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Inside: A genius tip to get your kids dressed fast and speed up your morning routine every day.
It seemed like an impossible situation.
Another morning, another 30 minutes (!!!!) spent negotiating, cajoling, and otherwise begging my 4-year old daughter to just. get. dressed.
I could sense where this was going. No, we weren’t off to Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz. Nope. We were headed straight for Never, Neverland. We were on a path towards mutually assured destruction.
Why, oh why did we battle every morning just to get out the door? My 40-something-year old brain couldn’t wrap my head around the motivation behind my 4-year old daughter wanting to drag it out. Seriously, I was being an awesome Mom. I even gave her multiple opportunities to make ‘all the choices!’
Multiple outfits were laid out so she could pick the one she wanted.
You want to wear the pink tutu with the bright red firefighter shirt? Sure, why not.
You want to wear your glass slippers? As long as they are allowed at school I can hang with that choice.
Purple cape and super girl mask? Absolutely… bring it on!
But no. Even with all the choices, getting dressed was an epic battle of wills. That is, until I discovered this simple little trick that has worked perfectly every single morning.
The Secret to Getting Your Kid Dressed Fast!
How would you like to know the secret for getting your preschooler dressed in 1 minute flat? Yep, you read that correctly. I can all but guarantee that if you use this method in your morning routine, your preschooler will not only get dressed in 1 minute or less, but they will actually do it willingly– with a smile on their face.
And here is the best part: this ‘get dressed fast’ method is absolutely free, and uses a tool you probably have with you right now.
How do you do it?
Basically, you turn this mundane and potentially contentious morning ritual into a game.
Tell your child you are going to have a contest or a race. You want to see if they can get dressed in under 1 minute. Tell them you want to see how fast they can do it.
Then, set the timer on your smartphone for 1 minute and watch them beg you to help them get dressed as soon as possible.
The rules can be adjusted to fit your child’s ability to dress themselves. Sometimes I help. Sometimes my daughter insists on doing it all herself.
But the results are always the same– mission accomplished. When the timer goes off, my daughter is dressed and she couldn’t be happier. She doesn’t get a gold star or a treat either. Her ‘reward’ is merely a high-five and me telling her that she won the game. ‘Great job!’
Ever since I started this game, we have mastered getting dressed in 1-minute flat almost every day, just by tapping into my daughter’s innate desire to play and be a little competitive.
Of course, this little episode of winning Mommy psychology got me thinking. What are some other ways I could introduce the timer game into our routine in order to light a fire under my preschooler?
- Getting into the car seat and buckled up. (I already tried this one and it does work quite well. Score!)
- Convincing your kid to walk/run the last few hundred feet back to the parking lot (but no running in the parking lot) at the end of a busy day of fun (ie: without you carrying them)
- Cleaning up toys? Hmmm, this sounds interesting.
- Doing basic chores like dusting, or sweeping, or feeding the dog.
When Should You Not Use This Game?
Basically, you should not introduce this game anytime it would be unsafe. So, no fast eating or guzzling water. No timer when carrying breakable items (like plates) either. No running in an area where your kids could get hit by a car.
Also, I would not advise using this game for tasks that focus on quality over speed. So, perhaps this wouldn’t be great for brushing teeth or tying shoes.
If you would like a way to make this game even more fun, click on the button below to grab these free printable START/STOP signs.
Your kids will love this game, but more importantly they will be dressed in a snap! And that is a game you will love too!
Thanks for reading!