My 2 yrs old has recently a very clear attitude:

  • Changing clothes is a nogo (go sleep, or go out);
  • Putting bonnet on in winter is a nogo.

Moving to California or similar is not yet an option. What to do? Please help!!

  • 3
    Totally OT, but thanks for the laugh on "Moving to California is not an option"! :) :) :) :)
    – Layna
    Nov 17, 2017 at 7:36
  • @someshinyobject it is about changing itself I'd say
    – Akron
    Nov 17, 2017 at 7:56
  • 1
    Giant plastic hamster-ball? My children had the sad misfortune of being born to a father more stubborn than a two-year-old. Nov 17, 2017 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


Make clothes integral to a game.

Playing dress-up when you don't have to helps set up successful changes when you do, and inviting compliments and attention is something toddlers often really like. Since battle lines are already drawn it may mean you play by yourself for a while, dressing and complimenting yourself, before the kid is interested.

Playing keep-away, or playing to dress yourself in their clothes, or giving non-sense instructions "now put your tail in this part" can get a contrary kid to react helpfully sometimes, but some toddlers are clever enough to figure out they've been tricked eventually and will become even more guarded.

Being miserable is a powerful teaching tool. It doesn't work for cleanliness like pajamas or presentablity like going out, but for comfort choices like wearing a hat in the cold letting them make it wrong in a low risk way can work out ok. Don't let them trudge miles in snow, but maybe a jaunt in the yard long enough to get their ears to ache before coming in for a warm drink and a lecture, or having a pre-warmed hat on hand to rescue them. This requires them recognizing the problem which even for something as immediate and clear as pain from cold may need some coaching.

  • 1
    nice but we ended up she in my cloths, me with hers on the head :-)
    – Akron
    Nov 17, 2017 at 19:08

What to do?

This one is tough.

What worked for my son when he was younger was to offer a choice. For instance: Its bedtime, you can wear your Batman Pajama's or your Thomas Pajama's, but you cannot wear your clothes you had on to bed.

The other thing you can do is when you give your toddler a path, get rid of the dirty clothes, and give him or her a choice of which pajama's to wear. Option A or B, but not what they were wearing.

You can apply this approach on pretty much any situation involving clothing.

  • choice and giving a path are both options which have worked for some time, now almost no more.
    – Akron
    Nov 17, 2017 at 13:57
  • my son, would just add a 3rd option to the list
    – WendyG
    Mar 7, 2019 at 15:22

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