My 7yr old won't zip her coat even when it is chucking down.

Joanna - posted on 07/29/2014 ( 46 moms have responded )

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I have problems getting my 7yr old, Erin, to zip up her coat.

She is able to zip her own coat but wants me to do it for her which I am sick of. Even when its chucking down with rain, she comes out of School with it unzipped and when I say to her "close up your coat", she says " you do it".

Sometimes I let her walk home by herself which means an unzipped coat all the way home and a child with soaking wet clothes, I say to her on these days "you can see zip your own coat, you should of had it zipped.

What can I do because I am sick of her coming out of school with a wide open coat :/ :/?

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Jodi - posted on 08/06/2014

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Well ask the school what they expect you to do. We are not mind readers. But to be honest, if they want her outside, that's their problem. Your problem is that you are also enabling her need for someone else to zip her coat.

Far out, I honestly cannot believe what a mountain you are making out of this battle. Believe me, this one is a molehill in the grand scheme of raising children, so you really, REALLY need to learn to just chill out a bit.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/05/2014

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Oh good grief. Is this STILL going on?

Joanna, you don't seem to understand, so I'll try to be patient one last time.

YOUR CHILD WON'T DO FOR HERSELF BECAUSE YOU OR HER FATHER ALWAYS DO FOR HER. She's stated her preference to her father "I hate zipped coats". There you have it.

YOUR CHILD WILL NEVER DO AS SHE'S TOLD BECAUSE YOU NEVER ENFORCE CONSEQUENCES. If you'd enforce consequences (such as not going on the dinner outing when she refused to comply), she'd get the picture. As it is, she doesn't like staying inside, rather than playing with her friends, so you should have started there, at the very beginning.

YOU HAVE DETERMINED THAT SHE IS INCAPABLE OF CHANGE, THUS YOU ARE UNWILLING TO CHANGE. Until you, as parents, realize that you're not doing yourself nor your daughter any favours by continuing to allow this crap, she will continue to manipulate both of you into doing for her.

Good luck with the rest of your life. You're going to need it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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Are you even taking into consideration that, while they are supposed to be fastened prior to going outdoors, that doesn't mean that they STAY fastened once they leave the teacher's immediate view?

Because, honestly, it seems that this is being blown way out of proportion. I live in a super chilly climate myself, and my kids, if they got cold, knew how to fix it. But, they also knew that if they were too warm, etc, that they could unzip if needed.

She doesn't want to zip. She's told you that she doesn't want to do it. She's making a personal choice here, whether you agree with it or not. So, you can continue to argue with her, or you can use logic. Logic: If you don't zip, and you get drenched, don't complain to me. Come home, take care of the mess that you made by being drenched, and don't whine or wimper about it.

Any child with any vestige of intelligence will soon put 2 & 2 together to realize "I get cold if I don't do this, so I guess I'll do it".

Or, you can follow her around until she's 30, doing every little thing that you think she needs to do.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/30/2014

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Guess what: your 7 year old just won.

Quit fighting the battle. She doesn't mind being soaked. That's obvious, or she'd fix the problem herself.

Hold her to consequences: Since she doesn't wish to zip, comes home soaked head to toe, she can not only hang her things to dry, but help fold laundry that day.

If she wishes to have a blue fit, fine, calmly remove her from wherever you are, regardless of whether the coat is closed or not.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/30/2014

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First, why do you just do it, rather than having her (referring to: "when I say to her "close up your coat", she says " you do it".") At that point, you say, "no, I've asked you to do it. If you choose not to, we'll all take our coats off and not go anywhere. Now, please zip your coat". The reason that she doesn't do it, at this point, is because you give in.

Ask her WHY she continually refuses to take that simple step. If the answer is (the usual) "I don't know", tell her that you will not accept a nonsense answer, and that she must have a valid reason for not doing what she's asked. If she continues to be stubborn, she doesn't have to participate in outings, or have extras. This sounds like a simple battle of the wills, to me, and your 7 YO is winning...

