Mother’s Advice – Children Dressing Themselves


Image by Anthrovik

On a post I wrote in March on Encouraging Children To Dress Independently a reader asked for suggestions on how to handle a 3 year old who can dress themselves but is not interested in doing so.

It seems like the mother has tried a number of things yet her son is still more interested in playing with his toys than getting himself dressed.

I have been thinking about this scenario and thought it would be great to gather some collective wisdom on this subject. As a parent I don’t have all the answers, but something that I do know is that there is always more than one solution and what works for one family, doesn’t always work for another.

I will start things off by noting a couple suggestions and would love it if you would add yours in the comments. Underneath the comments box, you will notice a tick box, that you can click on and subscribe to the comments of this post. Once you tick this it will then send you an email when others add their suggestions, so you won’t have to remember to check back in to see what others have thought of.

Suggestions For Getting Children To Dress Themselves

  • Time Lines – often it is to our time table that we want children to run to. By allowing some choice within that children can feel that they have some control over their activities. For my nearly three year old, he knows that between the completion of breakfast and once the bigger children are getting dressed, he needs to get dressed so we can walk to school. This is the same each week day so he know what is expected of him.
  • Bring Him In Close – I wrote more about the strategy of bringing the child in close on my post on discipline. If my three year old will not stop playing with his toys and get himself dressed or allow me to dress him, I will bring him in close and sit him on my knee. I will talk to him calmly, explaining that even though he does not want to get dressed, he needs to so we can move on with our day. We will wait together until he regains composure and gets dressed.

What is your “mother’s advice” for getting children to dress themselves?