My child hate's clothes

S. - posted on 07/31/2012 ( 48 moms have responded )

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My youngest daughter 21 months seem's to hate clothes, it started with a frilly pink party dress a few weeks back she threw the mother of all paddies and actually put her foot threw the lace on it ripping it, she liked the alternative party dress even less but after a fight getting it on her she had no choice but to wear it, now a few weeks on she's doing it even more, it's mostly dresses she dislikes and the other day she took her dress off 7 times in the end I put on a capped sleeve dress that she couldn't get off. Anyone else gone though this? I'd assume she'll grow out of it with time but I am the mam I should tell her what to wear not battle with her every morning.... Right!

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Wendy - posted on 08/01/2012

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It is possible that your child has a sensory perception disorder. You may want to talk with your pediatrician if you are concerned.

Heidi Lyn - posted on 08/01/2012

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On one hand, she needs to respect your authority enough that she doesn't make getting dressed a battle. If she learns that, by throwing a fit, she can get her way about not wearing a particular outfit, it's just a gateway to throwing a fit about other things. That said, it is also nice to allow a child choices because it helps them develop independence and makes them feel like they have some control over their world. You don't want her to feel powerless any more than you want to let her make you powerless.

I've seen it suggested where you give a child a choice between two outfits. They get the luxury of a choice. You still maintain control over the situation.

My daughter has picked her own clothes for awhile now, but I am not the sort of mom who cares if she goes to the store wearing non-matching colors and a plastic tiara.. I honestly wish I could get away with it some days. There are certain situations, though, where I have to put my foot down. She can't wear her dresses and new shoes to the play park (my daughter is the opposite of yours. She's addicted to skirts and dresses and I have to talk her into pants). She can't wear stuff with holes and stains to places I want her to look nice. She can't wear the kitten heel slip ons she talked me into buying for her to any place with hard floors because the noise of them constantly clicking drives me bonkers. . .

It is important to chose fights, but you are still the mom. If I were in your position, I'd step back and ask myself, why is it important that she wears this particular dress to this particular occasion? Is it because it is the most appropriate garment for the situation or is it because I think she looks cute in it? What does she want to wear? Is it inappropriate?

So again, I'd start by picking out two or three appropriate outfits and letting her chose between those.

Another thing to consider: are the garments you are choosing uncomfortable for her? You say she started out opposing a frilly party dress? Is it possible it was itchy? I was a terror to get dressed when I was a kid if I felt anything was scratchy, if it had exposed seams that touched my skin, a rough lining, itchy lace, or if I had to wear tights, I'd be rolling and scratching and whining about it long past when I was your daughter's age. If this is possibly the problem, consider adding in an undergarment that mediates the scratchiness.

Michelle - posted on 07/31/2012

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I say let her pick out her own clothes within reason and the battles will probably stop. Sounds to me like she is not a dress kid maybe try some pants or shorts and see if that goes better.

Stefanie - posted on 08/02/2012

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i have autism an sevre senceorey iusse an my mom just for the most part let me qere what i wanted thoe there were some meltdowns i have to feel how the matterl will feel an i dont like anything to tight .dress clothes are the most unconferble for me .but i have found spome that are ok for those occ

[deleted account]

i have gone through this with 2 children one 23 and one now 10 who will ony wear trackie pands and fleece jumpers as everything else is uncomfortable , it turned out both my children have aspergers a part of autism but very slight. It means all there senses are extreme and cant handle wearing anything tight or uncomfortable you can get her checked by a doctor they will give you a refferal to the hospital it does take awhile but its worth it.

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S. - posted on 08/17/2012

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I have tried letting her choose, Most of the time says no regardless to what it is, sometimes she's more then happy, sometimes I am having to force her to wear cloths so we can just leave the house, i chose to mention the frilly dress in my original post as we was going to a party and it was in my eye exteem that she put her foot threw it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/17/2012

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Yeah I get the whole thing about the kid not wanting to wear cloths. Did you NOT read my post? I have issues with my daughter keeping her cloths on, but I don't force my daughter to wear cloths that she hates. Let her help choose.

Natalie - posted on 08/17/2012

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Let her embrace her individuality. Let her pick out her own clothes. She may over time come to like dresses on her own.

S. - posted on 08/17/2012

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LMCBW have you not read any of my other comments? And I am not being mean to my daughter thank you very much! I go out EVERY morning to take my 4 year old to school and saturdays gymnastics being naked is not a option on a daily basis and right now she doesn't understand that when we are out we need to be dressed. It is not just dresses it is play suits , vest tops pants and her nappie,anything she can take off as I have said above I feel it is a phase and she has learnt how to get out of things so is protesting because she can.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/17/2012

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Then don't make her wear dresses. My daughter doesn't like wearing cloths, so when she is at home, she is naked. But when we are out she understands she needs to be dressed. She usually helps me pick out what she wants to wear, but i will not FORCE her to wear a dress or anything else that she hates. Let her have a choice. She may only be 21 months, but clearly already knows what she DOESN"T like to wear. I don't understand why you are forcing her to wear one. Why put yourself or her through that kind of aggravation? If anything, I think you are being mean to her.