She doesn't do it at school because her peers don't do it. That extra two seconds can be 'important' to a 7 YO, and stopping to zip the coat is, in their minds, not important. As Chet says, if she doesn't like being soaked, she'll figure it out! And, if she's made to take responsibility for her actions by taking the appropriate steps when she's soaked (hanging wet clothing to dry, perhaps learning how to run the dryer, or take part in the laundry chores), she'll be more inclined to NOT do it again.

Personally, I'd say that she doesn't 'hate being soaked', because if she did, she'd do it herself. YOU hate her being soaked, which is understandable, but I doubt that it really bothers her all that much.

46 Comments

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Dove - posted on 08/06/2014

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Move somewhere that she doesn't need a coat. Problem solved.

Since you seem to be incapable of raising your 7 year old daughter... perhaps send her to someone that will enforce consequences instead of babying her. That's another way to solve the problem.

Or you could home school her and keep raising her to think she's the boss... and continue zipping her coat until the day she dies... or you die. That's another way to 'solve' this problem.

Joanna - posted on 08/05/2014

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They want her outside though and have even attempted to close the coat for her but fail as she moans at teacher.

They have explained to her that until her coat is closed, she can't get out and also, when its closed, it stays closed or else she comes in again.

It is only Erin that this issue occurs with.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/05/2014

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The school should already be enforcing consequences. As a matter of fact, it sounds as if they are enforcing, if she came home in tears and said she wasn't allowed to play outdoors because she refused.

So, to help the school, you enforce it in the home as well. The school is trying to tell you the same thing that we are here: ENFORCE CONSEQUENCES.

Joanna - posted on 08/05/2014

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That post that I sent last night has nothing to do with her home life and everything to do with AT SCHOOL!!

They sent a letter home asking for me to help them with this problem so read before you fucking criticise!!!!!

Now, one last time, what can I do to help the SCHOOL?

Dove - posted on 08/05/2014

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Shawnn... I'd tell you not to waste your breath, but... too late. Want to take bets that she will still come back and 'not understand' what she is supposed to do? lol

At 7 years old this kid 100% runs the show. I feel bad for her cuz it's going to be rude awakening when she is an adult and discovers she doesn't rule the world.

Joanna - posted on 08/04/2014

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The School sent me home a letter asking me to help them with their zip problem with Erin but what can I do to help them?

One thing, which I do is, whenever I drop her off at School, I say to her "remember to close your coat today when asked or else stay in at break/lunchtime" but it is up to her if she listens or not.

The School would rather her be outside playing though but cannot get her to zip her coat so have to keep her inside.

What else can I do to help the School?

Jodi - posted on 08/04/2014

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Then YOU stop zipping it for her. You can't control what happens at school, but you CAN control when you are the one zipping it. And if she gets wet at school, because she unzips, that's her problem (and theirs). Their rule, their problem. I am talking about YOUR rules at home when you zip up for her.

Joanna - posted on 08/04/2014

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I can't let her get wet because at School it HAS to be zipped before she can get outside.

Jodi - posted on 08/04/2014

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OMG, let her get wet. It's time to allow her to deal with the consequences of her choices. I agree with the other ladies here.

Given you have clearly rejected any and all advice given to you so far, I'm not quite sure what advice you are looking for. Clearly nothing will change.

Dove - posted on 08/03/2014

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You ask for help w/ your 7 year old... you've been given advice... and you are going to continue on doing what you've been doing in the situation all along. Therefore... the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that you don't REALLY want anything to change. You want to continue to micromanage your child and her actions.... which is, most likely, going to cause a lot of rebellion and disasters in her teen years.

So... good luck. Not sure why you've wasted all of our time though.

Dove - posted on 08/03/2014

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So apparently you don't really want your lives to change.... Good luck when she is a teenager cuz you all are going to NEED it.

