Why Your Child Needs to Learn How to Dress

little girl in tutu with sweater, backpack, and winter hat

What we wear reflects upon our personality and our character; often it is the first impression we build from. Unfortunately we live in a judgmental world and people will often make subconscious judgments of our personality, character and social class by a quick, swift glance. For these reasons, among others, we need to teach our children the finer points of dressing themselves. So why is this so important?

Teaching Independence

It is important as our children grow, we teach them to slowly become independent. After all, that is what raising a child is about, teaching them to be able to live in the world around them without the help from other sources. Eventually your child will leave home and start a family of their own. Without independence, how will they raise their family?

Teaching your child to dress can be frustrating, especially when most mornings are chaotic to start with, but given some time, your child will soon be dressing themselves. This is a first and crucial step towards independence and it carries much more weight than you can believe.

Pride in Appearance

It is important that as your child develops, he or she learns to take care and pride in their appearance. This is one of the foundations of teaching your child self esteem and pride. It is important that you allow your child to select what they would like to wear, make a few compromises, and ensure that they are still dressed to a reasonable standard in clothes that they like. Allowing your child to select clothes that reflect their personality if important, but ensuring that they don’t run around in a superman outfit everyday is equally important. Teach your child to be proud of what they wear and proud of their appearance.

Manual Dexterity

Teaching your child to dress themselves also teaches your child many other important attributes; one of these attributes is manual dexterity. How often do we use buttons and zippers in our everyday life? They are everywhere right? Teaching your child to dress will teach them the finer manual dexterity needed to operate these obstacles. It will teach them the ability to utilize their fingers for finer tasks and to develop greater hand-eye coordination. Try starting out slowly; assisting them with the finer points along the way, but it is important that we allow them to do these tasks on their own.

As with any task your child undertakes throughout life, dressing themselves will take time and practice to master. It is important that we take the time to help them over the hurdles and teach them to overcome these problems by themselves. Teaching your child to dress teaches discipline, expression, pride, independence and manual dexterity. It is an important task that requires practice, encouragement and supervision. So do yourself and your child a favor and join them in the learning process……..

Mike is a stay-at-home dad, who takes care of his 2 children. Mike has been a regular contributor to children development blogs and has published numerous articles and reviews on baby toys, child development and parenting.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to be sharp dressers.

Image courtesy of vessene via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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