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How to get your child to dress up without tantrums

Getting your child to dress up, should not be a big deal, but for many parents this process can drive them crazy, thanks to their little one’s tantrums. Your child wants to wear a tutu or bathing suit or gumboots to school.

And you are running out of time! If you need to minimise the drama, the power struggle and the full-blown assault on your sanity involved with getting your child clothed in the morning, these tips can help.

Try an organisational system

Investing in a days-of-the-week clothes organiser can be a lifesaver. Let your child choose a week’s worth of outfits on Sunday and sort them by day. They may change their minds and dive back into their closet to choose something completely different, but that will bring up less drama.

Offer choices

If you ask them what they would like to wear, she is likely to respond with something outrageous such as her flower girl dress. Instead, say something like, ‘which of these two skirts would you like to wear with this top? It gives her a sense of control that’s still within yours.

Choose your battles

If her outfit of choice isn’t dangerous, seasonally inappropriate or disrespectful, sometimes it’s best to just give in and let it go. If you can find it in yourself to let your child go out with one blue sock and one red one, you’re helping her develop a sense of power and confidence.

Dress her as soon as she wakes up

Lay out an outfit the night before and get her into it when she is still groggy and half asleep. By the time she’s fully awake, the clothes are on and drama is avoided.

Plus, when she knows that getting dressed is her first job of the day, and something that must be done before she can watch TV or even eat breakfast, getting dressed early and quickly might actually become a habit.

Give ultimatum

You can tell him something like, “We are leaving in five minutes whether you are dressed or not. So you can choose what to put on or I can choose the outfit for you and you can put it on when we get to church,” and when they choose something inappropriate, say something like, “Sure, you can wear shorts and a vest top today, but when we get to there you will need to stay in the car because it’s too cold to be outside in so little clothing and it’s my job to keep you safe, but it’s your choice!”

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