Joanna - posted on 08/02/2014

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She went out for Dinner with me and DH this evening, it was chucking down with rain but Erin decided to leave her jacket open on way down, she complained at getting soaked but I ignored her moans but DH didn't he just said "well zip your coat then", she ignored him and was soaked by time we got to restraunt.

On way home, she left it open but DH just went over and started to close up her zip, she moaned "leave it alone, I hate zipped jackets" but DH closed the jacket and firmly said "its pouring, you need your jacket closed up so you don't get drenched!", she then unzipped it and smiled at daddy but daddy smacked her bottom, closed up the jacket again and said "leave that jacket closed up or else you go to bed early!", Erin started crying and came over for a hug. DH then spoke to her when we got home, firmly explaining that "when its pouring down with rain, you NEED to close up your jacket if you like it or not, because you will get soaked if you leave it open, which you found out on way down to Restraunt, now go and change out of your wet clothes please."

He agrees with me about closing all 3 zips on her winter 3 in 1 Northface jacket, he explained that to Erin when he tucked her into bed, he said he got a groan when he told her but will deal with that nearer time.

Dove - posted on 08/02/2014

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My oldest is 12... If she wanted to hold my hand I would have no objection to it. I am her MOTHER. Why would I object to showing affection towards my own child?

Joanna - posted on 08/02/2014

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I am not "forcing her" at all, maybe I miswrote the comment, I meant, ONE DAY, I would like her to walk to School, with friends, not alone, and go on sleepovers.

Do you agree with holding hands? As I said, I don't mind holding her hand or giving her hugs/kisses throughout day.

Dove - posted on 08/02/2014

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Why does she have to walk to school alone or go on sleepovers? Those are things that should be done when SHE is ready. Maybe she is rebelling against you because you are trying to force her into things she isn't comfortable with doing.

My son has been able to walk himself home from school since last October. He still won't walk himself TO school... and while I would like him to be able to do that... I know it's beyond his comfort zone... so I walk him cuz, guess what?, I'm the mom and that's my JOB.

He'd never in a million years be ok w/ a sleepover that didn't include his big sisters... I'm 100% ok w/ that too.

You have to learn which things are worth making an issue over and which things are not... or you and your daughter will NEVER stop this battle... and watch out when she becomes a preteen/teenager... you will lose her completely.

Joanna - posted on 08/02/2014

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It is not "excuses" but I have taken on board your suggestion of counselling and am going to do that :-).

It isn't just for this issue, its also to cut out tantrums and her lack of independence.

I don't mind holding her hand when we are out but I do want her to walk to School alone, do things for herself like brushing hair/teeth, go on sleepovers and zip her coat herself.

Dove - posted on 08/01/2014

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Ah... now I see your pattern of excuses I feel bad for wasting my time trying to help you on your other posts.

Seriously... unless you are going to take my counseling suggestion seriously and get it started for both of you... stop wasting 'our' time on this page.

Joanna - posted on 08/01/2014

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At School, she is not allowed outside until she has closed her jacket and put up her hood.

She came out of School crying one day because she was kept inside during playtime one day that it was unpleasant weather, for refusing to close up her jacket, she wouldn't even let the teacher close it for her.

I apply the same rule, we don't start walking until her jacket is closed up.

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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She DOES hate getting wet though and cold but is just lazy to find time to close up her jacket.

I am not sure what makes her take a while to zip but I have a feeling that it may be that she struggles to connect it first time, she can do it if she takes her time but her patience isn't good.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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I don't really care what the excuse is.

She's making excuses so that you will do everything for her. She obviously does not mind being wet, or cold, or whatever, because if she DID, she would take steps to fix the problem herself, rather than freeze and wait for someone to do it for her. That's common logic.

But, again, as I said, since you already want to do it for her, by all means, go ahead. But, you're not doing either of you any favours by continuing to allow the spoilt behaviour to continue. I'm just making an observation.

She's not my kid, so it doesn't affect me, and it doesn't take my time to follow her around and do everything for her.

