Ellie Dixon 
Article Title
Getting your toddler dressed can be a battle 
Posted Date

Getting your child dressed should be the simplest of tasks, but frequently turns into a armed combat between you and your toddler. Even if you want them to don their most-loved sweater, a control-hungry toddler is very likely to shout an emphatic "No!" if the garment was picked without his or her being consulted and approving the choice. This can make getting your child dressed a major challenge for the parents of toddlers.

Next time you face this challenge .... Provide choices. Granting your toddler total control over the contents of his or her wardrobe probably isn't a very good idea and certainly isn't practical - unless of course you don't mind them to be wearing a short sleeved top and open toed sandals on a freezing winter day, or a tutu and wellies on a trip to the mall. Offering them even a little say in what they wear though, can prevent major confrontations when you're dressing your child. So, offer your toddler a choice between two or three outfits. If she comes up with a weird and wonderful selection of her own come up with a compromise if at all possible - why not offer to let her wear it under her other clothes?

To minimize the chances of inappropriate outfits being selected when you're dressing your child, then pack out-of-season items away. When you go shopping for new clothes, allow your child to choose the outfits he likes best from some that you've already decided will be OK. This won't give you a cast-iron guarantee that he'll wear them, but it will improve your chances! Don't offer your toddler too many options. When you're dressing your child, if you offer her a cupboard full of choices you're practically writing the script for a tantrum. Too many options will overwhelm and frustrate your child - she simply won't be able to make a decision. So keep her choices down to two or three at most.

Praise his choices. Compliment your child and make them feel good when they've chosen a suitable outfit, but try not to criticize him when his outfit is mismatched and, from your point of view, not very well chosen. When dressing your child offer up ideas if he's open to them, "that red checked shirt would go well with those red trousers, don't you think?" but don't worry if he doesn't follow your guidance. He has plenty of time to develop good taste and develop his own style.

Lastly, when the challenge of dressing your child threatens to get you down, try to hold onto your sense of humor. You're going to need it. Although once the toddler years are past wardrobe choices should get less stressful, eccentricities are certain to reappear and multiply with a vengeance once the teenage years are upon you!

Ellie Dixon lives in deepest rural Devon, England with her husband and two very large Newfoundland dogs. She is passionate about vintage illustrated children's books and loves to restore and edit them for today's kids to rediscover. Visit her website, Scruffy's Bookshop, to download some great books for pre-schoolers and older children, and while you're there sign up for her free monthly newsletter. 
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