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Refusing To Get Dressed On Time





You’re trying to leave for work, a dental appointment, or an errand, but your child isn’t dressed. What to do about this procrastination?

• First, give your child ten minutes warning before departure. Use a kitchen timer and encourage her to beat the timer. Always praise her for being ready early or on time.

• Second, if your child isn’t dressed at departure time and you’re driving to the daycare or the sitter’s, put her clothes and shoes in a bag and take her to the car dressed as she is. If she likes, she can try to get dressed in the car, though that will be difficult with the seat belt on.

• Third, provide breakfast in the morning, but if your child is not finished with it by the departure time, that’s her problem.

• Fourth, don’t nag during the time your child is stalling. Just have a rule like, “No TV until you’re dressed.”

• Finally, the hard part. Don’t dress her at the last minute. That’s called a rescue, and it’s counterproductive.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

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