Getting Dressed and Ready

By Wayne Russell

Do you ever find it a challenge getting your child dressed and ready for the day? Do you experience a lack of cooperation?

Our daughter sometimes fusses when we want to get her dressed and ready. It usually seems worse when we are in a rush to go somewhere. Trying to quickly get ready after her nap can also be challenging (I guess no one really likes rushing to get ready when they just wake up).

We have learned through hard knocks that the most effective strategy for getting a child dressed and ready is by offering several little choices. We don't offer all the choices below every time, but find ourselves subconsciously rotating through them.

  • Would you like to wear the blue shirt or the red shirt?
  • Do you want to put your shorts on first or your shirt?
  • Do you want to wear the pink bow or the white bow?
  • Do you want to brush your teeth first or your hair?

Limit the number of choices to two. More than two choices can overwhelm a young mind and it will take them longer to answer your question.

If your child refuses to pick one of your choices, you can say something like, "How sad, that was not one of the choices." Then immediately repeat the two choices. You can become a 'broken record.' And after a while you may just need to say something like, "I'm going to have to make the choice. Let's put your shorts on first.

Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.