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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd began wearing her "favorite dress" about 7-8 weeks ago. She wears it everyday from morning until night. The first few weeks I wasn't worried. I just figured it was a phase, and I am interested in honoring her choices as an individual. Now the circumstances have changed a bit though & its causing me duress.

She begins hysterically crying with the suggestion of a different dress. She insists she won't be "pretty" without the dress. This point, greatly concerns me because I am not quite sure how a 3.5 year old has gotten the idea that certain clothes define her beauty. I am not really a girlie girl, but I do confess she, along with her friends, have become fixated on the Disney princesses over the past few months.

I want to respect her choices, but I don't want to foster an unhealthy attachment to a physical item. I am not even sure how to introduce new clothing (I have tried laying things out, having her go to the closet, etc.). Is weaning her off the dress the answer, or just telling her the dress has to go away for a while.
 

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Read this thread

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=474930

Do you know what it is about the dress that she likes so much? Color, texture, fluffiness? I would not pressure her to part with it, but I might be tempted to seek out some really great options. If I did that, I would probably just put them someplace sort of hidden where she would discover them. If she was interested enough to ask about them, you could just say something noncommital "Oh, that's just something I found but I don't what to do with them" and then see how she responds. Just an idea, my ds could care less what he wears as long as it is comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am not sure what it is about the dress, although a clue from her teacher came today that it is the "ribbon" on the dress that surrounds her waist.

We went to Target yesterday and she got some new shoes. I asked her if she wanted to get a new dress and she promptly responded with "I don't like any other dresses. I will wear them with my green dress with the pink ribbon."

I think often of the little brown dress woman. I read about her in TAO. I do have a hard time separating myself from "Is this my issue? Am I am upset when she is wearing the same dress every day because of my own issues/expectations/societal conditioning?"

However, I do think she gets very emotional over the dress, and that is what concerns me. She is a bit of a sensitive kid in general, so it make just be that, but sweeet lord! she can flip into hysterics if we suggest anotheer outfit. That said it goes both ways. When she wakes up the first thing she asks is "Can I wear my favorite dress today?" when I respond yes she goes shreiking around in delight
it is ever so heartbreaking and sweet!
 

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My almost 3.5 yr old needs to wear certain kinds of t-shirts. She's somewhat of a tomboy (don't know where that comes from, I'm a girlie-girl myself!) and she just has to wear a t-shirt every single day and either shorts or jeans. This cannot vary. Not even on "special" occasions. She will even wear the same shirt for a week. I can't even wash it. When I say she wears the same shirt for a week, it's a solid week. Sleeping in it too. She goes into hysterics if she can't wear the shirt to bed too. I have to gage her mood for when she will allow me to take off a favorite t-shirt long enough to wash it. For this time, she has "second" favorite t-shirts, as well, thank God. So, I don't really have any advice for you, just wanted to let you know that I'm having a similar battle, but with different clothes. At least your daughter always looks nice and lets you wash it at night! LOL I have to really work hard not to feel embarrassed when we go out sometimes, as my dd can really look like a ragamuffin. She sometimes won't even let me brush her pretty hair! A bed-head combined with a stained t-shirt. It's enough to drive me crazy ... and I keep telling myself that it's only a phase. My dh could care less about this, so I know part of it is my issue. I mean, does anybody really care what my dd looks like? Probably not. The funny thing is that she calls herself a princess when I can at least get her hair in a pony, it makes her feel pretty, I guess. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until she discovers that a dirty t-shirt is not always the best choice. Same with your dd. I'm thinking about some really cute scrapbook pages right now of your dd in her favorite dress! It's one of those situations that sounds funny when you're not the one in it! Although I cringe, I let my dd wear what she wants and just talk about how most people like to wear clean clothes each day. Maybe you could buy some other pretty ribbon with your dd to decorate other dresses she owns to make them pretty too?

Ladybug Mama to two beautiful girls, (3 yrs. & 18 mos.), and wife to crazy freefalling DH.
Seasons of Cosleeping:

...dd1 ... dd2 ... me with both ... me with dd2 ... dh with dd1
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by goodcents
However, I do think she gets very emotional over the dress, and that is what concerns me. She is a bit of a sensitive kid in general, so it make just be that, but sweeet lord! she can flip into hysterics if we suggest anotheer outfit. That said it goes both ways. When she wakes up the first thing she asks is "Can I wear my favorite dress today?" when I respond yes she goes shreiking around in delight
it is ever so heartbreaking and sweet!
With my ds (who gets very emotional when I throw out trash or drain the water in the tub), the key would be to tell her she may wear nothing but her favorite dress


It might be a good idea to resist the temptation to ask her about other clothes. My idea was to figure out what is appealing about the dress, find other great dresses and somewhat hide them so when she discovers them on her own, it is without there being any feeling of a hidden agenda of trying to separate her from her beloved, KWIM?
 

