Should a nearly 3yo be able to put on his own socks? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is not my child - he is a little guy I babysit.  I know that my dd could do this at his age (she's 3 1/2 now) but I have no idea if my ds (now 7 1/2) could have done this.  Also, in the great scheme of things, this is not a big deal but is part of a larger problem. I know that his mom babies him a lot (carries him everywhere, baby talks to him, etc.) and that's okay.  He doesn't seem to expect this or even want this from me.

 

But he constantly says, "I can't."  And, if I'm being totally honest here, this gets under my skin.  I know, I know, he's not even 3, but I still feel this way.  But can he?  That's my real question.  When I say, "Oh sure you can.  Let's see you give it a try," am I giving this child some kind of complex?  Too much pressure?  I'm also caring for my newborn, generally in a hurry by the time we are to the getting on of the socks point in the day.  I won't even go into the no readiness for potty training or the constant thumb and blankie sucking that is getting to be age inappropriate.  And the solution for today has been that socks need to stay on at my house.

 

I forget what it is like to have a little boy (if gender might make a difference) this age.  He is very very different from dd who is QUITE independent.

 

I don't mean to sound like a total jerk.  He's a nice kid.  But any thoughts on encouraging him to do more for himself?

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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My own ds who turned 3 a month and a half ago has trouble with his socks.  I believe that my dd at that age was able to manage them by herself - my memory is that by the time ds was born (right after she turned 3) she was able to completely dress herself.  I think it differs from child to child, but I definitely don't think that it is at all out of the ordinary for a not-even 3 yr old to not be able to put on his own socks.  I wonder if maybe you're projecting some of your feelings about how his mom treats him onto how you see his behaviours (finding thumb sucking, lack of potty-readiness and inability to dress himself as age-inappropriate).


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Old 11-30-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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To answer your 2nd question, about how to encourage him to do things for himself.  Well, at that age I'd keep it pretty low-key.  If a 6 year old was wanting me to dress him every day (and that bothered me) I'd maybe think along lines of sticker charts or something.  But when you're talking about such a young child I think I'd just be gently encouraging, make it no-pressure (ie. at a time when you are not rushing or have a deadline), and make a big deal when he actually does do it. 


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Old 11-30-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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My twins will be four in two months. They still have trouble with their socks sometimes.

I think requiring socks to stay on is a great solution, though.

My DD1 was a big "I can't" kid. And the more we pushed, tried incentives, etc., the more stubbornly she insisted she couldn't do things. What really worked, honestly, was time. She learned to do things when she got good and ready, and not before.

If I KNEW she could do something, though, and it was truly driving me crazy, I'd usually say something like, "okay, well I'm not going to do it, so either you do it yourself or do without," in a very gentle way. So like we'd be going out and I'd say put your socks on, and she'd say I can't, so I'd say okay, that's fine, you'll go without socks then. Sometimes, of course, she'd choose to go without the socks anyway-- so be careful with that one. But often, if I said that, and then VERY carefully ignored her for awhile, she'd put them on herself.

I'm wondering, though, about the toilet training and thumb sucking and blanky comments, though. It's very common for kids that age, especially boys, to be not toileting yet. And the thumb and blanky are certainly not age-inappropriate. My kids aren't thumb suckers, but my DD2 does still occasionally ask for her paci for a few minutes, and DS drags his blanky everywhere he goes. That's normal three year old behavior, in my book.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Different kids get these physical skills at different ages.  My dd was very slow at all of physical skills, and couldn't do that at 3, or 4.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, no, no, no.  I know about the pottying and thumb-sucking being typical at that age.  My ds was a LATE potty learning kid.  I thought he would go to college in diapers.  What I was meaning, and clearly not stating correctly when reading my post, is that all of this goes together?  The socks, the potty, the blanket (okay, the thumb sucking is yucky because it gets drool everywhere, but whatever), that all of this really IS typical of this age.  I simply cannot remmember.

