Choosing an outfit for my 5 year old

Tosin - posted on 04/18/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, am a mother to a 5yrs a girl. my greatest fear and concern is that my daughter is never satisfied with her outfit. I always give her three options of cloth to pick from but still she doesn't want the three. she want to pick for herself instead of giving her options. during winter she want to put on summer dress, and when I say no , she will say she is going to put on her jacket . I don't really know what to do, am confuse. I tried to encourage her to put on the right cloth for the weather, tried to reinforce, yelled etc but nothing seems to work. she is always late to school every morning because of this. she will continue crying until I put on the cloth she wanted. I don't want her to control my orders. I believe a 5yrs old girl should follow my orders. please tell me what am doing wrong or what am not doing at all.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/18/2013

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I never fought with my kids over clothes. They picked what they wanted to wear from weather appropriate choices.

I took the summer clothes out of the room and stored them during winter, and vice versa. By doing this, you take the inappropriate clothing out of the picture and little one can choose what they want to wear.

Who cares if it matches? Certainly not their peers!

Tracy - posted on 04/22/2013

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At our house, I simply grab some clothes and toss them on the bed for her to get dressed. Usually she doesn't care but some days she wants something else. I tell her that's fine but to pick quickly. To make sure things are, for the most part, weather appropriate, we simply go through her drawers seasonally. She's 3 and so some days with 5 feet of snow she wants to wear a sundress if she sees one. But I just take those options out of the fray all together by clearing out her dresser twice/year. In the spring we clear out all really heavy winter clothes that will obviously be too hot for spring/summer but keep some long sleeve shirts and pants for cool/colder days. In the fall we clear out all summer dresses and shorts/tanks and replace them with winter clothes. This helps us clear out what she is too big for, store the things that will probably fit come next year, and make room for a few new seasonal clothes. It's actually fun to accomplish this to see how much she's grown and changed as well as a reason to do a little clothes shopping (our budget is very tight so most come from second hand stores, but that's where we find some very interesting and unique items!) Anyway, all of this helps when she just wants to pick her own outfit out. There's only stuff that I would allow for the weather to begin with so no problem on her exercising her own judgment for clothing.

Christine - posted on 04/21/2013

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don't make such a big deal out of it! make her wardrobe seasonal so that she can't choose a tank and shorts in winter and teach her to layer. I let mine choose whatever they want (3 and 8), they started around 2. It's fun and funny to see what they pick sometimes, and who cares if they don't match all the time. When we're going somewhere important I will give 2 or 3 options for the little one and tell the older one it has to be dressy and matching. Letting them have this control is part of letting them grow up, it gives them confidence and builds self esteem. They love the compliments they get about what they're wearing, because THEY picked it out, whether they look like Punky Brewster or Cinderella. And by you giving in to her crying and fighting you are teaching her that all she has to do is throw a tantrum to get her way. That will follow into other aspects of parents and really bite you in the but! If you're going to dig your heals in, you've got to commit!

Sally - posted on 04/20/2013

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Why does what she wears matter so much to you? My three year old can choose her own clothes. You already have so much control over her day to day life, why can't you let such a small thing go?

Lorraine - posted on 04/20/2013

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There is no reason for her to be late because she took too long choosing clothing. why don't you try choosing the outfits the night before. Give her three options and walk out the room. Don't stay around and rationalize or argue with her. If she doesn't pick any of the three, pick for her and keep it moving. She will learn that she does have some freedom to choose but you are ultimately the boss.

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Amanda - posted on 04/22/2013

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If she wants to wear a dress in winter let her she will never do it again after that because the school wont let her go out dressed that way. But if you rotate her clothing fine, on weekends let her wear a dress instead. I have seen a girl in a tank top and tights in my son's class this winter mom said she wanted to wear it, never saw her wear it again because she was too cold. Sometimes kids need to learn the hard way.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/22/2013

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Oh, yes, I'm certain that the child would not figure out "If I throw a screaming fit long enough, I don't have to go to school"

Pamela, I must respectfully disagree with your comment "If she throws a fit, let her miss school. Call and tell them she is sick"

You are advocating ending one situation only to start another? And advocating lying to the school on top of it? Wow! Something just ain't right there...

