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What would be a sensitive response?

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  • What would be a sensitive response?

    I just wanted to get some opinons from others on a situation that's been going on in our house a lot 2 year old son does not want to change his shirt. Ever. Whatever shirt he has on either in the morning or at bedtime is the one he wants to continue to wear.

    So, what would be an AP/ sensitive/ unconditional response to this? I think that it's not necessarily the shirt that is the issues...more like not wanting to transition between actitivies, or that the actual time & effort it takes to get dressed means less time for him to do something else; something of his choice. This is what my husband and I have tried so far:

    -Keeping it in perspective
    So what if he wears the same shirt over and over, what's the big deal? So we let this go on as long as is reasonable, but after 3 days & nights and many food stains, spills, and other gross stuff, the shirt needs to be changed!

    -Changing shirts at different times of day
    Like while he is doing somehting else, and is involved; not thinking about the shirt

    Usually by talking to him while we are changing and asking him lots of questions.

    -Making a game out of it
    Making it a race, or adding silly sound effects to the motions, etc.

    -Giving choices
    About which clothes he wants to wear, how he wants to put them on, by himself, with help, etc. As much involvement from him as we can.

    What else? Any other sugestions that you have? Despite some of the things I mentioned, it is still rare that we are able to change his shirt without a big fuss. So, I appreciate your insight!

  • #2
    a few questions back atcha: is he the same way w/all of his clothes, or just his shirt? will he change his pants,socks, diapers, without fuss? how often do you give him a bath?


    • #3
      It can be any type of clothing...the "fuss" can happen with either one article or all of them during any given "getting dressed" time. He just wears a diaper at bedtime, but no fusses with those. And, once he's naked, there's no problem with getting his pjs on

      He has a bath probably 2X a week. Getting undressed for bath is never a problem!


      • #4
        i was just thinking that maybe a regular routine of a bath in the morning, then getting dressed for the day may help. we went through a phase, too, w/my 2nd that he didn't like to get dressed, so we'd sing a song. "Neil is wearing his blue shirt, his blue shirt, his blue shirt, neil is wearing his blue shirt to play to-day!" and then do the same for each item of clothing. he loves to sing, so it worked well for him. now he occasionally sings the song himself as he's getting dressed.


        • #5
          That's cute! I think I know the tune you use too (Mary Wore a Red Dress?)...I'll try that, as my son likes to sing as well. Thanks for the idea!


          • #6
            yes, i think that's the tune! let us know how it goes!


            • #7
              Would he be willing to change his shirt if it got all wet? What about some water play at the kitchen/bathroom sink? Might get his shirt soaking and uncomfortable making him a little more eager to take it off.

              For putting clothes on I'd often have to take my DS outside. For some reason getting dressed outside was no problem but inside was intolerable! Others on this forums have suggested the less drastic measure of standing at an open door, feeling the cool air against their bodies and talking about going outside and needing clothes to keep warm.

              Good luck!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jessica View Post
                Would he be willing to change his shirt if it got all wet? What about some water play at the kitchen/bathroom sink? Might get his shirt soaking and uncomfortable making him a little more eager to take it off.
                Ooh, that's a good one too! I'll let you know how it goes, thanks!


                • #9
                  I just wanted to post an update on this, since lately this situation is getting better for us. It's been months since we've been having this issue of my son not wanting to change his clothes...we have tried so many approaches, and we are just now seeing a change! Although, I don't think it's as much due to our approach in handling things as it is because of him simply getting older and growing out of this phase!

                  For the most part I feel pretty good about all of the shirt-changing instances over the last several months...trying mostly to "go with the flow" and not worry so much if he doesn't get his clothes changed. But a couple of things have helped, I think...

                  --changing the timing of "getting dressed" to the end of the day. Rather than wake up in the morning and get dressed then, we get dressed at the end of the day, sleep in the clothes and wear them the next day till bedtime!

                  --finding "special PJs" to wear to bed. This started out as regular daytime clothes; he thought that was really funny to wear clothes to bed! But now, getting changed is much less of a struggle, and he is picking out other really silly things for his special PJs. Like, the other night he picked out these knee-high dress-up socks that looked like dragons...and nothing else! So, the socks were his special PJs that night! It was hilarious. And one night he picked out his swim diaper...this went on over his regular nighttime diaper and he laughed and laughed!

                  It's getting easier now that the weather is getting warmer and we don't have to worry about him being so chilly at night. He can pretty much wear whatever he wants to bed. And if he picks out special PJs at night, we seem to have no trouble changing into "regular" clothe the next morning. So, it's getting easier all around (plus he's just growing up a bit).

                  Just thought I'd update, thanks for letting me share what worked for our situation!