 

I don't care if his mom babies (she does other stuff that annoys me, but not this redface.gif).  He is her baby - I get that.  And he doesn't want me to baby him.  I do wonder if he'll be preschool ready by fall (I know mom wants him to go) if she doesn't do a little more to help him help himself.  I do try to be gentle with him, at the very least as gentle as I am with my own kids.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Socks are hard.  My older son could at that age, but my 4.5 still has some trouble with his socks. 

 

Honestly, everything you say is age inappropriate sounds pretty age appropriate to me. 

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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90% of my daycare kids CAN put on their own socks by age 3.  But, some of the socks they have are harder, and they need help.  

 

ALL of my three year olds can dress and undress themselves except for ties, the first part of the zipper, and some buttons.  But one girl wears shirts that are long and tight...so, I usually have to help her get them off.  (she says it's because her arms are sticky)

 

I also get annoyed by the "I ca-aaan't" comments.  

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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No way could my ds have done it. Dd could, but didn't want to often. (Actually, she just never wants to wear socks, even at 6.)\

 

Ds was also a "I can't..." kind of kid. It's his temperament. I found the 9 temperament traits as outline by Chess & Thomas really helpful in understanding ds. For the trait of "Initial Reaction", ds definitely has 'withdrawal' as his trait. What this means is that when he's confronted by something new, his initial reaction is "no". Combine that with low persistence and he nearly drove me crazy.

 

What we did was to ask him to try 1 or 2 times first before we helped. I don't think you're giving him a complex by asking him to try. Sometimes ds found he could do it. We also needed to break everything down into tiny steps for him. First we'd get the sock mostly on his foot and have him try to pull it up. The rule was he had to give it a real try. If he did and it didn't work, we'd help. If he succeeded, we'd be positive. Then we'd get the socks on over the toes, then simply orient them for him. He was probably 4 or 5 before he could do all of this himself. When he was 3, he could put his own pants on, but he couldn't figure out how to orient them. So, he'd spread his pants out on the floor, and then walk around to whatever side the top ended up on! Not very efficient. He's 9 now, and dresses himself quite nicely.

 

Be careful too, how you view him. Just because he has a higher needed for assistance and still likes to suck his finger/blankie doesn't mean that he's behind. He just has a different temperament. Does his mom baby him or does he need that from his mom?


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Old 11-30-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Also, most of my daycare kids have soft stretchy socks.  The hard ones are the thicker hanes socks.  They don't have as much give as the other ones.  I think some socks really are too hard for the little hands.

 

But, I do get what you mean when you feel stressed by time and having to stop everything to help put his socks on.  

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I say it depends on the kid and how badly they want to do it. My 2yo can no problems and I know my 4yo can cause he has before but he will usually say that he can't. I sometimes help him and sometimes make him do it on his own. Depends on how much of a hurry I am in.


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Old 11-30-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 I found the 9 temperament traits as outline by Chess & Thomas really helpful in understanding ds. For the trait of "Initial Reaction", ds definitely has 'withdrawal' as his trait. What this means is that when he's confronted by something new, his initial reaction is "no". 



That's very interesting!  My Daughter is a mix of two.  "Easy and flexible" & "Slow to warm up".  

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Old 11-30-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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Socks, pacifier usage, thumb sucking, and blankey are all age appropriate. My 3 year old can't even pull up his own pants after the potty.

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:59 AM
 
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Some can, some can't.  As others stated there's a huge range of typical during the toddler and early preschool years.  I'd help him.  It's not like you are in a child care center with ten kids the same age.  But, even then it's part of the job.  I've taught in many shoe and sock optional preschool settings.  Is it really not ok for him to have bare feet unless you are going outside?  Are slippers an option?

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:01 AM
 
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My son is 4 and can't put on his own socks.  He can finally do his pants and tshirts, and running shoes....he's been doing slip on boots since before he was 3 but socks...they still frustrate him.


