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My son is three and has not been feeling well this week, however he has gotten upset with me about having to get dressed or something simple and has tried to hit me. I put him in time out! Is there anything else I should have done? Thank you, Susan


Brenda Nixon, M.A. Replied: It could be a passing thing -- there are days I don't feel like getting dressed, too. At three, your son has the motor and cognitive abilities to dress himself. I encourage you to offer him two acceptable outfits, let him pick, lay the clothes on the bed and walk out of the room. He is responsible for dressing himself...just as he'll be when he's in school. Avoid turning a simple morning routine into a battle of the wills, which will put you both in a bad mood and start out a new day in an ugly way. Rather make mornings lighthearted. Another fun thing to do is to "race" him and offer to see who can get dressed first. This always worked with my daughters...who are now older and dressing themselves.
Posted On 2009-01-13 08:03:43
Jill Wodnick Replied: It is a tricky balance deciding when boundaries need to be clearly set and when a little body needs more support. As you said, your son was not feeling well and responding inappropriately, or so we are ascribing. Is it possible that his resistance to geting dressed has been a greater need for snuggles and sleep--just a thought. I am not a big fan of time outs, I believe your son needs to know how his behaviour made you feel and then make ammends. Using warm baths, snuggles and extra floor time playing together is another way to give him more quality time and redirect his body.
Posted On 2008-06-19 23:07:46
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