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My 4 year old is having a hard time with his clothes. The weather is changing so he wants to wear shorts. That's fine with me as long as it's warm enough. I can't get him to wear pants now because he says they are "too long" they are the same pants he has had and been wearing all winter. He has also been getting very upset with his shoes, if they aren't tied just right and tucked into his shoes he gets upset. This morning I got him some clothes because he asked me to pick them out which never happens. I got him what he asked for and he put it on and decided the shirt was "too long". Once again same shirt he has been wearing for a while. I don't know what to do to explain to him these clothes are just fine. These battles of getting dressed are driving me crazy. Need some advice please!!!

Zara Nichols
Helping Moms Work From Home

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Asked by ZaraN at 2:23 PM on May. 17, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 6 (127 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • He's just finding a way to become independent. It's normal. My 4 year old son has only 3 t-shirts that he likes to wear. They are all Red Sox shirts. The shorts thing is tough, but soon it will be warm enough to wear them everyday. I would just let him pick his shirts. Sometimes I get away with putting a different shirt on my son if I'm lucky. He even has to pick out his pajamas now. I would just tie his shoes how he likes.

    Answer by mompam at 2:29 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • Thanks for the advice! I always let him pick his clothes unless he ask me to. The problem with the shoes is the bows aren't perfect it's just not possible for me to get them both the same every time. When they aren't tied just right he tucks them in his shoe which has been working out good, but today they wouldn't stop coming out of his shoe so he go so upset started yelling at me. I tried to tell him maybe we should find some other shoes that aren't going to do that to him. He just ignored me. I'm trying so hard not to get upset with him but when he yells at me because his shirt don't fit right its so hard.

    Answer by ZaraN at 2:35 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • I know it's hard, but it's normal. Maybe get him Crocs or sandals? My son loved his Crocs last year. I am going to get new ones for this year.

    Answer by mompam at 2:40 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • oh my. My son is almost 5 and I know what your talking about. my son puts things on that are his brothers and they are way too small for him and I have trouble convincing him to change clothes. He also wants his hat, watch, and wallet before he goes anywhere. I agree that he is just trying to be independent. I will sometimes even give my son a treat if he agrees to chang into what I want him to wear lol.

    Answer by lowencope at 2:46 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • Thanks I will try the crocs he has flip flops but he tried those the other day and that didn't work. He has some shoes that Velcro but he don't want to wear them either. I just want to get out of this stage so I don't have so many melt downs. Thank you so much for your advise at least I know I'm not alone!!

    Answer by ZaraN at 2:48 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • I don't think a treat would work for my son when he gets upset about something there isn't really much you can do:( I'm glad to hear there are other moms out there that have had this problem! I wish it would end soon!!

    Answer by ZaraN at 2:54 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • I don't know what to suggest about the shoes, but I will say keep an eye on it. If you see him getting more insistent on having them perfect and/or needing other things to be perfect, those MAY be signs of OCD. I don't think it's to that point yet, but just keep and eye on it.
    As for the shorts, maybe remove all pairs of shorts from his dresser and put them some where he can't get to them. Then he can only choose from appropriate clothing. If it's a warm day, then you can pull a pair out for him. Or give him a choice of two or three pairs of pants. Tell him he can choose which ever ones he wants. If he says he wants shorts, then just gently remind him that shorts aren't an option for that day but he can choose from 'x' number of pants. That way he still gets to be independent by choosing for himself, but you have some control over it. Pretty soon he'll understand the why's of not wearing shorts when it rains!

    Answer by Megs5384 at 3:09 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • Pick your battles, Mamma. It isn't worth it to let this become an issue. He's going assert his control over his woredrobe from now until forever, because he wants to be comfortable and like what he wears. That's okay. He should be allowed to pick out what he prefers and what he doesn't prefer. Let him have some control over his woredrobe, as you would want the same for yours. Just let this one go to the wind, because making this an issue is silly.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 3:50 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • I'm with Megs5384. I'd keep an eye on certain behaviors and maybe do some research. OCD? Aspergers?


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:23 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • Thank you all for the great advice. I love being able to come to cafe mom and get help from other moms!!!

    Answer by ZaraN at 9:25 PM on May. 17, 2010

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