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How to handle clothing battles?

My 4 year old daughter refuses to wear what she picked out the night before. We end up arguing every morning and it takes 45 minutes for her to get dressed! That goes for shoes, too. She is changing her mind. Do I absolutely make her wear what she choose the night before, even though she cries real tears and pulls at them saying they don't feel good, or let her pick something else out? I work and have a certain time I absolutely must leave the house so I don't have time for the "I don't know's" in the morning. Please help!!

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Asked by MellyMelHudson at 11:17 AM on Dec. 9, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • I know exactly what you are going through! My daughter does pretty much the same except she wants to stay in nothing! I have to fight with her too I usually get her dressed under her covers so she can stay warm and then have her cloths warm up under there too! Some mornings are so hard being a mom!

    Answer by jem102675 at 11:21 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • Try letting her pick out her clothes in the morning instead and see if it makes it go smoother.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:22 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • Or pick out two outfits the night before and have her choose between them. Then she feels like she has a choice and that my help. At that age they need/want to have a choice. :)

    Answer by evilabbysmom at 11:29 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • Honestly I walk away and that seems to be getting thru to my 3.5 yr old! I tell her plainly these are her two options (I give her two options) and if that's not good enough for her; I calmly tell her MaMa has other things to do and to let me know when she's ready to get dressed and I leave her in her bedroom. She stands there & cries after a few mins I go back and ask if she's ready to listen & be a good girl; if she says No or keeps crying I say Ok, I'll be back and leave again; after a few times she says Yes and stops the whining and lets me dress her!

    Answer by beachmamaof2 at 11:44 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • I agree with the two options. Then once she has it on do not let her change her mind. Real tears don't phase me. I was a pre-k teacher for a while and kids know what they have to do in order to get their way including tears, etc.

    Answer by ronronsbeauty at 12:10 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • At the beginning of each week, when putting away the laundry, let her pick out an outfit for each day of the week. Let her also be practical as well as show her emerging sense of style. Then place is a closet organizer that hangs in her closet with each section marked for the day of the week. When she starts school on gym days she always has to wear tennis shoes, on art day perhaps something less delicate to paint in, on music day whatever, ect....but let her be the boss of her clothes. There are rare exceptions like picture day (although I could care less) and church (again could care less). A child is not our fashion accessorie...they are their own person with their own thoughts about what they are comfortable with. So let her be a big girl and this is one of many steps towards independence.

    Answer by frogdawg at 1:48 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • cont.. But each day is already been chosen by her and that is that. NO crying accepted. Oh well, perhaps next week she will pick something else.

    Answer by frogdawg at 1:50 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • In the morning pick out two of each item and give her a choice between them. Do you want to wear this shirt or that shirt? Do you want to wear these pants or this skirt? I feel that 4 is too young to have the full selection - the tantrum may be coming from stress of the overstimulation. She wants control, but she can't handle it. Give her simple options.

    Answer by dsteiner23 at 4:25 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • I agree with Dsteiner. Let her pick out what she wants that morning after you narrow it down to 2 choices. It's not surprising that a 4 year old would want one thing at night and another in the morning.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:25 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

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