How about you, as a parent, realizing that your "total control" agenda is not a good one? That compromise is ALWAYS a preferable solution to control. Besides that, why is teaching her to lie acceptable?

Oh, so many problems with just one solution...

Pamela - posted on 04/21/2013

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She has already learned to control you with her crying and stubborness. Why do you continually give in? When are you willing to take charge and not give in to her unacceptable reactionary response? She will continue to control the situation until you take charge and do not allow her upset to change your mind.

Choose her clothes, put her in them and refuse to let her change. Tell her that she is going to wear what is appropriate, no matter how much she cries. If she throws a fit and refuses then let her miss school. Call the school and tell them she is sick. If the struggle continues just keep her home from school until she listens. Get whatever homework is necessary from her teacher and keep her at home until she is willing to listen. I bet it won't take long, especially if she is a sociable child who likes school.

If you end up having to keep her at home for the day, no TV, no toys, no special privileges or treats. It may seem harsh but at her age she is getting the upper hand. We set our patterns by age 6 and she is nearly there. If you continue to allow this behavioral pattern you will be very sorry by the time she reaches her teenage years when she will become totally uncontrollable.

Children really do WANT boundaries and feel more comfortable and secure when they have them. It is time....way past time to take charge.

The highest and best with your efforts.

Lisa - posted on 04/21/2013

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Let her choose her own clothes the night before. At our house it is part of the bedtime routine. For awhile we would put together 7 outfits for the week on Sunday night and then each morning she would choose one for the day. As for weather appropriate just layer her up. Sundress or short sleeves need a long sleeved shirt under it with leggins or stretch pants. So long as you make sure in cold weather she has the right outer wear why worry. My daughter and I used to battle all the time but by letting her choose the problem has cleared up. She knows that she can choose 90 percent of the time but when I say no, it is momma's choice then she goes with it. We have been doing this or 2 years. She is 5 now and will be in kindergartn in the fall. There are days when my husband freaks at her choices, but he has learned it is not worth the headache. She now does really well with matching and will tell us when something doesn't match.
Trust me the battle isn't worth it.
Good luck.

Kullo-Egelton - posted on 04/21/2013

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Let her be. Sounds like you have raised her well. She understands she needs a jacket to stay warm. Let her make the choice and get her to school on time which to me is a better lesson to teach her than having her wear one of the three selections of outfits you have given her. We are in an age of abundance. Go to a heritage house for example where they will show you 100 years ago a child may have had a play set to wear, a school set and a church outfit and that was it. That is your three choices.
Do not fret. Trust me more issues will come up later you will have to deal with so let this one slide. Punctuality is far more important than a choice of clothing. You are teaching your child by her constant lateness that only your rules are the only important ones. What about the rules of society? In every other scenario outside your home deadlines and start times are important. Abide by them and let your child understand what universal rules are all about.
Her peers will tell her about her clothes if worn inappropriately. Trust me peer pressure is going to have more of an effect on your daughter than you will have when it comes to clothing.
Also why not try removing seasonally inappropriate clothing from her closet as a way of reducing her options?

Krista - posted on 04/21/2013

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I am mom of three, and my youngest is very determined too. I give her a lot of leeway in clothing choices, but with expectations to make them weather appropriate. She likes to wear her sundresses all winter long; she can wear it but she needs to wear pants and a shirt underneath. Then I give her a few options of what she can wear underneath. And if she refuses to wear the items underneath, then she is not allowed to wear the sundress. We had many mornings of arguments, but they have evened out and she now knows her expectations for wearing summer dresses.