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My daughter (now 6.5) wore the same pants and shirt for 8 months straight at the age of 4. i just washed them at night. She moved on and now won't stop changing clothes! I liked it better back then. For her i think it was just an issue of maximum comfort and constancy when there were a lot of changes going on in our lives. She is also a highly sensitive child. I would never think of telling her she couldn't wear them. I have not had any say in her clothing choice since the age of 2.
 

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One day, she just won't want to wear it anymore. I wouldn't worry about it too much, although it can be frustrating. My dd went through a lengthy jag when she was 2.5/3 of only wearing her absolute favorite dress, day in and day out, even though it was too short and made of fleece, during the summer. Then things were cool for a while, until she spotted a Disney dress-up dress on consignment, changed her name to the character name, and wore the increasingly shredded, synthetic dress pretty solidly for months. Then she just stopped, and asked if she could give it away.
:
 

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I hope it is normal my kids have all done this.....actually my 5 year old is still doing it but she has revolving dresses now. But that is because we found dresses cheap at a thrift store.
So I have time to wash one while she weres another.
:
 

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I think it's pretty normal. My DD definitely goes through phases where all she'll wear is a certain kind of dress, or a t-shirt and the same kind of shorts every single day. She's 100% like your DD about her hair - it has to be worn down every single day, and she has an absolute meltdown if I try to fix it differently.

I've talked to other moms (and there was even a story about it in the Hanna Andersson catalog) whose kids insist on wearing the exact same thing every single day. Have you thought about (or is it even possible) to buy a duplicate dress? That way you wouldn't have to wash it every single night. I know when my DD would only wear one kind of dress, I bought her four in different colors for the summer.

Just a thought,
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I guess I am not the only one :LOL!

I have decided I am not even going to suggest something different. My dd is pretty confident & not the least bit shy. I am sure when she is good and ready it something else will strike her fancy. I wish I was able to buy the same sorta of dress. We bought it in March though, and it was out with the easter displays. I don't think we will find another one!
 

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My boys both have had the costume phase where all they will wear is a superhero costume (cape and all). We've gone to the mall, movies, market- everywhere in these costumes. I was able to get them 2 different costumes so at least we could 'try' to rotate them. They got over it eventually.
Currently, my 4 yr old niece gets frantic without her pony panties. That's the only panties she'll wear. My sister went on a mad dash to a number of stores to find another pack of them for her. Really, it seems like all children do this at some point. My MIL tells me that my dh hated clothes and would strip everywhere they went when he was young. I guess the same outfit everyday is better than your child running naked through the store!


Just a thought- if it's the ribbon then maybe you could take her shopping for hair ribbons. I loved them when I was her age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh - i forgot to add that the "green dress with the pink ribbon" most of the time only acts as an undergarment. most of the time she wears either a pink princess dresss up dress or a snow white dresss up dress over it
 

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Spiderman was getting worn out so I ordered Batman. Now my 3 year old will rotate them every single day after day after day. I figure it's his body, his choice. He looked through the catalog w/me and picked out Batman. Maybe take her shopping for back up clothes; ie. when her dress gets dirty/wet and you can't do an immediate wash. But, let her be the Boss
 

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Ah yes, here comes the little Spiderman now. Couldn't get those jammies off fast enough....

THey have so little control over their lives, ya know. Let 'em be a little OCD once in a while.
 

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I knew your dd was 3 yo. after reading 2 sentences, and before you mentioned her age! LOL. Its a classic 3 yo. thing. My son wore the same ratty basketball jersey every day for months on end.
 

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my mom got so embarrassed when my sis was about 3 and started dressing herself... shed dress for preschool in a frilly dress, tights had to match, even if they were full of holes, lol, and a pair of too big cowboy boots she got from a cousin.... this came after the naked stage which im told emabarressed me (im 2 years older), lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shaina
i remember having favorite outfits as a child luckily my mom was a hippie an didn't care
So its inappropriate for me to care about my child?
 

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my 2 year old sort of started this, she has a favorite green dress, because she is growing, it now almost looks like a long shirt. My dh asked me why she doesn't wear pants with it.
Now i will tell her that i have to wash it and she will wear something else, but it i put 20 dress out for her she would pick this one everytime!
 
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