When was the last time that your son put on his T-shirt inside out?
When was the last time that your daughter put the right shoe on her left foot and vice versa?
When was the last time that your son put on his pants with the fly at his back?
I’d like to hear that the answer is never, even though I think you’ve lived at least one of those situations mentioned above; and it’s absolutely normal and usual.
Kids are learning, among many other things, to observe the surroundings, and precisely as they’re learning, their observation is not always representative of the reality. The same happens with the distinction between front and back, and their right side to their left one. Only with a based trial and error practice and learning to observe correctly, the little one will be able to embrace those concepts.
This is a process that, in most of children, doesn’t finish until they’re seven years old.
Although, who has not been confused and pretending to mean right has said left?
Being aware of these situations are common in the day-to-day of our kids’, the clothes we choose to dress them should help them to be conscious of those things and offer to them some elements with which they can learn to observe correctly.
It’s interesting that the kid itself can detect the error, without being helped by the adult, and resolve it. This is the reason why it should be convenient that clothing offered them any kind of elements to make that possible.
For kids it’s easy to realize that a garment is buttoned wrongly because the error is really clear; the garment is twisted and it doesn’t look good. With shoes, maybe they can’t see the mistake at first sight, but when they get up and start to walk they’ll feel uncomfortable. However, the situation is different when is the T-shirt what’s inside out. It’s really probable that they don’t figure it out until someone tells it to them.
Are these kind of clothes with which kids need to be more careful with and emphasize the observation to distinguish their parts. Just acting like this, their autonomy and their dress skills will be daily improved.
To encourage their interest, garments should offer a difficulty accorded to the kids’ age. And this is where you have to play your role as parent selecting and buying their clothes, because you should have in mind your kids’ skills and the ones that are about to come. But above all, remember that there’s no hurry and that this is not a competition. It’s necessary going step by step and the little ones need to surpass their current phase before moving forward.
On the contrary, they’ll feel overwhelmed and the only thing we’ll get is that they’ll lose the confidence in themselves and the interest in continuing to learn. And that’s the last thing we want. So, with that in mind, and knowing their motor skills, you should choose carefully the next clothes that your kids will need.
You’ll see how glad they’ll be and how proud they’ll feel of themselves for achieving these new skills that just some months ago seemed to be so far.
Now I’d like to know your opinion about it.
What do you do to help your kids to learn to get dressed?
I’m all ears! We’ll meet on the comments below.
All the best,
Photo credits: 01 – lafromaniphone | 02 – balancingbedlam | 03 – arimethia | 04 – Liz Banfield | 05 – Howwemontessori | 06 – My misty morning tumbler | 07 – The inspired treehouse | 08 – Pinterest | 09 – Parents.com