My daughter is five years old and she’s already all about her independence and choosing her own clothes when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. She’s pretty particular about what she likes to wear, and what she doesn’t, and I’ve learned a few tricks for giving her the independence and control she wants, while still making sure that she’s dressed well.
And by dressed well I don’t mean that she’s the most stylish kid in school. After all, what does stylish even mean for a five year old in preschool? By well dressed I mean that she is wearing clothing appropriate to the setting and the weather.
Of course, I like when my daughter looks cute, but more important than what I like, is letting her choose what she likes. I think that a sense of fashion and style can be developed at a young age, and as her mama who still doesn’t feel like I quite have my personal style figured out, I want to encourage that in her as much as I can.
Tips for Helping Your Independent Child Get Dressed:
Pick out clothes the night before.
One way to avoid battles over dressing is to pick out clothes the night before. I let my daughter help me of course, but this goes a long way in avoiding the morning get-dressed battles. I find that she is much more flexible and cooperative at night and we can work together to choose something she likes. And when the choice is already made for her, she gets dressed easily and without complaint in the morning.
Give two choices in outfit, both of which are acceptable.
If your little one still needs some help putting their outfits together, you can pick out two different outfits, both of which are acceptable to you, and let them have full control over which outfit they want to wear. Limiting their choices makes it easier for them to make a decision and is less stressful than trying to negotiate over their entire closet.
Listen to their preferences.
My daughter loves to wear dresses and skirts. She is a girly girl, and she likes to feel pretty. She would wear a dress and skirt every day, for every activity, if I let her. We’ve had to help her learn that some of her clothes are nicer clothes and not for playing in the backyard, but we’ve also learned that it’s better to get her clothes that she wants to wear rather than try to force her to wear things she doesn’t like.
We’ve compromised by getting her a lot of cute cotton dresses that she can wear with leggings or tights, and she is perfectly happy with this. I love the clothing section at Target because they offer affordable, comfortable clothes that are perfect for playing in, but still appeal to my daughter’s girly taste.
Don’t forget accessories.
One way that we help our daughter to feel girly enough, even if she’s wearing a t-shirt and corduroys is to let her choose accessories that she likes. Adding an embellished headband or hair clip makes her happy, and we’re just starting to get into simple necklaces and bracelets.
How do you help your independent child get dressed while avoid the get-dressed battles?
Do you keep your family festively stylish during the holidays? We’re giving away three $50 Target giftcards to brighten the season! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you dress your children conveniently — and with style — during the holidays!