Why do my kids hate getting dressed so much?! They are 2 and 5. It inevitably causes a battle, and when we finally depart someone is crying. I can’t get the diaper changed or clothes on, and the 5 year old just ignores and hates me when I force her. It’s brutal! Even if we are going to their favorite activity! I need a fix so that I am not in a bad mood too. I also try giving us plenty of time and having all things laid out for them.
Hi, thanks for your question. I just want you to know you are not alone many of todays parents suffer the same fate. Let me start by asking you how do you know your children hate getting dressed or that your daughter hates you for making her get dressed? You are assuming what is not true and are parenting from this assumption which is frustrating you and your husband. You have no idea if you children hate you for making them do what they need to do because you think they do it effectively is crippling your ability to properly lead your family. Why do so many parents fall for this false thinking? Why should an adult parent care what a 5 year thinks about them?
The answer is very simple today's parents are more interested in their children's psyche than they are character developing. Why because the experts said so. My mother could care less about what her four boys thought about her when it was time to get ready for some event. She made it crystal clear that nothing less than getting ready in 5 minutes was paramount for us to accomplish. If it didn't happen then life was going to get difficult for us and we knew that. She was very consistent with these expectations and my dad was the ace in the hole if things didn't go as expected. My mother told us what was expected with no explanation because she knew it was a waste of breath. She never tried to talk us into character/doing the right thing, she expected it. My mother as many mothers of that era understood that when you develop the child's character a healthy psyche will naturally follow.
This is an easy fix if you and your husband want to sit and plan it out. Keep reading John's book as Gretchen so nicely recommended.
First thing is to recommit your marriage to each other. Remember, you married each other and birthed the children. With that in mind, you both need to get your children to pay attention to you, up to now you have been paying attention to them. Here is John's 6 steps for getting children to pay attention to you:
- Speak from a position of authority, don't bend down or ask, "okay?"
- Use as few words as possible.
- Use leadership speech, for example, I want you to, you need to be dressed in 5 minutes I will be back to see that it is done. don't
- Don't explain it leads to arguments- children don't care about the reasons, they're just looking to get their own way.
- If they ask why say because I said so.
- Then, walk away.
If they don't listen, then go to consequences:
- Stop repeating yourself- tell them once what is expected.
- Do what you can when you can- with 4,5,6 year old you have several days to apply a consequence, just need to remind him of the crime.
- Work on one problem at a time- pick the worse problem from your list of 10, deal with it and let the others go.
- The punishment should not match the crime- discipline needs to be memorable in order to be effective.
The biggest thing is your attitude. You need a tone of calm and confident that this is going to happen and our children are going to listen to us. The good news is you can start this right now. If this seems like it's a bit overwhelming then I would strongly suggest that you contact one of our fantastic coaches to help you navigate this. It would be an investment in your marriage and family that will pay handsome dividends. Remember things get worse before they get better but if you stay the course you will put your family on a whole new track that leads to what all parents ultimately desire.
One last thing, the research for the past four decades have been very clear the happiest, mentally well adjusted children and adults are the one who obey people of legitimate authority. I pray this helps bring some hope to your family. You can do it!!!!!!!!
Certified Rosemond Parent Coach
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