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Old 11-28-2012, 05:14 AM
 
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Yeah, my 2yr 9month old girl has never tried pulling on socks. She can put on her own slip on boots, but I cant imagine she can grip her socks strong enough while pushing her toes in. She can barely pull up her own pants after using the toilet ... actually she can barely reach to sit on the toilet herself (while standing on a stool), I have to lift her. Maybe by three she will be taller and can do such things, but the socks, Im not sure about that.


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Old 11-28-2012, 06:43 AM
 
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I help my 6.5 yo put his socks on every day. He 'can' do it himself but the sock wrinkles bother him. He would like me to dress him and do many other things for him too but I don't. My dd is very independent like yours and anything she can do by herself she will. It pains her to ask for help. Sounds like this is one of your buttons (we all have them) and this kid is pushing it but it also sounds like it is not on purpose. It won't be long until he can do it. I think your solution is good, once they are on they stay on.

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:13 AM
 
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You got that right, you do sound like a right "Jerk"

 

Children develop in variation, sometimes faster,sometimes slower....have a heart and don't assume you know it all.

 

"Remember that you were once young too"

 

 

You are necroposting. This thread is 2 years old. The OP hasn't logged in to the site in a almost a year and a half. So directing disparaging comments at her is pointless because she isn't here to read them. 

 

For the record, I agree that there is a variation in development and this child, who would now be 5 y.o. and hopefully can dress and toilet himself by this time, was within that normal variation. I also agree that, 2 years ago, it was fine to encourage him to try to gain some independence in these tasks. If he is still incapable, then it's well past time. 

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Old 11-28-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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You are necroposting. This thread is 2 years old. The OP hasn't logged in to the site in a almost a year and a half. So directing disparaging comments at her is pointless because she isn't here to read them. 

 

For the record, I agree that there is a variation in development and this child, who would now be 5 y.o. and hopefully can dress and toilet himself by this time, was within that normal variation. I also agree that, 2 years ago, it was fine to encourage him to try to gain some independence in these tasks. If he is still incapable, then it's well past time. 

 

Ah ha! Learned something new this am "The act of posting in a forum thread that is too old to matter any more, or has served it's purpose" And good catch, I didn't even look at the dates, but I did notice the necroposter only had one post.


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Old 11-28-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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 "The act of posting in a forum thread that is too old to matter any more, or has served it's purpose"

 

It is an evocative term, isn't it? Very useful to have. 

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:53 AM
 
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My children all did it at 3. But it doesn't mean all children will. They all learn things at different ages and stages. :)


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Old 11-30-2012, 01:55 AM
 
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ah ha! just noticed this thread is 2 years old. lol oops


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Old 11-02-2013, 07:34 PM
 
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I think children learn to do things at their own pace my daughter just turned 2 on sept. 21 2013 and today November 2 2013 she put her socks on correctly with little struggle all by herself and was like yeah and clapping she was so happy praising a child for their accomplishments really helps to improve their self-worth and need to please you and then you will see them want to do more for themselves.

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Old 11-02-2013, 09:04 PM
 
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In my family, my daughter liked to dress/undress herself more than my son. But even with that, I think she was probably about three before she could do socks herself. Socks are kind of tough to master, especially if you are sensitive to the seam. 

 

I think birth order has something to do with it too. We do tend to baby the first born more than the others, as far as helping with dressing, bathing, etc.

 

My son was a first born, and had developmental delays (including motor skills issues) so it was a double whammy. He could not dress himself for a long time.

 

Instead of saying "yes you can", you can say "let's try. I do some, and you do some" and do part of it for him, and let him do the other part, and keep going until the socks are on...or make it a game. Put on a sock puppet and pretend he is a magic puppet who loves to put socks on little boy's feet. Or try rewards like a sticker chart or "If you can get your sock half way on, you will get "X". Then when he does it, give him "X" and praise him a lot. Do this a few times, and then up the ante to a full sock on one foot....eventually two socks. 

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:01 PM
 
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my now 4 yr old was putting on her own clothes by the time she was 2.5 years old. Just depends on the child I'm sure. She has two older siblings and younger children tend to learn faster because of older siblings.


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