Home > Kids > Toddler > Letting Your Kids Dress Themselves Could Improve Their Self-Esteem


Did you know that letting your kids run wild with their wardrobe could help improve their self-esteem?

Ok, you might have to endure a few strange looks when it’s 30 degrees, and they decide a sparkly dress with wellies is the ultimate get up.

But parents who let their children choose their outfits believe it’s great for confidence levels and building identity. With 88% of NEXT customers agreeing that it helps children become more independent, develop their own opinions, and adapt a personal sense of style.

Plus, if it helps you lose one job in your busy day, who’s complaining?

And NEXT are making the idea easy by creating a new kidswear collection to support your child’s sartorial choice.

NEXT’s new Kids Style range is full of clothes to inspire and develop your child’s independence.

Packed with textured, colourful and patterned pieces, the collection will help kids create fashion statements in a light-hearted and creative way.

Brave enough to see what they can produce? Don’t forget to share the moment and tag us @TheMumClub and @nextofficial and use the hashtag #nextkidstyle 

But what age can you start?

Most parents begin teaching their children anywhere between 14 months and 2.5 years old. So, it’s really up to you. Every child is different, so it’s best to follow their lead and gage when they’re ready. Simple guidance like telling them to put their arms up or a leg through here will help build an understanding, and this can be done at any age – even baby stage.

How to teach your kids to dress themselves

There are days when you have time to show them new skills and others when it’s bloody impossible. So don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself fastening shoes and shirts so that you can get out of the door.

Do it on a slow day

In the beginning, it will take a fair amount of time and patience, and you don’t want to start with good intentions and then be like, Ok, hurry the F**k up now!’. So, choose times where you can be as lax and as late as you want. Always in a rush? Try playing dressing up on a rainy day when you’re staying at home.

Get dressed with them

Pick a similar outfit and show them how you do it. Kids love to copy, plus having a visual guide will take the pressure off them and make it easier to understand.

Make it fun

Try to create an entertaining experience that feels like playtime. This way, getting dressed will become a cool activity that they love doing, rather than a boring chore. Also, don’t force it. If they don’t want to do it, then leave it and try again another day.

Start small

They don’t have to master a whole outfit in one go, so pick a particular item, and you can do the rest. Get them to practice with clothes in a bigger size or with arm and neck holes that are generously spaced. To start them off with socks, pull them over their feet and encourage them to do the rest. Velcro or slip-on shoes also make life easier, so if you can, it’s worth buying a pair.

What goes where

Teach them the orientation of clothing by talking through every step and giving lots of simple narration. You can also sticker their shoes, so they can easily identify which is left and right and choose tops that have a picture or logo on the front. But if it doesn’t bother them that a t-shirt is back to front, let it go. It’s much better to praise them for what they’ve accomplished rather than fussing because it’s not exactly right.

Let them take their clothes off

Showing them how to remove items of clothing may sound like the kind of madness you don’t want to be part of, especially when they start stripping in Sainsbury’s. But doing this will help to spark the question of ‘ooh, how does this go back on?’ and in turn, it will help support their confidence in learning how to put clothes on. Cheers to that!

Head to NEXT to shop and challenge your kids to dress themselves!

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