When can he dress himself? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cause...at 4.5 years of age...he still can't.

He can undress himself now... T-shirts were a bit problem but I think hes sorted that out (though its pretty funny to watch! lmao)...But dress himself...nope.

Its why we buy crocs though - he can at least put those on and off himself!

So...when?
Are there ways I can encourage this?
Cause I get a lot of 'I CAN'T DO IT' with tears over everything these days.

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#2 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 06:57 AM
 
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My eldest kids were 5 before they could completely dress themselves. Maybe just start w/shirts. Help your son get it over his head (my kids would always panic if they couldn't find the neck of the shirt) and then have him use both hands to find the arm hole. Even if he gets the shirt on backwards it's still an accomplishment I think kids tend to be too quick at this age....so slow him down and work at one thing at a time.

I'm still waiting for my 6.5 yo to put on and tie his own shoes !!!!

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#3 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Cause...at 4.5 years of age...he still can't.

He can undress himself now... T-shirts were a bit problem but I think hes sorted that out (though its pretty funny to watch! lmao)...But dress himself...nope.

Its why we buy crocs though - he can at least put those on and off himself!

So...when?
Are there ways I can encourage this?
Cause I get a lot of 'I CAN'T DO IT' with tears over everything these days.
I don't really think there is some magical age where they suddenly can dress themselves my dd. is a few months older than your ds and can dress herself although this doesn't always mean she will, i also get a lot of the "i can't do it" too.
If he is really hesitant to do it maybe trying learning one thing at time (if you haven't already tried this) like day 1 he could put his underpants on himself and if he does make sure to praise him and let him know how clever he is for learning something new and then each time he gets the hang of one 1 item of clothing, say today we are going to learn e.g to put on your vest and each time he masters each one do the same thing and hopefully he'll soon be able to dress himself, i would suggest leaving socks till last though as all my lo's seemed to have the most trouble with these.

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#4 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 07:20 AM
 
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What kind of personality does he have?

My XP (DD's biodad) was wondering out loud to me when DD would be able to dress herself a few weeks ago, because, he said, she can't even put her velcro shoes and coat on.

I called DD in and told her to get her shoes and coat on. She looked at Dada and said "i CAN'T!" i replied "it's a shame, we can't go to the park until everyone is dressed". About 2mins later she came back, with her shoes and coat on...

Is it possible that he's a) in a hurry and b) a bit of a perfectionist? Because i'm sure that's why my DD resents even having to sit and TRY to put her shoes on. Whenever i have insisted she tries she ALWAYS succeeds. I tend to sympathise with tears and "oh i CAN'T!"'s but i don't offer anything but verbal help.

As an aside, i'm due #2 in June and i do think some of it is DD clinging onto her role as "baby" with me and her biodad while she still has it - i have a friend who has a 2.75yo and 3week old twins and that 2.75yo can dress herself, because if she didn't she would never be dressed! Her mum just says "i cannot help" and she does it herself. I'm kind of dreading the baby coming because my XP continues to treat DD as if she's about 18months old when she's with him....
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#5 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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Totally depends on the kid I think.

My oldest was completely dressing himself except socks by 2.5. My younger son, who's now almost 4, is finally regularly dressing himself. He just didn't care to.
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#6 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Undressing is easier than dressing, keep letting him undress himself and the rest will follow.

But beware, when they figure it out, your kid laundry doubles

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#7 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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My DS just started consistently dressing himself at the age of 3. It did involve me showing him a few times, and then talking him through it a little bit. Now he only wants to dress himself, which is fabulous except for when we are in a hurry.

Mommy to two super cute kids.
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#8 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Kids learn to walk at different times, to ride a bike at different ages (and there's a thread about that too), and to do other physical things at different ages too. My dd learned to talk and read very early, but all the physical things have been a bit on the later side of things. She was probably 6 before she could 100% dress herself.
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#9 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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There's 'can' and there's 'will'. For my kids, the 'could' get themselves dressed at somewhere between 2 (for dd) and 4 (for ds). Ds WOULD get himself dressed at about 6. Dd is nearing 6 and will get herself dressed about 80% of the time, but wants help the other 20%.

For my kids, 'acts of service' are one of their love languages, and so my helping them makes them feel loved.

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#10 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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Dd could do it around 27 months. Ds still doesn't at almost 3. He can put on his shoes, and socks, actually. Last summer he started taking his clothes off by himself, and he CAN dress himself, but he's one who gets panicked. And he's in a hurry to play. Dd is all about skills. Ds is all about play.

As far as ways to help them...

Ds, like I said, gets panicked when he is stuck in his clothes. Especially when his shirt is over his face. It really helped him to be shown how to put the head hole on the back of his head, and then pull it over. Think of it like the optimal birth position...that's the smallest diameter of their heads, and the shirts will go over easier.

