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Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Thuli | 2007/02/23

Q.

Paed, she throws fits over what to wear

Hi Paed and mums any advice on how to handle a peculiar situation in my home, my little girl is nearly four and for some 8 months now is overly particular about the choice of apparel for each morn. Unless she gets to wear exactly what she wants to wear, its pandemonium. Tantrums lasting up to half an hour.

I have neither the time nor the mental capacity to deal with such tantrums. I have tried letting her wear what she wants but sometimes her choice involves 5 or 6 colours, or is warm woolly clothes on a burning hot day or a mini skirt when cold winds are blustering. Last winter she insisted on mini skirts but refused point blank to wear warm stockings. I thought I could make a concession with the minis by allowing them but making her wear woolly stockings to keep the legs warm - she would none of it. So her legs were often bare and icy but try to approach her with trousers or stockings and she would engage you with everything she had. Unless I hold her in a rugby grip, I cannot dress her in what she does not want to wear; besides the minute she breaks away from me she takes the offending item off.

Also of late she will only wear one of two pairs of shoes altho she has about 14 pairs. She also will only wear panties with pictures on them, and certain pictures to boot. If it must be the blue Cinderella panty, any other is unacceptable.

If an item of clothing she wants to wear happens to be in the wash basket, the situation is calamitous. She sometimes wants to wear exactly the same outfit two days in a row.
I try offering her three choices of suitable wear but she usually just fetches her little red chair and stands in front of her cupboard, taking out exactly what she wants to wear. It is about 5 months of this now - daily. Sometimes I do happen to take out something she likes but only sometimes. She often also wants to wear particular sleepwear and wants her hair styled a certain way each morning. Some days up some days down some days to the side. If I style it a different way she simply restyles it seconds later.

She is generally a strongly opinionated little girl and has been from birth.

I was hoping the clothing issue was a passing phase but do I just have the world's most particular dresser/self-stylist on my hands? Its just me and her at home, I am not a fussy dresser at all and am not sure where this Hollywood streak in her is coming from. School? But at this age? And for 8 months now?


Help!

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

This is very very common with little girls and I am going to leave this up to our forum members to give you advice as to how to deal with it.

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