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How can using the five senses help me dress my child?

From Priscilla Dunstan, author and child development expert Dressing a toddler is at best a difficult task. They wriggle, they squirm and some children just plain refuse! By using the senses to help not only with what you dress your toddler in but also in how you approach the task, dressing will become a much easier task. We all have five senses but from birth and onward, we all have a dominan

From Priscilla Dunstan, author and child development expert Dressing a toddler is at best a difficult task. They wriggle, they squirm and some children just plain refuse! By using the senses to help not only with what you dress your toddler in but also in how you approach the task, dressing will become a much easier task. We all have five senses but from birth and onward, we all have a dominant sense which guides how we go about our lives. This dominant sense is like a filter for how we communicate and understand the world around us and in the case of dressing a toddler, it determines how they behave. The four sensory modes are Tactile (touch); Auditory (sound); Visual (sight); and Taste/Smell. Depending on which dominant sense your little one is, regarding that sense when you are dressing them will make the task a success! Tactile childTactile children will always help you take their clothes off and they love being naked. Movement is their main concern so dressing them in easy-to-move in clothes that are a size larger will help. They will lose patience with clothing that has ornamentation, so plain clothing is best. As to getting them dressed, distraction is the best option. Distract them through the use of their own body or your own. Can you turn your hand into a duck and put it through the sleeve? Or racing with tactile children works too: How quickly can we get dressed? Auditory childAuditory children respond to music; having a favorite "dressing" song that you both enjoy singing will help take the focus off of the pulling on and off clothes. Chatting about the day and singing nursery rhymes also helps. Try to buy tops that don't go over the head: The auditory child's ears are sensitive. They will tend to prefer no-nonsense clothing, however fabrics like taffeta, corduroy and mittens with bells make for fun play clothes. You may also notice that different-soled shoes will charm your auditory toddler into dancing, just to hear the sound. Visual childEven as toddlers, visual children start to show preferences for color and combinations. They will begin to form ideas about what they will and will not wear. They won't like to be dirty, so having a spare change of clothes is always handy. Allowing these children to pick out or have a say in what they wear will mean that they will actually help you get them dressed. Of course if they wish to wear their favorite Superman outfit to your friend's wedding, pointing out pictures of what other people will be wearing will help you persuade them to wear more appropriate clothes, to make them "look" nice. Taste/smell childTaste/smell children don't like to be hurried. The dressing process will need to be a calm and pleasant experience, so rushing to dress your child isn't a good idea. They will gravitate to clothing that has a personal connection to their lives -- a T-shirt from Disneyland, the jumper granny worked on or jeans just like their big brother. They will tend to have favorites, so buying favorite clothes in twos will help when they want to wear the same outfit day after day. Re-rinsing clothes can help with the sensitivity they often have to detergents when washing their clothes. Read an excerpt from "Child Sense" here, and find more answers to your questions here.