You can also get him a busy baby or board to play with. It will have buttons, zippers, ties, velcro, etc to get him practicing in a non-confrontational way.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#11 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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DS1 and DD were both doing it by two - picking out and putting on their own clothes every day. They needed a little help with zippers, buttons, snaps, ties, etc, but for the most part they did it themselves. DS2 is a lot like your DS. He's also 4.5 and only recently started undressing himself (and sometimes needs help still) and doesn't really dress himself (he can put on underwear, and sometimes pants, but needs help with everything else). He also is hopeless when it comes to picking out clothes. If I ask him to, he'll come back with one sock and two pairs of pants or something . I figure that he'll figure it out at some point.
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#12 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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There are lots of resources on Montessori sites/books to help children be more independent, even a great way to help them put their coat on independently at a very young age.

Maybe letting him wear clothes that are too big for him on days it doesn't matter what he's wearing would make it easier for him to put them on. Maybe helping him be motivated to get dressed himself--like a picture chart with pictures of each thing he needs to put on and he can put stars or something on it with a big reward when he completes the week. Maybe taking all his clothes out of his drawer but the one outfit he's to wear that day. Practicing on dolls. Practicing on you. Practicing on dressing boards. Practice with dress up clothes. Just throwing out some ideas. Hope it helps a bit.

All the best!

Jessica: wife and helpmate to a farmer and mama to two girls and two boys
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#13 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
There's 'can' and there's 'will'. For my kids, the 'could' get themselves dressed at somewhere between 2 (for dd) and 4 (for ds). Ds WOULD get himself dressed at about 6. Dd is nearing 6 and will get herself dressed about 80% of the time, but wants help the other 20%.

For my kids, 'acts of service' are one of their love languages, and so my helping them makes them feel loved.
This is true for my 4.25-yo as well. She *can* do a lot more than she is *willing* to do. I think she enjoys being babied--and I don't blame her, as I wish someone would put on my shoes for me too!

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#14 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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I agree with some of the other posters, is this really a "can't do it", or is it a "won't do it" thing?

My kids all could get dressed by themselves by the time they were 2-3, there was a stage though where they "forgot" how to get dressed & "couldn't do it".

So I "helped". Pants went on the head, legs through shirt holes, socks on arms. They though it was funny I "forgot" how to get dressed & would show me how to do it.

Shoes can be trickier, depending on the shoe. Does it lace up, velcro, have those elastics so you can't have to tie them up?
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#15 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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My daughter was dressing herself, her dolls, and the cats at about 18 months. Before she could do it herself, I always involved her in it, and narrated. "See, here's the hole where your head goes through, picture of Barney on the front and the tag in the back. Over the head! Where's your hands, they go through here, these are the sleeves. One hand, two hands! Here's the purple pants, put your feet in here, down this pant leg. Now the other leg, it goes in this part over here. Where's your foot? It should poke out the bottom here." When she first started putting her own clothes on, she was easily frustrated with complicated clothes, so I've tried to keep her wardrobe very simple- nothing with buttons, no jeans or overalls, lots of elastic waist pants and pullover tops. When we shop for shoes, I have her try them on, so I'm sure she can put them on easily.
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#16 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
For my kids, 'acts of service' are one of their love languages, and so my helping them makes them feel loved.
Same here. My 5.5yo can easily dress himself, but it gives him a sense of connection and security for me to help him, so I do when he asks, which is maybe once a week these days. He used to ask much more frequently, so I helped him much more frequently back then, although sometimes I would gently encourage him to get started on his own and then I'd help him finish up.

This was just one of those things that I'd tell myself, "He's not going to go to college not knowing how to dress himself" and not worry about.

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#17 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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Dd was around 2.5 for everything but socks and shoes. Ds is 3 and can get his sandles on by himself (not always on the right foot) but nothing else.

Mama of three.
 
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#18 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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Ann of Loxley, I agree with the "can" and "will" attitude.

DS could do it at 3, but "forgot" when his sister came along when he was 4.5.

DD has been able to do it since 3 or 4. MIL watches them while I work. (DD is 7). When DD was 5 my work schedule changed a bit, so I was home a little later. I found that MIL was dressing her!!!!!

I told MIL that DD could dress herself. MIL never had a girl and loves babying DD. I just let it go. DD dresses herself all the rest of the time, so who cares...

So, it might be that your DS is having issues because of a sib, or because someone else lets him get away with it, or because he's just not ready! Aren't kids great!?!?!
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#19 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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DD is a couple weeks shy of 3 and she can change her own undies and pants, and put on shoes. Socks are trickier, as are shirts/tops/dresses. What is really nice, though, is I can tell her to go pick out her outfit and bring it to me--she'll do all of that so I can sit and drink coffee and wait for her to come down with her clothes (shirt, pants, socks, undies), at which point I help her dress

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#20 of 20 Old 04-14-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Cause I get a lot of 'I CAN'T DO IT' with tears over everything these days.
I get this from DS (also 4yo.) Trust me, DS can dress and undress himself. When he's motivated (more likely with undressing) he van do it quite efficiently. Most of the time though if I want it completed in this century I need to dress him.

We go through this with all kinds of other things too.

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