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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I am preventing her from getting soaked though.

The last thing Erin wants is to get wet or be cold so she "wants" the jacket closed but not by her, by me or the teacher. At School it is the teacher or a friend that closes up the jacket for her.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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Again, by you continuing to do it for her, you're not doing either of you any favours.

But, its your kid, and your time, so I guess more power to you.

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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She just doesn't like being slow at doing up her coat or is lazy.

I will only stop zipping it for by about age 10, same with holding hands.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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You're not doing EITHER of you any favours.

She makes a choice and doesn't like the consequences, but that's part of growing up. When she complains about the consequences of a choice that she's made, you point out how to avoid the consequences by making a better choice. You still don't do it for her!

She's won. She's got you completely convinced that if you DON'T do it, she CAN'T. So, I guess, since you don't want to follow her around constantly, but you don't like to listen to her complain, so you give in...Have fun following her around for the rest of her life.

I'm not saying to send your 7YO out shopping or on outings alone, by the way...but these personal items? the dressing, etc...These are things that she can do alone. No reason that she can't, unless she is disabled in some way.

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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She wants me to "follow her" though, by that I mean, she won't walk anywhere alone, I have to be there and also have to hold her hand.

I do "want" to stop having to close her coat but can't stand her complaints about being wet/cold.

She has a choice to make, either get wet or get used to having a closed coat but the choice is to tough for her that I have to make that choice for her.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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Joanna, as I stated, by the age of 7, I wasn't following my kids around insisting on closing every single aperture on their clothing. By the age of 7, my kids were told what was expected of them: You are responsible for your coat. If it's cold, zip up, if it's wet, zip up, if you choose not to, I will not listen to you whine about being cold or wet.

Our winter temps sometimes don't crawl out of the subzero zone for days on end. My kids figured out early on that hats, gloves, and closed coats were necessary.

I would insist that my child stop being a baby about it, and do as she's told. I wouldn't do it for her.

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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I would rather she do it herself instead of complaining about being wet/cold.

In Winter, it is 3 zippers that she will need closed, I will do 2 if she does 1 because I would be at a venue for a long time if she did all 3.

I would let her close just 1 but am going to get all 3 closed to keep her warm.

Would you insist on all 3 zips getting closed?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2014

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I think that you're doing too much for your 7 year old, and that she needs to be more self sufficient at this age.

You are now saying that she DOES keep it closed, and keeps it closed at school, so what's the problem going to be, if this is the case?

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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She does keep it closed, she tells me that she keeps it closed at School.

What is your thoughts on me making sure all 3 zippers get closed during winter?

Joanna - posted on 07/31/2014

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The Winter is coming so she will be wearing her Northface 3 in 1 Jacket instead of her normal waterproof Northface jacket.

Her 3 in 1 will have all 3 zippers closed so that she stays warm, is that worth doing?

Joanna - posted on 07/30/2014

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They try to get her to close up the coat but fail which can lead to no playtime or the teacher closing the coat and then shouting at Erin for not following simple instructions.

I do plan on speaking to the teacher because as I said, during the winter months, the coat will be done up everytime.

Chet - posted on 07/30/2014

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If the kids aren't supposed to be going outside with unzipped coats you should definitely talk to the teacher about the fact that your child is getting outside with her coat undone.

The outdoor dress policy aside though, sometimes talking to the teacher or the parents of your child's friends is helpful even when they can't explain exactly what's up with your kid.

When kids do stuff that doesn't make sense, very often, it doesn't make sense because you're missing key bits of information. Figuring out what's going on involves collecting up pieces of the story and putting them together. Sometimes you get lucky and you get the answer from the pieces, but other times you just get enough information to generate a more productive and targeted line of questioning to get your kids to open up.

Anyway, you may be able to resolve this completely by talking to the teacher and ensuring that the outdoor dress policy is enforced properly.

Hopefully that works.

