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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

My Son Refuses to Try...I need some advice.

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:39 PM
  • 35 Replies

My son knows how to dress himself and is fully capable.  

He will be 4 May 17th.  

My problem is this:

"Okay honey, time to go.  Please take your shirt off and put this one I laid out on."

"I cant"

"Yes you can, I know you can."

"No I can't, im just a little boy."

"Even little boys can put their own shirts on, just try lets see."

"No."

"Yes, just try...if you have trouble I will help you, but I need you to try."

"Im just a little boy."

This goes around and around and around until I get upset that he refuses to just try.  He is really really sensitive and the minute he can tell im getting upset he just bursts into tears, "Mommy you make me cry"....

I dont understand why he wont try.  I have always encouraged him to try things and to not give up and if you dont get it right just keep trying.  That I dont care if he does really well or poorly that ill be proud of him no matter what because he tried.  

He has always been extremely competitive, shockingly so because of his age.  Even when we were teaching him how to play baseball, if I pitched it he would have a great hit 5 times in a row, but if he missed that 6th time he would get so upset, throw the bat down and start bawling and refuse to try again.  He would wail, "I missed wahhh I missed", id assure him that he was doing fantastic and everyone misses sometimes, even the pros have more strikes than hits and how he was doing so well...none of it mattered.  

Ive never put any pressure on him or made him think id be upset for failing, ive never done anything but cheer him on and encourage him...I do not understand why he gets so upset when he doesn't do something perfectly.   

I am completely baffled why he refuses to even try to put his clothes on himself.    

Whats going on?  

I thought it was pretty standard for kids to dress themselves by this time, and even be excited about it, happy to be a "big kid"...

My son doesn't want to be a big kid and wants to be a little kid and even when I tell him that even litte kids put their own clothes on he still refuses.  

I really am not bothered by doing it for him...but ive heard from many sources that at a certain age doing things for your kids when you know they are capable sets them up for future bad habits.  

Am I approaching this all wrong?  

Should I just back off and dress him until he has a change of heart (though he is almost 4 and has never showed any interest in dressing himself)?

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Advice?  Your experience?  

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

BUMP!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM
what if made it into a game like a race, who can get dressed the fastest and the winner gets an m&m or a skittle? Maybe if he thinks it is a game. my kids all wanted to dress themselves but certain things they hate putting on, my son who is 4 hates putting his coat on but i make it a race (let him win) he will do it.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM
Ds does the dame crap with the clothes. I told him if he doesn't get dressed we'll just leave with him wearing no shirt. It gets him dressed in about 30 seconds.

He also throws fits and breaks down if he can't get something perfectly every time. I just tell him it's ok, we take a break for him to calm down and try again.
Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Yea I could try that...id have to get more organized lol!  I always get myself together and then him.  Id have to get most of me together except clothes and then his clothes and lay them side by side and do a ready set go kind of thing.   But im sure im capable of that....I just wouldn't want to do that every morning haha...I mean, I want him to just want to.... I just dont get why he doesn't want to.  

Quoting Anonymous:

what if made it into a game like a race, who can get dressed the fastest and the winner gets an m&m or a skittle? Maybe if he thinks it is a game. my kids all wanted to dress themselves but certain things they hate putting on, my son who is 4 hates putting his coat on but i make it a race (let him win) he will do it.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

You're much more patient than I am.  When my kid doesn't want to try, I make her do it anyway. When she does it, I'm like, See? You never know til you try... And then she's all proud of herself.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:48 PM

set a timer with consequences and if he still doesn't comply, take him like he is with his clothes in a bag...after a while he'll get the hint to get dressed when you say so. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM
1 mom liked this
hope it works! also may 17th is also my birthday, great day!


Quoting Matriarch87:

Yea I could try that...id have to get more organized lol!  I always get myself together and then him.  Id have to get most of me together except clothes and then his clothes and lay them side by side and do a ready set go kind of thing.   But im sure im capable of that....I just wouldn't want to do that every morning haha...I mean, I want him to just want to.... I just dont get why he doesn't want to.  

Quoting Anonymous:

what if made it into a game like a race, who can get dressed the fastest and the winner gets an m&m or a skittle? Maybe if he thinks it is a game. my kids all wanted to dress themselves but certain things they hate putting on, my son who is 4 hates putting his coat on but i make it a race (let him win) he will do it.



Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM

We had a rule in my house, you had to go to bed five minutes early for every time you said "I can't." It worked.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 6 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Make a chart of what he can and cannot do.

Make up magnets to go on the chart, use paper cut outs for this

However

Don't just make SHIRT, make SHIRT attached to a BALL

PANTS attached to a video game

Toothbrush attached to GUM

and have him categorize what he can and can't do.

If he can play ball he can put his shirt on

If he can chew gum (orwhatever if eh can't chew gum) he can brush his own teeth etc.


If you can do ___________(fun thing______ you can do ____(required thing)______


Also make incentives, like if he cleans up his room he can also... help make a cake

or something like that.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 7 on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Normally if I'm in a rush for ds o get dressed its for his preschool or a play date. I just tell him either he hurries or he will miss school or the play date it gets his but in gear
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