Girl is picking out clothes from her Classic chest with 3 drawers from FLEXAThe FLEXA classic chest with 3 drawers is being used to store clothes

How Children Benefit from Dressing Themselves

by Mette Vainer Wegloop

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. 

Highlights:  

  • 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.    


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