Joanna - posted on 07/30/2014

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No, I will speak to other parents and the teacher but I think it will turn out that nothing is being said.

Erin has told me that at School, all kids aren't allowed outside until the have fully closed up their jackets and put on gloves, scarf and a hat/hood.

Chet - posted on 07/30/2014

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You seem very opposed to talking with the teacher and the other parents. Is there are a reason for that?

Joanna - posted on 07/30/2014

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Ok then Chet, I will do that, I will walk her home from School on rainy days so that her jacket gets closed up instead of wide open but then the poor child will be subject to laughs from her "peers" for being the kid that "mummy has to dress even though she is 7".

Winter is coming thick and fast so then her coat will be closed everytime its on, if she likes it or not.

I do wish she would tell me why she won't zip her coat though because I am sure we could resolve the problem.

Chet - posted on 07/30/2014

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One of two things is happening. Either there is some barrier to your child zipping her coat, or she just doesn't care enough to do it. If your goal is to have her zip the coat on her own you need to either find and remove the barrier, or you need to help her start caring enough about doing up her coat to do it on her own.

Don't assume a child has never pinched her finger just because she hasn't told you. Don't assume some kid hasn't told your daughter that if she touches her zipper she'll get a nickel allergy. Nickel allergy is the new allergy. I noticed yesterday that Justice specifically states now that all of the hardware on their clothing is nickel free. Don't assume she has lots of time, plenty of kids would rather chat and play with their friends than get dressed properly. And you can't imagine the kind of crazy stuff 7 year olds think up.

Originally,I suggested ruling out the barrier to zipping possibility first because if there really is some issue, no matter how small or silly it seems to an adult, it can be very upsetting to a child to have their parent take a hard line on it. You're afraid to zip your coat AND your mom is angry. Plus, it's not a hugely difficult thing to talk to your daughter, the teacher, some parents, etc. Most of the time, kids just don't care but it's good to rule out everything else first and deal with apathy when you're sure it's nothing else.

If however, your daughter is being moved to tears over this, it's very possible there is something going on and I'd want to figure out what it is.

Personally, I think it's more valuable for kids to learn that they need to deal with the consequences of the decisions they make. It's good to know what to do when you come home wet, but if you want the coat to be simply zippered you may need to just zipper it yourself. Don't let her walk home by herself on rainy days so you can be there to make sure she's dressed to your standards.

Joanna - posted on 07/30/2014

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If I do it then I know it is done whereas if I keep asking her "close up your jacket", I would be at a certain place for a long time with her crying because I wouldn't close up her jacket.

Joanna - posted on 07/30/2014

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1) She can zip her own jacket and has plenty of time. She can be slow but not self conscious because other 7yr olds are also slow. She hasn't mentioned the zip sticking so I doubt it sticks and she certainly hasn't pinched her finger with the zip.

2) None of these mentioned have been said to her.

3) She hates getting soaked though which is why I insist on the jacket being zipped.

Chet - posted on 07/30/2014

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1. I would make absolutely certain she can zip her own coat without any issues. There is enough time. She isn't slower than the other kids and self conscious about it. The zipper never sticks. She's never pinched her finger and isn't afraid it's going to happen again. Often parents believe their kids can do things and the kids think they can't, or aren't very good at it, or are afraid to do it.

2. I would very casually talk to the teacher and the parents of her friends and make sure there isn't some weird kid thing going on... it's cool to wear your coat unzipped, zombies only eat kids with their coats zippered up, there's a rumour that zipper pulls are poison, etc.

3. If I felt that I'd ruled out absolutely everything else I would leave it alone. If she comes home wet it's her responsibility to deal with the fallout though. Clothing that is too wet to wear in the house because it will drip on stuff must be removed and hung up to dry. If this is ongoing and generating too much laundry tell her she has to put her pyjamas on. Make it so her wearing her coat open isn't more work for you. She can do it, but must incur all responsibility immediately associated with it.

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