Have you been considering how to teach your toddler how to get dressed? You may have been looking at the different manufacturers at EKE and noticed that your child was showing an interest themselves. It is important for children to be able to dress themselves not just for the development of their own personality, but also for muscle memory, independence, and more. But how do you achieve this important milestone?
1. Have Realistic Expectations
At some point, children start trying to dress themselves. Depending on their level of coordination, they may find this more or less difficult. Between 18 and 23 months, most kids can put a hat or shoes on. By age 3, they should be able to dress themselves, but may still struggle with fasteners and buttons. By age 5, they should be able to dress themselves independently.
2. Let Your Child Be an Individual
Children, if given the choice, will often put on the most hideous combinations of clothes. You need to allow them to do this, however, as they are developing their own unique and individual style. Try, as well, to involve your kids in shopping for their own clothes. That way, they have more of a chance of picking something that actually looks good, instead of throwing combinations together from clothes they had no input in.
3. Simply Does it
If your child is still in the stage where they are just starting to learn to get dressed, you need to keep it simple for them. Lay out some loose fitting clothes that are easy to put on. Help them if they want you to as well. As the child becomes older, you have to make sure that their clothes are in easy to access places, so that they can pick what they want.
4. Never Criticize
Your child is not failing at life if they are a little slower at learning how to get dressed. They may not show any interest in it and be perfectly happy with you dressing them for ages. Once they do start to get dressed themselves, don’t put any pressure on them. And if things go wrong, help them solve it rather than criticizing them. Don’t tell them they are stupid for putting their t-shirt on the wrong way around, for instance (you would be surprised at how many parents do).
5. Have a Routine Poster in Place
Create, together with your child, a poster with a routine on. Put a picture of your child on it and list all the things that they have to do in easy to understand, visual ways. Make sure it is at a height that the child can see, so that they know exactly what they need to do and when.
6. Get up Earlier
Learning takes time, and you simply cannot rush these things. If you had 10 minutes on the morning to get your child dressed, you will need a lot more if you want your child to do it themselves. Hence, this may mean getting up earlier as well.