My 8yr old daughter Gabrielle always wears a jacket, sometimes even when weather is glorious because she likes the waterproof jacket that her school issued her with.

Now, if it is cold, raining heavily, blowing a gale and nearly everyday during winter when temperature gets colder and she starts to feel frozen, me and her school teacher wants her jacket tied up in order for her to stay warm, dry and comfortable but Gabby wants me and her teacher to tie it up (zipped and velcroed to the top) for her but when we are tying it, she starts to fidget/wriggle about which makes it harder for us to get the jacket tied, but we always get it tied.

She is capable of tying her own jacket so would prefer she did it herself but if we don't do it, then it would stay wide open which would then lead to Gabby complaining about being frozen.

  • Related: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/19632/…
    – Stephie
    Oct 28, 2015 at 5:41
  • 1
    It must be noted that people feel the cold in different ways. I like being cold sometimes. Perhaps your daughter does as well. Just let her live as if she is very cold this would not be an issue. PS: I have happy memories of being a kid running around in the snow with nowt on
    – Ed Heal
    Nov 1, 2015 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


At eight and having made sure that she is able to do it, it's probably time for a more "hands off" approach.

Yes, you could close the zipper for her, but when are you going to stop? I am a big fan of - as a professional care assistant once called it - "helping by putting my hands in my pockets". You want your daughter to develop an attitude of "I can do it" and the first step towards that goal is letting her.

Let's face it: What are the worst things that could happen? Her getting wet and cold. While certainly uncomfortable, nothing that seriously endangers her. And you wrote that she already complains about being cold. Let her draw the conclusions herself - closed jacket = warm and dry. But I bet she knows that already.

So next time, simply don't tell her to close the jacket. She won't be blown away, not even in a Scottish gale, trust me. Make it her responsibility to decide when the jacket can stay open and when it's more comfortable closed.
When she wants her jacket closed, her first impulse will be asking you to do it for her. Then, in a loving but firm tone tell her to do it herself. Repeat as neccesary. (Be prepared for a tantrum, this is quite a change.) Point out that you are sure she can do it. Be supportive, encouraging and loving. But do not close the jacket for her.

You might consider finding other ways of showing her your love and affection - little notes in her lunchbox, for example - if you feel better.

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