My wife and I are both working parents and, as a result of that, school mornings have become a team effort. Specifically, she makes sure our daughters get to school but I’m in charge of making them breakfast and helping our 4-year-old (who is in 4K this year) get dressed.
While the latter might not seem that difficult, it is much harder than you might think. This is because she typically wakes up with a good idea about what she wants to wear every morning. And, more often than not, it consists of her wanting to wear something that isn’t appropriate for the weather.
My daughter can be a bit stubborn, especially first thing in the morning and, as a result of this, her clothing choices would often cause arguments and even a few tears. However, with some simple changes, I have managed to make school mornings much more peaceful.
The first thing I did was let her make controlled decisions. My daughter wants to make decisions for herself and I’m actually OK with that. So, I allow her to do that but keep some control by restricting her choices. For example, since she likes wearing dresses, I’ll usually give her a couple to choose from along with a non-dress option (like pants and a sweatshirt). She’s able to have some independence but it is easier for her to make an appropriate decision.
Second, I started looking for compromises. There are some days when she really wants to wear a dress or skirt that just isn’t going to be warm enough. So, instead of fighting with her over it, I look for ways to make her choice work, such as having her wear the dress over a long-sleeved shirt and pair of pants. This allows her to wear what she wants while still being dressed appropriately.
The last thing I started doing was picking out the outfits in advance. My daughter is not a morning person, at least not on school mornings. As a result, she’s much less cooperative first thing in the morning. This is why we now pick out her outfits, in advance, the night before. She’s not as grumpy and, because of that, it is much easier to work out a compromise. And, as an added bonus for her, not having to worry about arguing over an outfit means I can let her sleep a few extra minutes.
As I said before, these changes have made school mornings much more peaceful in our house. Instead of arguing over what she’s going to wear, I can concentrate on making her and her sister a healthy breakfast and do my part to get them out the door.