Of course, we all know that there is no way that your kid can dress herself overnight; everything must be handled in small steps, and one of the first things you must teach your child is to be a responsible person.
Don’t we all hate that John who said that he would turn up with the tickets, but didn’t? What about Jane, who promised to baby-sit for you this time, but didn’t even bother calling to inform you that she was held up?
You as a parent have to start teaching your kid to be responsible for what she does, when she is still very young; she can start by handling some small tasks in and around the house.
She can then move on to loading the dishwasher, or drying the plates after they are washed.
At the same time, she must also be taught to be responsible for herself. Part of this responsibility includes dressing herself. Here are some tips for you if you do not know how to do this:
- If you are teaching your kid how to dress herself, then you must allow for that extra time in the morning, before you leave the home. This way, you will not feel pressured to finish dressing her up, even while she is still trying. Give her at least ten minutes to wear her clothes properly, and to tie her shoelaces, even if it means that you will have to wake up ten minutes earlier than usual. Remember, you are teaching your kid to be responsible for what she is doing, and this can be an extremely valuable lesson for her, a lesson that will last all her life.
- Don’t get all hassled about the order in which she puts on her clothes; even if she wants to wear her shoes first and only then her pants, let her do so. She will learn by herself that it is easier to wear her pants and only then her shoes, all by herself, and she will feel a great sense of achievement when she actually gets everything right finally, and you smile at her.
- Remember, practice makes perfect. The more number of times your child dresses herself, the better she will be at it; imagine the look on your Aunt’s face when she sees little Amy dressing herself from head to toe, with absolutely no help from you!
- Whatever may be her achievement, remember to encourage and praise her immediately, and she will be motivated enough to continue doing whatever she did to garner such a reaction from you.
- You can actually purchase simpler clothing when your child is learning to dress herself. You could buy pants with elastic waistbands, so that all she has to do is pull it up. You could buy loose slip on dresses or t-shirts for her, with large openings through which she could put her head easily, with no help from you. Also buy shoes that can be fastened with Velcro, because mastering shoelaces at this age may not be easy.
- If possible, allow your child to pick out her own clothes. This may be funny at first, but you just have to put up with her outrageous combination if you want her to learn. Soon she will demonstrate an uncanny ability to mix and match, and you would have successfully taught her how to dress by herself.
Keep trying, and don’t give up!