S. - posted on 08/17/2012

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Right first of all thank you all for your input, I have been conducting a experinment and I am sure now it's just a phase an she's protesting simply because she can has learnt how too, sometimes if I give her the choice of two she says no to both and runs off, some days she's happy twirling around in the frilly dress some days she taking of her trouses in a different room. If she tries a while and she's not successful then she happerly plods on in her day I assume if it a sensory problem she would carry on being annoyed with it, however a big thanks for the heads up on that one as some of the signs do add up with her so I am keeping a close eye and if I become more concerned I will mention it to the Healty visitor. She is really bad with strappy vest tops and dresses but I think this is because she can take them off.
At the moment the poor thing has chickenpox so any clothes do her head in so she's having a lot of naked time, but today she wa happy to put on a t-shirt and keep it on.

[deleted account]

Try to give her a choice, two items that you would like her to wear. She is starting to develop a sense of independence and getting to choose may placate her. However, you may have to stear clear of dresses for awhile. My daughter went through a phase at that age where she refused to wear a dress. Now she is four and loves dresses. Sometimes you need to choose your battles.

Kalley - posted on 08/05/2012

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Is it possible the dress is physically bothering her somehow? Have you changed laundry detergents lately? Is the dress too restricting? Does the lace itch? Are there itchy tags or ribbons? It's possible she doesn't like these dresses because they are uncomfortable. I would recommend what other people did and let her pick her clothes from a few options. Why fight with her about a specific outfit?

Beth - posted on 08/05/2012

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She may be extra-sensitive to textures, touch, tags, etc. See if the clothes she likes are softer and not itchy; just a thought:-)

Roxanna - posted on 08/05/2012

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You are getting good advice here! Both my girls were allowed to choose from one to three outfits at a very young age. My oldest gave me some trouble as a teen bc she was very overwieght and only wore dark colors and baggy clothes. It took a few years but she will now wear lighter colors and GASP! An occassional dress! But she couldn't stand the TAGS on the clothes and it has to be a cotton blend, she was also diagnosed with a mild case of asberger. I had to remove the tags on her sheets, pillows, even her stuffed animals!
My youngest loves pink and purple and is so girly and sweet, my stomach hurts! LOL! But I indulge her in her choices, as long as it is age appropriate (at 9 years old she wears a 7 in US womens shoes and a size S in womens). Ironically, this year we have had an issues wit pants bc she is really tall, but a bit pudgy in the middle, regulars girls size 16 don't fit right and a store called "Justice" does have a great variety of clothing in great sizes. She and I negotiated, she will get some cute skirts, in different shades of pink & purple, capri leggings and I got her pink a purlpe sneakers.....an she can wear one pink and one purple.
Let your girl make some choices about her clothes now, otherwise you are in for a very long, and I think, unnecessary battle with you girl.
Good luck!

Ashley - posted on 08/04/2012

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I let my daughter pick what she wants to wear most of the time. If its just everyday stuff I just let her go thru what she wants, if she needs to wear something a bit nicer, I let her have a choice between 2 things. Sometimes when they have control over the situation and making their own choices, it helps! Good Luck! My daughter is 2 and loves being able to pick out her shirts!

Monalisa - posted on 08/03/2012

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Been there! Try ONLY soft cotton clothes!.. Have u felt the inside of some of the "cute" clothes" drams... they can be quite scratchy... some fabrics do not breathe well.. Good luck..

Heather - posted on 08/03/2012

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My son strips all the time, hes 2 1/2yrs old now. I don't care if he runs around the house in nothing but his pull-ups but he has to wear clothes outside of the house. I let him pick out his own clothes and even what shoes he wants to wear. As long as its weather appropriate and semi matches I let him wear whatever he wants. He has gotten really good at picking out his own outfits. Give it a shot. What could it hurt?

Stefanie - posted on 08/03/2012

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it can be i have sencorey iusse with clothes texture of food smell an touch .i like deep persure i sleep with weighted blanket an have other thiung that help

Alexandra - posted on 08/02/2012

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It is a phase, I believe.
I also do think it is important for your daughter to ba little in control of what she will wear. Why don't you try and let her choose her clothes? You can even put just some clothes on her closet, the ones that would be ok for her to wear according to weather and daily activities, and let her choose. She will feel important, she will choose one that you aprove of, and she will feel pretty if you compliment on her choice.
This age is a fun age if we see it with deifferent eyes!

