Family

Parenting Tip of the Day: Mar. 6

Your daily nugget of wisdom, wit, and ways to succeed

You are running late, and your little daughter comes downstairs wearing a cowboy hat, a Christmas sweater, and a ballet tutu. You know it will take a battle to get her out of her preferred wardrobe — and into school clothes.

If your child has suddenly become very opinionated about her wardrobe, that’s a good sign: She’s growing up. “Preschoolers are at a stage where they’re trying to assert their independence and test limits,” Alanna Levine, M.D., a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Parents.com. “Getting dressed provides an opportunity to put both things into practice.”

The key? Provide choices. Most kids ages three to four are grasping for control wherever they can in daily life. Whenever possible, let them exert a little. “Give your child lots of little choices about things that don’t matter to you,” Jim Fay, co-author of “Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting From Birth to Six Years,” told Parents.com.

You might ask that little person with his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face, “Would you rather wear your blue sweater or your red one?” Having a say will make him less likely to dig in his heels.

Related: Tough News for a Toddler

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.