Getting Dressed with Humor

tshirtDesperate, one day, to get my active and resistant 3-year-old dressed, I came up with this game (and other modifications). Maybe it’ll help someone else –certainly we enjoy it a lot!

Me: “Hey David, time to get dressed. Here’s your hat!” I say, waving his underwear in the air.

David: “That’s not my hat, that’s my underwear!”

Me: “No way! Look — it’s got holes for your ears!”

David: “NO!” (gales of laughter)

Me: “Yes, see, it fits perfectly” (putting the underwear on my son’s head)

David: “No!” (more laughter), “it’s for my BOTTOM!”

Me: “Okay, okay — try it.” (David starts to put it on in the right place, while I keep spouting off, and the more I play up being the know-it-all, the more he loves it) but you’ll see that it doesn’t fit. SEE, it doesn’t fit. Brother! Imagine thinking that a hat is underwear. Oh…oh dear. (It’s starting to be obvious that he was right)…Oh…Oh my…but if that is underwear, what’s this?” (Said while holding up the shirt.)

David: “My SHIRT!”

Me: “No way! It’s for wearing on your legs.”

David: “It’s not for your legs, it’s for your arms.”

Me: “My arms…but it doesn’t fit my arms!” I say while attempting to wear his shirt. And on we go (having a former career as a clown has paid off!).

These games are fun for us both, and they get the job done!

— A mother in Winnipeg, Canada

2 thoughts on “Getting Dressed with Humor

  1. My husband does a version of this on a good day when we are in tune with our daughter and she is struggling..He also dances around the room with her pants on his head or on her head and this goes here, right? kind of thing. It breaks up the monotony of the I can’t get dressed problem in a.m. with daughter who struggles because of FASD. You do what works right and get creative in the process.

  2. I love this idea of getting playful with getting dressed rather than just struggling through it!

    One thing that has worked for me when my daughter has the I-don’t-want-to-get-dressed grumpies, is flinging. For some reason, if she says she doesn’t want to wear that shirt and I fling it across the room while saying, “no way shirt! We don’t want you!”, my daughter will explode with laughter and if I keep doing it, in a few minutes, barring any more pressing emotional need, she will be ready to put something on. Usually that poor shirt that just got flung across the room! So…here’s to flinging with abandon. It does wonders for me too!

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