Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

September 21, 2014

Melissa Petcu, Occupational Therapist and Mom, helps with the morning struggle with getting kids dressed

Melissa Petcu OTR/L, Occupational Therapist and mom, knows the morning struglgle about clothes from a personal and clinical perspective.  She has some suggestions for making mornings better! 

Its 8:05. You should have been out the door 5 minutes ago, but your daughter is upstairs having a meltdown over her clothes. Who’s been there? Please tell me I’m not the only mother that goes through this scenario more often than I would like. Here are some strategies that may help reduce the number of times this type of meltdown happens:

  • Try your best to stay clam and understanding. The clothes truly feel too tight, itchy, too loose, etc. to your child. When the clothes feel fine to you, it‚Äôs hard to think of them any other way. Just try to remind your self to take a deep breath and know that the clothes don‚Äôt feel good to your child.          
  • Try picking out the outfit the night before. Sometimes this can help eliminate a morning debate over clothes.
  • Options. Eh, what a tricky one, right? I think that one other option is good. This way if the clothes truly do not feel good, there is another option. I just wouldn‚Äôt give 4 options. I think too many options just gets a little overwhelming. Remember, your child‚Äôs tactile sensitivity is a little heightened right now. It‚Äôs hard to make choices when your body isn‚Äôt at an optimal state.
  • Talk with your pediatric occupational therapist about a therapeutic brushing protocol. This is an option that calms the body prior to putting clothes on.
  • Try some deep pressure prior to getting dressed. Some options are: joint compressions, hugs, or even animal walks from the bathroom to the bedroom.

What strategies have you tried to make the morning routine go smoothly? Do you have any other strategies to share? Leave a comment here to share with Melissa and others.