I have a rule –kids have to like what they are wearing or they won’t wear it, and the parents have to like it too or they won’t buy it. The truth is parents can’t just make kids wear what they want them to, common ground is necessary. Ultimately the parent is the final decision maker, but when a child helps in the process it helps the kid to feel more like it’s their decision.
In my experience, a child will be more willing to wear something they like the looks of it and are comfortable in. There are so many choices out there to pick from; getting children dressed doesn’t have to be a crisis, although it can be a chore. Pick your battles; what your little one is wearing is a minor situation to deal with that can be worked out. When a kid is wearing something they like, it leads to good confidence and that makes for a happy and content child. Your biggest concern should be the warmth of their chosen outfit. If they aren’t warm, they aren’t happy, and that could lead to a very short and frustrating day on the slopes.
For the wee little ones, teaching your child how to dress can advance their fine-motor capabilities and can lead to early day confidence when they get their jacket zipped all by themselves, or boots on the correct feet. Help them only if they ask and praise them often to continue confidence building. Make getting ready to go easier by trying to find clothing items with easy zippers, fun snaps and garments with Velcro. Slip on shoes or boots, sweats or fleece bottoms, fun hats and colorful mittens will work perfectly for you and your little one.
Make getting dressed a game to make it fun, time them and see how fast it takes them to get dressed, let them race against you, or let them know they can do a fun activity after they get dressed.
The “Getting Dressed Process” can be made easier by choosing items that fit correctly, and feature other creature comforts. Fuzzy materials, favorite characters and even sports heroes featured on garments can make getting dressed something your child looks forward to instead of dreading.
Plan ahead for the morning rush. Pick out what your child is going to wear the night before, something you picked out together and you know they like. You can have a back-up outfit as an additional choice, although keep their choices limited to avoid indecision.
Finally, be consistent and firm as you stay calm and patient with your child. When you find outfits that work, stick close to those choices. Dressing kids for a cry free day is easier then you think – you both have to make concessions that will end with cooperative and constructive results. Time goes by really fast with your little ones, so make the best of your time together even when it comes to getting them dressed for winter.