Della - posted on 08/02/2012

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My niece was like this. She would throw the worst tantrums every Sunday trying to dress her for church. She would, on the way to the car kicking and screaming, roll around on the ground and get as dirty as possible. She is now 25 y.o. and she still refuses to ware women's clothing. As a child it was only the dresses she pitched a fit over. Everyone thinks she's a boy, which she doesn't mind at all, and her voice is a bit low for a girl to. But I'd always thought that was by her choice until recently. Recently she went to donate her eggs because she said she will never use them! They did some tests and told her that her ovaries are too small and they will not take them. She doesn't have all the hormones that a female should have due to this. But this doesn't at all mean this is your daughters issues with the clothing it may, just as you suspect, be nothing but a means to be in control of something at this early stage of life.

Dawn - posted on 08/02/2012

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Sounds a lot like my now 5yo child. Now she only likes two outfits and she will wear them every other day if I let her. She will even get them out of the washer and try to wear them wet. Every day is a battle. Good luck.

Eronne - posted on 08/02/2012

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ha ha ...this one really made me laugh because I just attended a family party where the older people there (not many because I'm old) couldn't stop telling stories about how I pretty much spent the first two years of my life stripping off my clothes at every opportunity. The best advice I can give is don't sweat the small stuff. I can confirm that as far back as I can remember I was dressed and now at 59 never run around naked. Its a phase. It will pass. Just enjoy the comedy of it all.

Bonnie - posted on 08/02/2012

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I sometimes wish I could get my daughter to willingly wear something other than a dress...she really doesn't like to wear shorts and top...kids they are little people with minds of their own.

Holly - posted on 08/02/2012

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Maybe she just doesnt like dresses and you should try putting her in shorts or something. My daughter who is almost 4 went through a similar stage, she didnt want anything to do with dresses, so it was shorts, carpis, etc from there on out. Now she likes dresses again and I have incorporated a few in with her other stuff which suits her fine.

Jodi - posted on 08/02/2012

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My son had sensory issues and it was completely cured at a sensory clinic and brushing. He disliked the feeling of things touching his skin.

Tojo - posted on 08/02/2012

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I wouldn't worry but do try and not put your daughter in frills. There are some lovely plainer outfits out there as well as pretty jeans. I hated frills as a child and lived in jeans and still live in trousers. I was very much a tomboy but appreciate feminine clothes now.
Don't make dresses a battle.....take her to choose some and listen to her.

My problem is my five year old granddaughter always strips off......

Sandy - posted on 08/01/2012

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Yes, it might be fabric. It might also be that she doesn't like dresses. It might also be that she's a nudist at heart, and now you'll have to move to a warmer climate. (^_^) ha ha! It was a phase for my daughter at the same age. Now at four years old, she likes to wear "only skin and panties" around the house sometimes, but not as often as a couple years ago. ☺

Poonam - posted on 08/01/2012

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Have you checked the fabric. My daughter and I both are very sensitive and therefore we cannot wear just any thing. "It hurts". I could relate with my daughter when she did that as I too have the same problem. Make sure the fabric is soft to the skin. Frilly dresses are definitely out. Also ask her to choose what she would like to wear. Solves most of the problem.

Sherri - posted on 08/01/2012

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You need to give her two options and allow her to choose what she wants within reason.

Kris - posted on 08/01/2012

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It's very developmentally appropriate that she pick these particular battles right now--separation from mom, individuation, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about it--having 2 or 3 choices for her is a good idea. One of my first thoughts was also SPD, as being averse to certain clothes can be a sign of that. As someone else said, just be aware and start noticing if she particularly hates lace, etc. And even then, it might not be SPD but just that she's sensitive to certain fabrics. I know that when I wear polyester or wool it drives me nuts!

It is very true she should respect your authority, and as the mom you need to set your boundaries and pick your battles. If this is something that is very important to you and valued in your family, then it's appropriate for you to have the battle. If you have some wiggle room, though, it might be fine to let it go. Or there might be some times when you choose (party, church, etc.) and you let her know that she can wear "special clothes" that day. But most days she can pick what she likes.

Best of luck! You sound like a mom who is right on top of things--she's a very lucky girl.

[deleted account]

I actually don't agree with the statement "I am the mam and i should tell her what to wear" I think children should be able to express their individuality. Parents should pick their clothing to a degree as in insuring its seasonally appropriate and clean. Other than that, children should be taught to embrace their inner selves and dress the way they feel. Fighting with them to wear what you choose will only lead to further rebellion down the road. You may just end up with a teen who has pink and purple hair, tattoos and mods just to spite you.

