My recent blog on Natural and Logical Consequences has generated some empathetic comments, so we've decided to offer some further thoughts about specific stories that our readers have shared.
The first is from a mother whose two-year-old daughter resists dressing, either with or without assistance. Trying to dress a reluctant toddler can certainly be a challenge. You may try to begin the process by telling her ahead of time what is going to happen. “After breakfast, we are going to change out of your pajamas and into your play clothes so we can go to Grandma’s house.” This way, she knows and is prepared for what is coming next. When it is time to change clothes, remember to give her limited choices so she has a sense of having some control over the situation. Too many choices can be overwhelming to a toddler and will lead to discontent.
Montessori Parenting - Practical Life Challenges: Getting Dressed
- “Would you like to wear your blue jumper or pink skirt?”
- “Would you like to wear your brown lace-up shoes or your black buckle shoes?”
- “Would you like Mommie to help you button your sweater?”
As you observe your child dressing, make mental notes or even ask her about her preferences. Does she prefer Velcro to snaps, zippers to buttons? Does she prefer certain colors? Is she partial to certain fabrics and adverse to others? This will help you when choosing clothes for her. It will also let you know where she might need more practice with different types of fasteners.
Set up her bedroom so items of clothing are easily accessible. Using small hangers, low hooks, shelves and baskets that are within reach will heighten her curiosity and she will delight in being independent.
Exercise patience and conduct observations, and you may find that your child will teach you about her needs and interests and soon, dressing will no longer be a power struggle.
NAMC offers a full curriculum and training program specific to Infants, Toddlers and Twos.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 17, 2009.