My nine year old daughter has had this problem now for a few years ,although for a short time it had gone it has come back with avengenz now.she has started again with not wanting to wear any clothes we put out for her and would rather go in the washing basket and take out dirty clothes including pants and socks,I couldn't count how many different items of clothing she has,some still with the label on but she just won't put any of them on and would rather just wear her old baggy pair of joggers.
It came to a head last night when we were getting ready for a family party,my wife had agreed with my daughter the night before on what she was wearing and ironed the outfit for her,but as we were all getting ready my daughter started crying saying she didn't want to wear what was put out for here,to cut a very long story short,my wife ironed four outfits which were declined with crying and and tantrums and my daughter then banged her head off the wall,I then went into my daughters bedroom and tried to calm her down and going through her clothes and saying things like that would look cool on or you would look nice in that,she then went and picked up a top that was lying behind her door on the floor,when I looked at it,it was dirty and had a small hole in it,she then through a tantrum and put on this dress which I reluctantly agreed to but she wanted to put on a scabby pair of trainers which I told her it wasn't a good idea, she then said nobody cared about her which I told her she was wrong and that we loved her so much but we can get frustrated sometimes with her with this issue and that we had spent two hours trying to get her something to wear.we spent another half an hour trying to get her to wear shoes with the dress witch was constantly followed with crying and tantrums,by this time I had given up and was drained by it all so I said right ok we're not going now why don't you put your pyjamas on,it was at this point that has shocked me and my wife and my reason for writing this and trying to find answers,the shoes I was trying to get her to wear we're picked up at she banged them on her nose at least five times,and with blood Cushing from her nose she turned to me and said look what you made me do.
We are at our wits end and need some advice on what to do,we love our daughter so much.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Would it be possible for her to choose her own clothes, sometimes around the pre teen age group they do like to be in control of what they wear, my daughter was similar, I found that I left her clean clothes hanging up in her closet and she chose herself .there was no need for a row to ensue .It sounds as if you and her mom are insisting she does what you want and wears what you want ..sometimes its easier to let them be in control of them selves .Many times moms and daughter get into battles .over something that really is easily solved .Let her chose as you do what she will wear .good luck
I have to agree with the comments above. I think this is just an effort to establish her own identity and some control. And she is choosing to do it through clothing. It's funny, but I can remember doing exactly the same thing around 1st or 2nd grade. I flat out refused to wear anything chosen for me and made it a huge big issue that I wanted to wear what I wanted to wear. And I too would get hysterical over it. It was a time in my life that was difficult in other ways that I could not control, so this is how I chose to control things. Not saying there is anything going on in your daughter's life, that is just what was happening in my life. I say let her wear what she want's too. You may very well find that my stopping making it an issue, she no longer wants to wear dirty clothes. Make suggestions instead of decisions for her, but ultimately let her decide. To me, it's a matter of picking your battles, and this just shouldn't be a really big deal. Good luck!!
You need to separate the control fight from the getting of clothing on and out the door. You aren't just asking her to be dressed and ready to go, you are asking her to do what you tell her to about clothing and to look the way you tell her to look, and to be ready to go. If you had let her wear whatever struck her as right, you all would have walked out of the house on time, and a lot less exhausted, angry and stressed also.
Why shouldn't she choose her own clothes by now? Certainly it is possible that she will look peculiar to you, but at least she isn't showing her bottom crack and wearing low-cut shirts, like so many very young girls seem to be doing. If you have a happy daughter enjoying herself at the family event, instead of a 2-hour control fight and a miserable daughter at the event, that is a ton better no matter if she is wearing sweatpants and shabby shoes.
The other thing to do is to be sure that the things she actually does like to wear are clean and ready, even if it means doing a quick load of laundry every night so the very same outfit is ready the next morning. When you go clothes shopping with her, who is doing the choosing? If it's you, you might as well be throwing your money away. Yes, if you let her choose, she might pick something and then decide later she doesn't like it, but in all fairness, this can happen for adults, too. But if she does hit on something that she demonstrates she likes (by wearing it all the time), someone should go back and buy another of the same item, so she always has a clean one available and has more than one to ease the problem of things wearing out and having a hole in them when you need them, etc.
