There comes a time when your little girl or boy wants to dress themselves in the morning. And though it's tempting to say "no, not today sweetheart, we’re in a hurry”, you might want to reconsider – because this simple, everyday task actually comes with a bunch of benefits for you and your child.
- When children dress themselves, they practice muscle and joint coordination.
- Children’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are also at work here.
- Learning to dress yourself builds confidence and independence.
- Choosing their own clothes is a great way for kids to express themselves.
- It readies your child to take on larger responsibilities, like doing chores around the house.
Arms through here, Legs through there
Have you noticed how warm you get from dressing two kids in complete winter suits? That’s because dressing yourself, or somebody else for that matter, involves a lot of physical work. Expert on children’s motor skills, Mette Vainer Wegloop, explains how putting on clothes activates the muscles and joints in a child’s body:
“When arms and legs get to pull and push and work their way through tight fabrics, the child exercises both the larger muscles groups and the tiny muscles situated close to the sinews and joints. It’s this muscle and joint coordination that is so important for children’s body position, the feeling that they are in control and empowered to take on different physical tasks in life.”
It Builds Confidence and Independence
Pulling on a tight sweater or pushing your legs through a pair of trousers is not only great for mobility; it also strengthens children’s beliefs in themselves. “Hey, if I could do this, then I can also do this and that!“ The next thing you know, you can ask your little girl or boy to hang their jacket on its hook.
“I see a lot of parents helping their kids in and out of the car, carrying their schoolbags, and it deprives the children of the experience with taking care of themselves. It would be much better if mom and dad would wait for little Amanda to do these everyday tasks herself,” says Mette Vainer Wegloop.
An extra bonus is that your child will have a new platform for self-expression. Will it be the colourful mismatched outfit today, or their favourite tractor sweatshirt? Note: If you don’t fancy a ballerina’s tutu in the middle of winter, you can always select a handful of pieces and let your child choose among them in the morning.
Meet our Team of Experts
One expert is an experienced family advisor who has met hundreds of Danish families. Another expert has dedicated his entire life to researching children's well-being and development through play. And some of the other experts specialise in children's motor skills, sensory integration, and learning. Together, they inspire us to provide your children with better sleep, develop them through play, and support them when they study.
At FLEXA Insight, you will find all the experts’ valuable insights, tips, and ideas.