The TEACHING the children to dress yourself is not easy, but the teacher of primary school childhood the Birbe of Turin, Luisella Iron, gave us some valuable tips to succeed in this challenging goal!
The work always starts with the parents, who must respect the times of a novice child with trousers and a shirt. There is no precise age, the same for everyone, in which to begin this journey: we must listen and observe the children and understand when they are ready. In general, however, it is a stage that is conquered around 2-3 years.
“Much, however, depends on the approach of the parents. More and more often, in fact, it happens that to make mothers and fathers first dress the child, without giving him the time to become familiar with this activity and develop his autonomy ». Instead, in order to be able to learn, it is necessary to reserve the right time for this activity, which for the small can also be understood as a game.
1. Use the right books
«On the market, there are beautiful books that help parents in many educational activities and there are those to learn how to dress and tie shoes, with nursery rhymes and special stories. You can use them to transform the mechanism of dressing into a nice game to play together “.
2. Stimulate its autonomy
“Another important aspect is to give the child time and not give up: if he doesn’t want to put on his shoes, tell him you can’t go out until he has at least tried to put them on. By pricking him a little, he must try to make him understand that his action is fundamental for the performance of daily activities and that only he can carry it out “.
You can then set a small task or goal: «let’s learn to put on our socks alone! With small metaphors, let’s help him learn the mechanism: the fingers are like little bruschetta that must re-enter the den, we roll the sock-like an accordion to play … Once shown the gesture, let him try it, repeating the example used will display the mechanism and make it easier and more fun! ».
3. Make it a game
The shoes with laces are a great challenge: “You can try to make available to your child a test shoe that he can use to practice lacing and unfastening “. Another useful element maybe the frame of Montessori fastenings: by interacting with this material as a game, it will learn to familiarize itself with the object and with the actions necessary to fasten shoes and clothes.
4. Use mirrors
Songs and reading books can help you to know your body: «with a nursery rhyme, you can enhance and describe the body schema: feet, hands, and arms. Understanding where our heads and legs are and what our shoes are used to helps give a body of knowledge “.
Getting in front of the mirror and recognizing one’s own physicality then helps the child to calibrate the measurements: «with a mirror at his height, where you can see the whole, we slip on and take off the clothes and invite him to do it again as a game, perhaps to the sound of music. In this way, in addition to learning the mechanism, the child will recognize his corporeality in front of the mirror ».
5. Show him the movements
Crossing the arms in front to pull out a shirt is, for adults, a foregone movement. For the child it can become a fun moment: «the left hand on the right side seam of the shirt, and the right hand on the left and … voila! Magically the shirt slips off! By teaching this movement, you add a fantastic story, with elves and elves who teach the magic formula of taking off the shirt: fun is guaranteed ».
6. Buy simple clothes
“For the child to fail to dress alone is a great frustration. To avoid discouragement, go step by step: from the beach slipper to the trousers with elasticated waistband and shoes with Velcro closure, alternated with those with laces ».
7. Shop together
Another tip is to choose the things you will wear together with the child, taking into account your tastes. “Buying clothes that he likes stimulates the child to wear them himself”.