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My 5-year-old won’t get dressed in the morning!
Q: My son will be 5 in April, and our biggest problem is getting dressed EVERY morning. His pants are crooked, too big, too small, tags bother him (we cut all tags off!), a loose string bothers him, his sock seam bothers him, his shoes irritate him and, after 30 minutes of this, I totally lose it. I've punished him by taking away his favourite toys, and we even made a trip to the police station, but once in the lot he got dressed. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I’m not only late to work daily, but so stressed (to the point of crying). Please HELP!
A: Your problem is somewhat unusual, and you may feel the same about my suggestion. If your son is completely toilet-trained and only rarely has bedtime accidents, I would give him his bath in the evening and dress him for school right then and there—everything but shoes and maybe socks. Make sure you don’t dress him in anything so tight it would interfere with circulation, and obviously you wouldn’t dress him in his best clothes if they would wrinkle too badly. If he protests, just say in a matter-of-fact way that you are doing this to avoid the morning struggle and to help him get to school on time. Children’s clothes aren’t so fancy these days (mainly T-shirts and boxer shorts) that he will look rumpled in the morning. If this works, praise him and tell him he can go back to getting dressed in the morning if he prefers. But one fit and it’s back to bedtime dressing.