Refusing To Get Dressed On Time
You're trying to leave for work, a dental appointment, or an errand---but your child isn't dressed. What to do about this procrastination?
- First: Give your child a 10-minute warning before departure. Use a kitchen timer and encourage her to "beat the timer." Always praise her for being ready early or on time.
- Second: If your child isn't dressed at departure time and you're driving to the daycare or the sitter’s, use natural consequences. Put her clothes and shoes in a bag and take her to the car dressed as she is. If she likes, she can try to get dressed in the car, though that will be difficult with the seat belt on.
- Third: Provide breakfast in the morning, but if your child is not finished with it at departure time, that's her problem.
- Fourth: Don't nag during the time your child is stalling. Just have a rule, like "no TV until you're dressed."
- Finally: The hard part: don't dress her at the last minute. That's called rescuing, and it's counter-productive.
If you have other questions about your child's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.