[deleted account]

My daughter hates dresses and girly colours. I use to have a problem dressing her, then i let her pick out her own clothes. She prefers boyish clothes. I really could care less as long as their clean.

Destinee - posted on 08/01/2012

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my son who is 4 now, hated clothes @ that age & wouldnt keep them on & now he has to have clothes on, its a phase they go through cause now my 2 yr old daughter takes her clothes off

Katy - posted on 08/01/2012

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Pick your battles. My 2 year old has a voice and will let me know if she doesn't like it and then I give her a choice. My 4 year old can wear whatever is in her drawers as long as it is weather appropriate. Some days she is wearing flower shorts, a princess shirt, and mis matched socks As long as they have clothes on when we leave the house, I'm happy. II've very rarely had to fight about clothes.

S. - posted on 08/01/2012

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Thank you Wendy, I just had to google SPD as i have never heard of it before, it is had to tell with the little i have just read but it is certainly something I will research more in to and keep an eye out for, if I can connect it with her I will speak with the health visitor or doctor.

Karenda - posted on 08/01/2012

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Both my girls got picky about clothes starting around 2 years old. I let them pick whatever they wan to wear as long as it is weather appropriate. If there is a special event or we are going for professional pictures I give them 3 choices they can choose from. I suggest you let her choose her clothes as often as possible.

Kayleen - posted on 08/01/2012

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My three year old refuses to keep clothes on, dresses, pants , shorts or shirts... She wants only a pair of undies or a swim suit... Just a phase and as long as she is home with just us I let her be a free spirit it's not hurting her...enjoy them while their little cuz it goes by way too quickly

Andrea - posted on 08/01/2012

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My daughter (just turned 2 2 days ago) is very picky about what she wears and will strip herself naked if she doesn't like it. I have found usually with the nicer dresses there is something about it(a tag, stiffness, or just on odd fit) that causes her to not like it. Other days It's just because she wants to wear something else. I let her pick what she wears with in reason and if she insists on a certain shirt I get to pick the skirt or shorts that match and visa-verse. Some days I give her a choice even then "OK if you want that skirt you can wear one of these 2 shirts"

If letting her choose doesn't help it could be a sensory thing. My friend's 4 year old always complained about her clothes and wouldn't wear most of them so She started using a fabric softener and now she has no trouble with her leaving things on.

S. - posted on 08/01/2012

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She is slim but has long leg's and unless the pant have ajustable waists, dresses are easier as they stay up, until she learnt to take them off. She likes strappy dresses less which we have a lot of but then some days she loves twirling around in them and some days she hates them. She did it with a play suit with shorts too so it isn't just a dress thing, I can't afford to replace her wardrobe and i am in the proses of fixing elastic in to all her pants, I could try letting her pick between two outfits were possible thou, I'll be happy a long as I'm managing to get clothes on her without a fight.
My 4 year old has just got very independent with clothe choices and I thought that was young.

Jennifer - posted on 07/31/2012

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She may have an aversion to certain textures. Take some time to observe what she is wearing when she feels most comfortable. While so many dresses are cute, but there's no sense making her miserable over what touches her body. If she tolerates softer material, there are LOTS of cute options for dresses. If not, there are other "dressy" outfits out there. It can be disappointing when our children are not "exactly" how we pictured they would be. She is her own person and will have her own preferences. She is exactly who she is "supposed" to be. Embrace the wonderful little girl you have been blessed with and all her wonderful qualities. :)

Stifler's - posted on 07/31/2012

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Just let her wear pants. My kids has and had preferences at that age for a certain button up plaid shirt.

Dove - posted on 07/31/2012

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Why does she have to wear dresses? Maybe they bother her for some reason... or she just doesn't like them... She's only not quite two yet, but she's still a person with real feelings and preferences. You, as the mom, get to call the shots on a LOT of things for a LOT of years. Fighting over clothes (as long as they are weather appropriate) is, imo, flat out ridiculous.

Why not give her a choice over two outfits that she likes that you also find appropriate?

On a side note.... I was forced to wear dresses on occasion until I got vocal and pushy enough to finally get my way.... and I've barely ever worn a dress since (about 25 years now). Stop fighting with your child over clothes.

Amy - posted on 07/31/2012

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Well if she doesn't like dresses why continue to fight with her about wearing them? I have things to do other than redress my daughter 7 times, I'm of the philosophy pick your battles and clothing is not one I choose to fight. If my daughter wants to wear green stripped leggings with ladybug rain boots and a orange top I let her. If she wants to run around in just a diaper that's fine, it makes it easier when I do need her to dress appropriately because 90% of the time she chooses.

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