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crazymamaof3
crazymamaof3 asks:
Q:

My 7 yo for about 4 yrs now will only wear skirts, dresses, no pants ever. We are going camping and pants are required; she refuses to go, is this normal?

She was very excited about going camping until I informed her she had to wear a sweat outfit to bed and pants during the day.. She got very upset and said she didn't want to go now and that she hates girlscouts... I am a leader so i need to be there... Any advice on how to get her to want to go is appreciated
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Apr 25, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It is about the rules and picking battles.  If her outfits are acceptable for school, she is at least acceptable for school.  she does not have to go to camp--you do. You also do not need to make exceptions for her. the rules are clear-sweats and pants if you want to go. If you do not abide by the rules, you do not go.

the first rule of parenting is to establish who is the parent.  If she must accompany you to camp, then I would allow pants with a skirt over it or modified outfit with the stated requirements as obvious.

7 year olds can be tough, but hang in there. I'll bet she will come around.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (5)

aqblickley
aqblickley writes:
Hi crazymamaof3,

I can relate, not because I have kids of my own, but because I WAS that kid. For the entire sixth year of my life, I refused to touch coats, jackets, or pants. I always wanted to be in pretty skirts or dresses... Then again, I also went through a phase where I wouldn't dream of wearing a dress (whew! what a nightmare).

Eventually, after mornings and mornings of clothing battles with my mom trying to get me to wear pants, or at the very least, a coat, she decided to stop fighting with me. She tried both letting me freeze, and preventing me from doing activities that required warmer clothes than I would agree to wear.

What was most effective? Getting left out of fun times that absolutely required a coat, such as feeding my outdoor bunny rabbit.

If there's a family member around who can watch your daughter while you go on the camping trip, you might try going the tough love route. It will be disappointing and frustrating for you - and  I guarantee that even though she might not realize it beforehand, it will eventually be very disappointing for your daughter as well.

When she goes to her next Girl Scouts meeting, kids, troop leaders, and other parents will be glowing about the fun time they had (and will likely have pictures to prove it). My gut tells me that the sad feeling of missing out on a memorable experience like the Girl Scouts camping trip will have her re-thinking her clothing choices the next time around.

Below, I'm also linking to a fun activity that teaches kids how to make a dressing wheel (and is aimed at reducing morning clothing battles). It might come in handy in the future!

Good luck, and let us know what you decide!

Alex

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lynellen
lynellen writes:
Is your daughter picky about wearing only certain textures with the clothes she is choosing to wear.  Some children who are sensitive to touch or to textures, do not like certain fabrics and refuse to wear clothes based on the "feel" of the fabric.  Pants which cover alot more of the body than a skirt or dress may be uncomfortable.  Can she tell you why she chooses not be wear pants?  If she is one of the kids who are "skin sensitive", an occupational therapist may be able to help.
> 60 days ago

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crazymamaof3
crazymamaof3 writes:
Hi everyone,
Thanks soo much for the advice.  We went and had a great time.  She finally compromised and agreed tobwear pants under her skirts.  I would of hated for her to miss out.  I appreciate ur advice!!
> 60 days ago

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aqblickley
aqblickley writes:
Hi,

Thanks for letting us know the outcome. What a great compromise -- I'm thrilled she agreed to the pants under the skirt option!

Glad you had fun!

Alex
> 60 days ago

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AlexStrange
AlexStrange writes:
My daughter went through a similar phase at that age.  For outings where pants were required, we managed to convince her to wear leggings or fitted cloth pants underneath her skirts.  This worked for us.  It seems as if she could even wear leggings under a gown at night and still be abiding by the rules.  Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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