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getting dressed in the morning

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  • getting dressed in the morning

    Hi - again!

    I hope it is ok to post 2 threads at the same time, the last one was much more general AP issues I need help with, and this one a very specific issue.

    Please bear in mind when answering this I have temporarily forgotten every AP principle I used believe in and act out to the very best of my ability.

    One specific problem I have at the moment which is getting worse and worse as I know I am addressing it wrongly, is getting ds to dress himself in the morning ready for school. He is 6. I end up asking him at least 6 times then either getting cross with him and yelling, then he has a tantrum, or just dressing him myself for an easy life. When I ask him to get dressed he just tends to ignore me and carry on playing, or start getting dressed but after the first step get distracted and start waving his pj trousers around his head (and knocking something down) etc. He can get sidetracked so quickly that unless he is racing me "who can get dressed first" and he is really focused, he seems to forget what he is supposed to be doing. The races sometimes work, but not every day. I have tried pointing out the consequences of his actions - ie having to go to school in his pyjamas (but would I ever do this really?) but it doesn't seem to make any difference until the last second when he does rush and get dressed really fast - but by which time we are already late for school.
    We have tried asking him to get dressed before he goes down for breakfast so he has a reward afterwards, but he always says he is too hungry and wants to eat first. If I persevere down this line, he will have a tantrum for 20 minutes and take ages to get dressed, despite me trying to point out if he got dressed really quick then he could have breakfast really soon.

    Any tips on how to approach this issue in a more positive and effective way? If it didn't take 20 minutes of nagging to get dressed, the mornings would be so much calmer.

    Many thanks for any ideas

  • #2
    I think sometimes kids know a issue is becoming a big deal and then get on the big deal train themselves. I would one day only mention it once and see if he even notices (ans then let him go to school in it!)
    Another option is letting him sleep in his school clothes a few times and then just go in...
    Neither of these are long term solutions, just to mix it up for both of you. We as parent-child dyads can get stuck in a rut! Remind him that its 'you' that you love, even if you wear PJs!
    This answer is heavily inspired by Unconditional Parenting by Kohn ( Where his child actually came up with the sleep in the school clothes idea because he hated getting ready in the morning also)


    • #3
      My oldest DID go to school in his pj's once. I packed his regular clothes in his backpack, and we left. At school, I had to pull him out of the van, because he was so embarrassed, and I handed his backpack to his teacher and said "He's having a Love and Logic day", which she understood as we had talked previously about the L&L books. He went into the bathroom at school and changed.

      It was very effective, but in hindsight I felt badly. I felt that I put him in the position to be shamed. Now we unschool, precisely so that they can choose when to get ready...on their own time.

      As a teen, he now sleeps in his clothes, so he's always dressed. lol!


      • #4
        i don't think there is a thread limit! maybe once you hit 50 at a time someone will report you

        i completely feel your pain. you could be describing my son/house perfectly, until a few months ago.

        my son has actually gone to school in his pajamas, too. it never happened again. it wasn't a punishment, i didn't make a big deal out of it, simply said, 'it's time to go. looks like you're not dressed, you'll just have to go to school in your pajamas." i didn't say 'you look silly' or everyone's going to laugh at you' or demean him in any way. i phrased it as simply, there's no more time, we must leave now.

        one thing that really ended our battles is this little activity: picture stories. one morning, i took a picture of every single thing he did (which he thought was fabulous!) there's one of him still asleep, then i woke him, took a picture, had him undress, took another, one of him putting on his clothes, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, getting his backpack, walking out the door to the car--literally EVERYTHING. then, we went through all of the pictures and assigned each of them a time. i explained, "this is everything we have to do to get out the door in a happy mood. i'm not yelling, you're not yelling. if we stick to the times, we'll have a happy day."

        i put everything on a whiteboard and wrote the times next to each. a few morning of following the pictures and times, and he didn't need it anymore. he got it. he actually started spontaneously saying, 'i'm having a happy morning, i'm getting dressed now.'

        another idea is to start the morning early. one of kohn's mantras is "Never be in a hurry". so get him up 20 minutes early, start the routine, so you have wiggle room. a little dawdling won't throw you into a rush.


        • #5
          Wow, that's great! I want to have a happy morning! Maybe hubby can take a picture of what I do too, so no one will "interfere", like---- mommy does get to eat breakfast and brush her hair!