Guest post from BloggaMama:
We never know how important it is to be able to dress ourselves until we become parents and try to teach our kids how to do so.
Getting our little ones to undress themselves will evidently never be an issue, unless they’ve put on a new Superman costume that they love and refuse to take off. But for children to learn how to put on clothes it is an entirely different story.
INDEPENDENT DRESSING IS IMPORTANT FOR DEVELOPMENT
In an interview with Parents Magazine, Karen Ruskin, Psy.D., LMFT, explained that honing this skill is such an important milestone, both psychologically and emotionally. It significantly lays the foundation for other skills to be developed, such as fine motor skills.
The average age in which kids start demonstrating this initiative is around 2 to 3 years old, though in some cases children don’t learn how to put on their own clothes until 5 or 6. Because of its connection with other developmental factors, the earlier you teach your children to pick out their own outfits, the better.
KEEP CLOTHES SIMPLE FOR LITTLE HANDS
One key to jumpstarting your child’s road to independence is giving them the proper tools to be independent. Such as easy-to-wear clothes.
This means nothing too complicated to put on. T-shirts and sweaters that have to be slipped on over the head rather than buttoning them up are good examples.
In terms of shoes – slip-ons, velcro straps and anything with snap buttons will essentially make it easier for your children to complete their outfit.
KEEP AN ORGANIZED CLOSET
It’s not enough to just buy them the right set of clothes, how their closet is organized matters too.
Of course with all the toys and clutter that run rampant during the busy work week, tidying their closet might be the last thing on a parent’s mind. But it’s important for children to be able to see and reach for their clothes if you want to encourage self-dressing.
So if the wardrobe is a mess, you’ll need to sort it out. Make everything accessible and label drawers so they know what clothes are appropriate for school and the weekends.
To keep the little clothes and accessories extra tidy, add partitions and drawer organizers for optimal organization. The drawers should ideally be below their height and open shelving should be within arm’s reach.
As much as it is crucial to have the wardrobe neat, it’s also just as important to decorate the closet.
BE CREATIVE WITH THE CLOSET
Like the rest of their room, the closet needs to have some personality, and just as we love finishing touches, so do kids. Closet Guru Lisa Adams suggests that you paint the closet walls with your child’s favorite color, or do something a little more fun by replacing drawer knobs with ones that have visually appealing designs.
A well decorated closet will motivate your kids to be the ones pulling out the items and eventually putting them on.
With all this in mind, your kids will learn that self-dressing is exciting!
It is vital to note, however, that you should never force kids to dress themselves when they’re not ready. You need to give them the freedom to choose, and let them approach you when they need help. Not giving them that breathing room may impede their progress.
BloggaMama is a super parent when it comes to keeping her house and kids in order. At home, she encourages independence but also awareness for others so that her children, in one way or another, know how to take care of themselves but also are not afraid to ask each other for help when they need it. Watch out for her blog soon!
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