Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Winner Everytime

The mornings during the week can sometimes be a struggle with my daughter (used to be with my son too, but he outgrew it). She generally is up and about long before we have to get ready, so it's not a challenge with getting up. The difficulty is with her getting ready and getting out the door.

She is very opinionated about her fashion. My son had some favorite clothes when he was younger, but for the most part if we set something out, it was what he would wear. With her, even when we try to have her pick out her clothes the night before, if she doesn't feel like it the next morning, she has to wear something else. She will take multiple outfits out before deciding on just the right one.

She is also easily distracted from the task at hand, when that task is getting dressed. She will get out of her pajamas and spend hours (okay, not really - I don't have that kind of time) hanging out, playing, reading (flipping pages) and listening to music in just her underwear and t-shirt. Normally, I think it is great that she is able to entertain herself, but when I have to get her to school and me to work, I just don't have the time to allow her to entertain herself.

Then, when we finally are ready to go and come downstairs, she is drawn to whatever her brother is doing - eating breakfast, reading a book, coloring, building with Legos, watching a show - doesn't matter what it is, she wants to participate because he is doing it.

So, lately, we have been racing to get ready every morning. Teeth brushing generally occurs before the race, because I don't want for her to rush through that. Once the teeth are brushed the race is on. Who can get dressed first? She still has some stalls and will call over to my room to tell me to "pause the race" (cracks me up, when I was four I don't know that I knew the word "pause" and for her it is so much a part of everyday), but overall, it works because she is focused on the goal of getting dressed.

The race doesn't end there though. After we know who won the getting dressed race (generally her, since the last thing I do upstairs is usually putting my socks on), we give hugs and kisses and go downstairs, where we race to get on our shoes and coats.

When I race my daughter to get ready in the morning, no matter who wins the race, I always win with her getting ready without (much) delay! That works for me!

This post shared at Works For Me Wednesday. Of course, it turns out I am off theme. They are talking spring cleaning, but I saw snow today!


Damsel said...

We do races sometimes in our house, too! I hear you about your daughter getting distracted and playing in just her underclothess... my son will often do the same thing, but with NO clothes on! :S

I came over from WFMW!

Unknown said...

My youngest is a dawdler not so much a fashionista like your little one. My husband gave me an ultimatum one week - no more driving the girls to school because they missed the bus. So, I bribed, I mean "incentivized" their timeliness. For 21 days, they earned 30 minutes of immediate screen time once they got home from school. On the 22nd day, they were able to buy a DS game which I could keep if they went back to their dawdling habits. Your race idea sounds like something I should have tried when they were younger - maybe changing their behavior would not have been so complex. Stopping by from WFMW.

Emily T. Thomas said...

We LOVE races - and timers - helps in all areas, IMHO!

Michie said...

My 6 year old stalls and gets distracted easily in the morning too. I've tried racing with her, but if I win, then she's upset, there are tears and "no fairs!" So that hasn't always worked for me - it depends on her mood that morning. She often tells me to "pause the game" too. Comes from video game playing or DVD watching, I'd imagine. :)