5 Tips for Toddlers Who Freak Out About Getting Dressed from ‘How Toddlers Thrive’

Is your toddler driving you nuts? If so, that’s totally okay! You are among friends here. All of us have had toddlers who made us bonkers. But what you have that we didn’t is this new book, How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein, Ph.D. (with a fun and reassuring foreword by Sarah Jessica Parker). Tovah is also the director of the Center for Toddler Development at Barnard College. Check out Parents editorial assistant Ruthie, who recently attended Tovah’s book party.

Tovah tackles the most common issues and gives you real-life research and advice you can put to use. First of all, parents need to understand how those barely-walking baby minds think. The skill they most need to learn at age 2 is not how to share a toy or pee on the potty, but self-regulation. That alone is the key to their future success, Dr. Klein says.

Other topics in the book include thinking like a toddler (which helps you tame them), and “cracking the code” on everything from eating/sleeping/peeing routines to tantrums to sharing/playing/being alone. She’s full of useful tips that will help you and and your 2- to 5-year-old.

I really like these 5 Tips for Toddlers Who Freak Out About Getting Dressed:

1. Prepare in Advance
Put out two outfits your child can choose from in the morning. They need to feel a sense of power.

2. Give Limited Choices
“Dress or long pants?”

3. Buy Fewer Clothes
The fewer clothes your child has to choose from, the fewer fights you will have with her. Plus, you’ll save money!

4. Let Her Dress Herself
Even if you’re in a hurry, take the time to let her put that sock on. She will feel so proud.

5. Make It a Game
Whenever a tantrum is about to erupt, put a pair of panties on your head to turn tears into giggles.



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