Hope this helps. Unfortunately, we just need to out-stubborn our stubborn children. :)

Rachel - posted on 04/20/2013

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My 5 year old has been choosing her own outfits for a couple of years now. I try to do what the other ladies have suggested, and trade out the seasonal clothes, but sometimes I'm a little late, or I forgot something. I've learned to let go about this. In the long run, it's not that important. When she does choose a dress during cold weather, she has to wear a long sleeved shirt underneath, and a pair of leggings, sometimes a pair of leg warmers too. That's our compromise. Sometimes, she's wearing a crazy outfit, sometimes she looks great! She definitely has developed her own sense of style, and I'm grateful that I didn't squash this :-)
She did go through a phase about 6 months ago (right around the time her little sister was born) when she got very grumpy about EVERYTHING! Didn't want to choose her clothes then, and so I gave her 2 choices. When she didn't choose, I chose for her. Stick with it, and she decided she'd rather choose than have me choose for her :-)
Hope it helps, and good luck to you!

I forgot to mention that now that we don't argue about clothes, those times when I want her to wear something specific, or mention that something doesn't match and suggest an alternative, she's much more likely to listen to me :-)

Danelle - posted on 04/19/2013

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We have a four year old daughter who is very picky about what she wears...or rather getting to choose what she wears. She just wants to be in charge of something and to let her personality show through. She rarely matches and sometimes it's so bad it's a little painful!

All her clothes are in reach. We put the seasonally appropriate stuff in reach and put the other stuff up out of reach. She is really fast at getting ready because she has all the choices.

I would also recommend you having her pick out items in the evening and not let it be part of the morning rutine. That way it's done and you can move forward with your morning very quickly.

If she continues to make it a bad experience, you should take away the options and letting her choose and just set out her clothes each night. She will know what's coming in the morning that way. However, if it's just her wanting a little control I would think it would be worth trying some other options. :-D

Jodi - posted on 04/18/2013

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I'm with the other ladies. My daughter has always just chosen her own outfits and we've never had a battle, Her choices weren't always the best and she often looked totally mismatched, but this is one thing in her life she has control over. Kids need to feel a little control over their own life, and this one is a fairly benign one. Not a battle I have ever chosen to fight with my kids.

Ev - posted on 04/18/2013

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I have to agree with the ladies here. You have made it a big deal and your daughter will take advantage of that and make it bigger. PLace the clothes for the correct season out in her dresser, closet and other areas you keep her clothing in. Give her TWO choices out of those clothes available to her. It won't matter then what it is because the weather end of the clothing will be covered. Give her a time limit to get ready after that. Its plain and simple. Same for breakfast foods, set out two choices and she can make that choice. Give choices yes, but be deliberate in what you do give as a choice...just like if she is throwing a fit... tell her she can choose to quit it or go to her room.

Dove - posted on 04/18/2013

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Why not put all the clothes that are appropriate for different weather in one area and just let her pick from that area whatever she wants depending on weather? I am so glad I live somewhere that weather doesn't have an impact on what my child can or can not wear. I never pick out their clothes from the time they are around 3. Fighting over clothes is SO not worth the battle you are making it. Save the battling for when she's a preteen and wants to wear clothes that show her butt cheeks.

Lucy - posted on 04/18/2013

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This is one of the reasons why I'm glad we live in the UK where kids wear a school uniform!

Joking aside, I think giving your daughter two options rather than three might reduce the trouble. Tell her she has two minutes to choose which of the two outfits she wants to wear, and if she hasn't chosen within the time limit you will choose for her.

She will probably get very cross the first time you do this, but if you stick to this way of doing things, even if there is crying and fussing, your daughter will soon realise it is better for her to tow the line. The key is to be consistent and not give in to the hissy fits!

Tammy - posted on 04/18/2013

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I think what you might have done wrong was giving her options. We like to give our children options to try to teach them how to make decisions about things. You have to let her know that you are the parent and what you say goes, because this is what's going to happen; when she gets older she going feel that she doesn't have to listen to you and she's going do whatever she wants. I'm sure you are not going to be happy with that. You have to stop this before it gets any worse. You can do that by letting her know that from this point on she will have to listen to you about what she will be wearing. Let her know that there are no more options that from now on she has to wear what you put out. Yes she will be crying and having a fit but after you enforce that rule she will stop. You have to be continueses about it. Remember you are the mom not her. As far as being late for school dress her a bit earlier so if you do run into this problem you have time to fix it. I hope this helps and good luck. Little girls can be such divas!!

Sincerely,
Mother with six kids

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