Are you having trouble getting your toddler to wear pants? The toddler age is a fun, new age for parents. It seems that your child is learning to do new things daily. Sometimes though, the changing moods of your toddler make it hard for parents to keep their sanity. While toddlers are exploring and learning, they are also finding new emotions that are hard for them to control. They are figuring out what they want but not always how to get it without the tantrums toddlers are known for. The overwhelm of emotion often leads to lots of tears and tantrums. Having to wear pants is a fight that happens often. I have come up with five tricks to help you to get your toddler to wear pants and hopefully spare your family some tears along the way.
1. Switch the material.
Sometimes the problem is as simple as that they do not like the material the pants are made from. Something as simple as changing the thick material for a lighter material might do the trick. Pay attention to the types of material they are fighting and make the switch to something they are more willing to wear. Today’s stores offer so many choices for different materials and styles. It might be that your toddler doesn’t like the feel of jeans. In that case, there are many options, such as a jean looking material that is not made out of the stiff jean material. You could also purchase more joggers or sports type pants to get around them, not liking a certain material. It might be a good idea to take them to the store with you to try different pants to see their reaction to them.
2. Matching outfits.
The fun idea is to get a similar matching outfit for you and your toddler to wear together. The excitement of matching with you, dad, or a sibling might be enough for them to pay less attention to what they are wearing. These outfits do not have to be an exact match to make your child excited. It can be matching colors, such as both of you wearing blue jeans and a black shirt. A lot of the time, toddlers like to feel like they are big, and matching with you might make them feel like you feel they are bigger. Your child will feed off of your excitement a lot of the time. So, if you are excited about matching with them, it will make them excited about it also.
2. Let your toddler pick his/her own outfit.
Yes, sometimes, they might pick something outrageous. However, it will give you an idea of what they do want to wear. This will, in turn, give you more ideas on what to pair for them that they might wear with no tears. I am a big fan of picking my battles. Sometimes this is hard to do, but allowing them to wear their favorite superhero outfit to the store will not cause any harm to anyone. It might spark you to look for a similar outfit that you like better, but they are still excited about it, though.
3. Allow times your toddler doesn’t have to wear jeans.
Set certain times that pants can be an option. You know your schedule the best, so set times that it will not matter if they are wearing pants. Freedom gives them the idea that they are in charge of some of their time. During the day, praise them for doing good, and when it gets tough, remind them that soon they can take their pants off.
I would suggest setting multiple times throughout the day where pants are optional. This can be done during nap times, snack times, or times where you are just hanging out at home. I know that every family has their schedule, so each family’s plan will look a little different. I do think this idea is flexible enough to work with all different family structures, though, whether you travel a lot, stay at home, work outside of the home, have family help out, or any mix of parenting.
4. Use sticker charts to reward your toddler for wearing jeans.
It has always amazed me what young children will do for stickers. A small reward for a full sticker board is a good push towards wearing pants when you want them to. The reward does not have to be expensive or even cost any money at all. Suppose you want to pick up a small toy… that is ok. However, you could also make a plan to go to the local park as a reward, or whatever else you think your toddler would be excited about.
I think it is a good idea to let them be part of picking out the sticker and either making the board or helping you hang it. The more excited they are about their sticker board, the less fight you will have with them over wearing pants. This plan is simple; for each day, your toddler wears pants without fighting to give them a sticker to put on their chart. I think an important key to success with a sticker chart is that your toddler gets to hold the sticker and put it on their board or chart themselves. This makes them feel in charge of this and also makes them excited actually to get the sticker in their hands.
These times with your toddler might seem a little rough right now with tantrums and tears. However, these are also fun times with a lot to be excited about. I love the learning phase of this age. I laugh a lot over how exciting everything is to a child at this age. It reminds me of the big world we live in with all the wonders that we sometimes take for granted. It is amazing all of the learning that is being done during the toddler years, both for your toddler and for you. The more you can cut out the daily fights, the more time it leaves to enjoy the blessing that your toddler is. I hope these ideas will help you enjoy more excitement and fewer tears over your toddler wearing pants.