Parenting is inarguably a very hard job, and it gets harder when there are some unexpected curveballs. You may have to juggle between household chores, your job, and making lunch for the picky eater while also doing a million other tasks.

Adding to the misery, when kids start going to play school, they realise they want to dress up on their own. No longer do they need their favourite soft toy, they need to wear the latest top they got in their favourite colour when it is freezing outside and it is no less than a challenge to cater to all their requirements.

It is a challenge to let kids dress how they want to, but here is how you can be a great parent and let them express themselves while also making sure they are safe and comfortable.

1. Do not argue, give them options

Children don’t take nicely to being told ‘no’, telling them no makes sure they resist you. The trick is to make them think they are making the decisions; instead of letting them run to the wardrobe, give them three to four pre-picked outfits to choose from. This makes them feel as if they are making the calls themselves. This saves you time, and a morning argument with an unrelenting child.

2. Accommodate their tastes

Your child is developing their own tastes and habits, and it is important to let them set these boundaries and respect them. If your child does not like the feel of wooly fabric, or the colour yellow, then you must not ask them to do it against their will. They can instead wear something in a colour or fabric which they like.

3. Let them do it themselves

Children must learn that picking the outfit is only one part of getting dressed. The real challenge is to start putting on the outfit they have selected so carefully. Teach them to put on their own clothes, most kids start picking up this habit by age 4. Eventually they will start wearing t-shirts as they realise they are the easiest to put on.

4. Preplan the outfits, yours and theirs

The worst part of a morning argument isn’t how annoyed you are, but that you are running late. To avoid wasting precious time, get your clothes out the night before and ask your kid to do the same. It is easier for your child to follow with an example, and by picking out clothes the night before you can avoid the early morning fuss altogether.

5. Layer it, but gently

Children do not realise how not dressing appropriately according to the weather might be harmful for them, which is why they wear what they want to. If your child wants to wear a fullsleeved sweater on a hot day, make them wear a tank top underneath as underclothes. This way they can ask you to take off the sweater when they are hot. Similarly, carry a jacket when your toddler refuses to put on warm clothes.

These tricks will help you understand what your child wants, and give it to them. By respecting the wishes of your child you let them establish independence, which is an important part of raising your children to be confident.

Ritika Tiwari
Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Content Strategist