What Age Should a Child Be Dressing Themself?

A mom writes in asking for advice about her four-year-old stepdaughter. She says this little girl refuses to dress herself at all. Like, won’t even put shoes or a coat on herself. She will throw a temper tantrum if asked to do it herself This mom has a two-year-old of her own, who can dress herself and likes to. She says that the four-year-old’s family (her boyfriend and his family) continue to dress her and avoid the issue.

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A member of the community asks:

“When should a child dress themselves?

I have a question… what is everyone’s thoughts on the age a child should be able to dress themselves with little to no help? I’m struggling with a four-year-old that won’t attempt any of it by herself. She just throws a massive temper tantrum.

Her Dad and his whole family do it all for her. She doesn’t think she needs to do it by herself. Not even shoes, socks, or a coat. But my two-year-old wants to do it all herself and can do most of it. Idk what to do to get the 4-year-old to do any of it. (The 4-year-old is my boyfriend’s daughter, we just started living together).

Just asking for everyone’s thoughts on age and ideas to help her start doing it on her own since she starts school next year.”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Mom Who Wants to Know What Age a Child Should Be Dressing Themself?

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionWhen should a child dress themselves?I have a question… what is everyone's thoughts on the age a child…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Friday, May 22, 2020

Advice Summary

What Age Should a Child Be Dressing Themself?

The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.

“My mom dressed me till I was in first grade… Not because I didn’t want to but just cause she wanted I guess… Lol but I don’t think there’s a huge rush on it. She’ll eventually want to do it on her own. Everyone develops and enhances at different ages.”

“My two year old loves to do everything by herself. My 4 year old will poorly attempt anything and then ask for help. I usually make her try. If it’s getting dressed, I’ll do one sock and you do the other. I’ll put the shirt over your head, you push your arms through yourself…

… Help her by doing some of it, but then making her do some as well. And make it fun/funny. I’ll “accidentally” catch a toe on the sock when putting it on. Or pretending like the shirt is stuck on her head and making it sound like I’m trying really hard to get it over. That also doubles as teaching them to not be scared if it does get stuck when they do it themselves…

… She’s lived 4 years of people always helping her and/or doing it for her. It’s gonna take a while before she will start being independent. Patience and consistency from you will go a really long way! Good luck.”

“Maybe lay out a couple of outfits for her to choose from and then encourage her to get dressed in what she wants. That way she’s getting some help and still working on her independence.”

“Kids are different and what age one kid is comfortable dressing themselves at is completely different for another kid. My daughter was opinionated on what she liked as little as 1 and then my youngest son let me buy his clothes up till 13. I have 4 kids and each one cared differently about dressing themselves. Maybe try letting her pick her clothes out and she will be more excited about putting them on, have her pick them the night before to build anticipation about them the next morning.”

“My 4-year-old just recently started putting his pants on by himself, still struggles with shirts. My 3-year-old daughter has been dressing herself since she was 2, so it really depends.”

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