Just like the curiosity we earlier discussed when babies get to feed themselves, parents and guardians might also wonder when they get to dress themselves. The former being related to food and inner sweetness has the potential of being quickly learned; Of course, every child is eager when it comes to what is sweet.
Learning to dress, on the other hand, might not seem as natural and self-learning. This is why it’s essential to know how to teach a child to dress themselves.
There are times when parents or guardians enjoy the act of dressing up their child adorably. There are no pressing matters to attend to at such moments, and they seem to have the whole time in the world to put on a trouser and top on a child. That’s adorable and normal of a parent.
However, the eye-opening issues and responsibilities begin to pop up and make you realize the need to teach your child to dress herself. Late for work, multi-tasking to make sure you don’t get to church late, or preparing your child’s breakfast when he’s late for school already.
In these scenarios, a child dressing himself up is a plus and makes things easier for everyone concerned.
Why Teaching Children To Dress Themselves is Important
Although the time-saving benefit of children dressing themselves has been mentioned, there are other benefits to teaching a child to dress himself. It helps develop many skills that facilitate and complements your child’s mental and physical development. Below are some benefits;
- Cognitive development
A child develops cognitive skills by learning to dress himself. This happens when learning the process and order in which he is shown to wear clothes. He can notice each movement and understand the patience needed for each stage in a matter of time.
- Motor Skills
When teaching children to dress themselves, practical aspects help fine-tune their practical skills. It helps them master the handling of things and how to achieve things with their hands or legs. Examples are when putting on socks, dragging zippers, or tying shoelaces. This becomes more effective and impacting when they practice wearing socks or shorts, balancing on one leg.
Teaching Children to dress themselves at different ages
Parents and guardians sometimes wonder when it is right to start teaching their wards how to dress.
While some are expecting a specific age number to start the lesson, there is no particular age for a child to begin dressing himself.
Rather than wait for a certain age or stage in a child’s life, parents should make this a step by step thing; hence the lesson should start once they feel their child is catching a glimpse of how to dress or making advances towards wearing clothes.
Meanwhile, let’s look at some ages and the advances or signs they make at dressing themselves;
1 Year Old
At this age, possible efforts a child makes are;
- Holding up his arm to wear sleeves and positioning feet to put on shoes
- Pulling off his socks
- Pulling his arms through the sleeves and legs through his pants
2 Years Old
At this age, it’s possible;
- Your child can take off his sweater
- Help in pushing down his pants
- Find the armholes in his shirts in advance
3 Years Old
- Wearing a T-Shirt with little or no assistance
- Putting on Socks with little or no confusion
- Use zippers
- Button large buttons with big holes
4 Years Old
- A child can put on socks with no assistance
- Wear shoes with no assistance
- Knows the front and back of his clothes
5 Years Old
At this age, a Child can;
- Dress without supervision
How to teach children to dress themselves
Before going into this guide, it’s important to state that teaching a child to dress himself requires patience.
- Pick elastics
When teaching a child to dress, it’s best to use elastic pants that are loose at the waist. Rather than jeans, sweats are better until your child learns to pull them off easily.
- Sit while dressing
It’s best to have your child sit when wearing pants or other bottoms like socks and shoes. It helps him focus on what you’re doing rather than on balancing himself while standing.
- Push Arms through sleeves
Let your child try pushing his arms through his sleeves while wearing shirts. It is one of the necessary steps in letting him take control.
- Spread out the clothes
Make sure to always lay out your child’s clothes before putting them on him. To do this make sure you pick only the shorts and shirt he will be wearing for the day, packing too many clothes might confuse, therefore, lay them out in the order that he is expected to wear them
- Point out the Front and Back
Confusion sometimes arises with differentiating the front of cloth from its back. Make sure to teach the kid to distinguish between the front and back.
- Removal makes it simple
Removing a child’s cloth is more uncomplicated than putting them on.
Your child will equally find this easy; therefore, start with removal when planning to take the teaching slow and serious.
- Comfortable shoes
Begin with shoes that are easy to wear. Demonstrate with your own feet and shoes how you wear them. Let the kid know the toes go in first, then the heels Slip-on shoes that stretch are easier for this teaching.
As earlier mentioned, there is no specific age to begin teaching. Once you feel your child is making trials to dress himself, you should start the teaching.