What are good approaches to convince an elementary school age child to tuck his shirts/tshirts into his pants?

Every single time he gets dressed, the shirt/tshirt is over the pants.

He'll tuck it in when reminded with no fuss/objections, and keep it in during the entire day and won't attempt to take it out. So the problem seems to be with the tucking process and NOT with the fact of being inside or out for wearing.

When asked WHY he didn't tuck in, the answer is *shrug* "Don't know".

  • 1
    Put a post near the trousers. Have an image of trousers tucked in with a big tick. Have an image of trousers untucked with a big cross. PS: StackExchange is international and many people have no idea what "elementary school" is. Please will you add actual numbers for ages? 13-15 or under-10 or whatever is much more useful.
    – DanBeale
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 20:40
  • parenting.stackexchange.com/a/12814/1385
    – DanBeale
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


I think the response is typical for kids that age. Even through the teen years, kids lack the ability to necessarily understand "why" they did something.

Given that he does tuck it in when asked and without objections, I'd say just keep reminding him, and don't make a huge deal out of it. Eventually he might start doing it on his own, and if not, I suspect you'll have bigger battles to wage than this.


The simple reason is because "I don't know" sounds better than "I forgot".

"I forgot" implies admission and lays direct blame on the subject being asked.

"I don't know", while somewhat implying admission, it doesn't place direct blame.

How do you fix it? Your remind him to tuck his shirt in every day until the one day he comes out of his room dressed with a tucked shirt. Then you say "thank you for tucking in your shirt without me having to remind you".

  • 1
    I'm torn between upvoting because it really is a good answer in general (and may be helpful to others) and not upvoting because it's utterly useless to me (Been there, done that, got the {untucked} tshirt)
    – user3143
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 13:05
  • @DVK, HA! I see what you did there at the end. Humorous. Do what you will in terms of voting though. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 13:52

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