing I probably would have done is pack some clothes in his bookbag in case he changed his mind once he got there! LOL I was talking with my sister last night, and she said her daughter threatened to take her son to pre-school with no clothes! LOL He decided he didn't want to go to school that day and kept undressing! Of course, she wouldn't have done it, but it was a funny story!

Christina - posted on 10/29/2009

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Wow! Thank you all so much. My boyfriend sat down w/ me last night, and we read through all of your suggestions and advice. Just so you all no it has only happen one time so far, and yes he went to school in a nice cute pair of pjs. I also walk him in everyday because he is only in Pre K. I did explain to his teacher that he refused to get dressed. She laughed and understood! Yes my boyfriend was very upset and is still, but he does understand why I did it. What can I say he is only 25, and was raising his boys by himself since they were babies until he met me! So we are both learning a lot. I to was a single parent for 6yrs! Yes my daughter is 7, but I never had any problems w/ Claudia. She was and still is so easy. So to all of you that have replied and say you would have done the same thing. Well have you asked your boyfriends or husbands what they would do? Craig himself believes I should have forced him and got him dressed myself and then took him to school crying. All of the guys he asked said they agree with him, but all woman agree with me. I just simply told him well now you can see woman are always right!lol (was only kidding tho) Craig did talk to him about it, and I hope it does not happen again, or I will do the same thing I did before..Again thank you all so much for the advice and the very kind and thoughtfull advice! P.S to Melissa B happy 7th B-day to your son. Seven is a great age!

Michelle - posted on 10/29/2009

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Ha ha...I had the same problem with my son at one point. The difference was at that time he was in a habit of just wearing his underwear to bed. I told him I would count to five and then he was going to school just as he was. Sure enough I got to five and he refused to get dressed. I picked him up, carried him outside, put him down, locked the front door and got in our car and waited. He finally started crying that he needed to get dressed and never got dressed faster! We have not had a problem since then. I love creative discipline. I think it works best sometimes. Sometimes the embarrassment factor is enough. You sent him to school with some clothes on so no I don't think it was wrong, but hopefully you or your boyfriend made him understand the error of his ways. We used to race to see who would get dressed first and since my son is really competitive that worked for a long time. You just have to keep trying until you find something that works.

Kim - posted on 10/29/2009

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sooo not wrong. i think that he may feel angry with you and may even stick his heels in for awhile to try and prove he is in charge. you don't feel in charge right now but you clearly are. you did a difficult thing and showed that you were not gonna bribe him to do what was expected. rewards are great but we can't give a toy or a gold star every time we do what we're told. you want your child to respect you and to be prepared for reality. his teacher would have stuck to her guns too. and if the school is concerned just let them know how things are going. tell anyone who gives you grief that you chose a reasonable solution and he got to school!

Sylvia - posted on 10/28/2009

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Oh, yeah, I'd have done the same thing :D

Unless the pyjamas had holes in the rear end or something and were really inappropriate to wear outside the house. But I'd definitely send my kid to school in her toasty fleece PJs if she refused to get dressed, and I wouldn't feel guilty about it :)

Krista - posted on 10/28/2009

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Wow, I think that was great and you did nothing wrong in my opinion. Is he mad? If he is then maybe he should be there to assist if the child won't listen to you. He was fully clothed and they do have pj day at schools so no you weren't wrong if the school can do it. Atleast this way he knows you mean business and maybe he will listen to you. The biggest problem today is parents say things and never follow through with it and I'm guilty of that. Don't worry what people think just do whats right and if they don't like it they deal with it. GOOD LUCK!

Chloe - posted on 10/28/2009

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Good job!! A parent that follows through!! He has to learn that you are the adult and if he is asked to do something as simple and reasonable as get dressed for school then he has to do it! If he still refuses to get dressed keep sending him!My daughter is starting school next year and i will be doing the same thing if she ever refuses to get dressed! Keep strong and keep up the great parenting :)

Dina - posted on 10/28/2009

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I think it's pretty funny, myself. In fact, just yesterday I was envisioning what the school would think if I sent my kids to school in their pajamas since they require that I ask them to get dressed many, many times before they actually do it. Don't feel too bad. It's good to follow through with a consequence, otherwise they don't take you seriously.

Aideen - posted on 10/28/2009

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I like that you followed through on your threat many would have backed down when it came to the crunch, myself included, and either dressed him or made him stay home. My daughter is scattered and slow in the morning...but hasn't outright refused to get dressed...I did a list of morning jobs for her (picture format) so she knows what to do and remembers to put on underwear and take off the PJs before putting on clothes (we have been known to wear pjs inside the clothes to school accidently). I have also found being really specific about what jobs to do helps. rather that saying 'get dressed'....I say take off your pjs...have you got your undies on.....have you got your pants on...are you out of the loo and so on. this can be done from another room while you get on with your own moring jobs. Maybe some getting dressed music would be fun! and like others have siad plenty of time...children will not rush for you. Hope you took pictures to laught at in a few years time! I hope you're being told regularly how wonderful you are to take on 2 kids and care enough to be stressing about this! U sound like a great mom!

Susan - posted on 10/28/2009

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My daughter now 9 yrs. was the same way. The counselor at her school says teach tough love. The car is leaving the driveway at 7:30 whether your ready or not. clothes hair, shoes, whatever. Then when or if they are teased maybe they will know I better be ready on time next time.. I still love you but they are rules to follow. Now my daughter gets her clothes out the night before and brushes her teeth before bed every night, and our morning are so much smoother. Of course she has to brush her teeth again in the morning, but incase the car leaves and she didn't have time, her teeth won't fall out.

Melissa - posted on 10/28/2009

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Another thing that we do (forgot to write it before), is we race to see who can get dressed, including shoes and jacket, first, him or myself. Of course I usually let him win. Then we race to see who can get into the car and get buckled first. We do this just about everyday. It's fun and we have a great morning. So that's something that maybe you might want to try. I do it after he chooses which shirt he wants to wear.

Melissa - posted on 10/28/2009

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I would have done the same thing. My son is 7 (this sat.) and he has tried that with me, and I told him that if he doesn't get dressed that I was calling Michael (my boyfirned who we live with). So, I called him and he told him to get dressed and he did then. But if he refused, I would have sent him in his pj's. And boy would he have never done it again. I think you did the right thing. Maybe now, he will get dressed. Another thing that you might want to try (don't know if you already did or not), but I pull out a pair of jeans and give him 2 shirts to choose from. This way he feels like it is his choice of what he wants to wear (when really I decided for him). That has really worked for my son. He feels like he has a say in what he gets to wear. Best of luck!!

Tonya - posted on 10/28/2009

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Thats funny having 3 kids 2 get ready n 2 of them off 2 school its fine dont make a habit out of it ur not the only 1 who does this we r all human and if the school calls and asks ust tell them and they will understand

Brieana - posted on 10/28/2009

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Thats funny. Nothing wrong with it. Try putting all of his outfits together on outfit hangers in the closet. Things that you think are appropriate. In the morning tell him he better not pick his own outfit. Say it in a fun way. My daughter runs squeeling to the closet because I told her she better not. Or maybe you can say how little boys who don't get dreesed in the morning, don't get to play with_________>insert name of favorite toy. Or hide a toy in his clothes, and if theres enough time after he dresses, he can play with it for 10 mins or however long.... Good luck and keep us posted.

Katrina - posted on 10/28/2009

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I don't think it was wrong. I would have done the same thing to my 4yr old daughter. however she wants to go to school in her PJ's. You were proving a point. Did he listen to you and get dressed the following day? My mom used to tell us that she was going to send us with our hair all messy and in mis matched clothes. so no I don't think you did anything wrong. good luck with the 4yr old! its a rough age as you already know from having a 7 yr old.

-Katrina

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