Thing is, children do get to a point, some sooner than others, where they don't uncritically accept Mommy and Daddy's image of how they should look. It is part of growing up and figuring out one's own identity. Some can in fact stun their parents by being far more creative and fashionable than the parents are, some might look shabby to their parents, or too outre, or too Goth, or you name it. But unless she is putting herself in danger (like wearing sexualized clothes), let her be in charge of this outward signal of who she is.
I might add, sometimes it is about comfort. One of my sisters was really, really sensitive about things fitting at the waist. Can't remember now if she wanted them to always hold on really well or if she complained if they were too tight, but it mattered a whole lot to her. I can remember my mom getting exasperated and shouting to her that it didn't matter. But it mattered to my sister. Maybe there is a touch of OCD in that, but if it matters, it matters, and there is no point making a child miserable over something as trivial as clothing. Let your kid choose, and be happy if she is happy.
Does she resist certain fabrics? Does she have issues with things around her neck? Does she dislike hair brushing or personal grooming?
She actually may be sensitive to the way certain clothes feel. That involves a nervous system reaction to it. Most people can just get past it--- I don't really like turtle necks, they don't feel good for me, but I can deal with it. Some people simply can't deal with it. My son is like this. He has sensory issues.
Perhaps the reason that your daugher always goes for her old comfires and is driven to tears and tantrums is because this is based on a nervous system reaction? good luck
Oh, and I wanted to add that there are ways to make all happy when that is the case. Notice what kind of material her preferred clothes are. My son does not like jean material but prefers sweat type material. So, I shopped and found elastic waste, soft material like his sweat pants that looked like khaki pants. Perfect, he can wear that when he needs to look nicer than sweat pants. I know that just buying something that I think looks good won't work for him, he has to be comfortable in it. Taking her concerns or complaints no matter what the reason she gives them--- might help.
An empathetic "oh, I want you to be comfortalbe too, but we need to find something that is clean" and heck, that might be incentive for her to get her laundry in a basket and to the laundry room so that it can be clean to wear when she needs it. I'd work on that aspect too.
Buy more of what she prefers to wear and help her work on discipline to make sure the clothes are clean when she needs them. That she can help with at her age.
She may never be the kid that mom can dress---- so learn to work with her wishes and everyone will be happier. good lu ck
Thank you for your comments,but to explain a little more we let our daughter pick her own clothes when going out to buy them,and also let her pick what she wants to wear,but it is always the baggy two sizes too big jogging pants and on the particular night had taken a t shirt off the floor which had a hole on the collar.
We also have a 6 year old daughter who is the opposite,she loves dressing up and on the night was in her sisters bedroom as we all were at times saying oh what about this or that or that looks cool on,my youngest daughter was even willing to change her outfit to one the same as my oldest daughter but that didn't work either.
Once again thank you for your in put,we will just try and try again and hope that within time this can be resolved.
Thanks for your comments,as I said to the previous reply,we let our daughter pick her own clothes when out buying them and also when we are going out we ask her what she wants to put on,it always ends up with the old baggy joggers that hang off her.
I don't know if there is something underlying,I don't think there has been any issues in her life that would make her like this,but I would explore the possibilities,she does make comments about people not liking her and has said a few times to us that we don't love her,there is nothing that she would get from us for her to say that,it's like sometimes she just hates herself and thinks everybody else hates her.
Once again thank you for your comments.
Thank you for your reply,as you can see from my comments to the other replies,we let her make the decision,but not to repeat myself it's the same old tatty clothes.
When we started getting ready to go out it was two and a half hours before the party started,we are aware as this has been going on for a while now to start getting ready early because we no what we're heading for,my youngest daughter was also in her room trying to help her and suggesting things that would look cool etc,but to no avail.
We do try our best and try not to get into an argument or shouting match but after two and a half hours it is trying on you,and as I've said on other replies,about her saying that nobody likes her and we don't love her and the question on why did she batter her shoes of her nose bursting it,this is the worrying thing for us is will she start self harming?
Thanks for your comments
I think there might be something with material,and she hates wearing anything that is tight,she has what I would call her comfort clothes that she wears all the time,but as someone else said in there reply make sure these items are clean every day for her,this has been done but the comfort clothes could change just like that,and the items that she would always want on are now horrible and never to be worn again.
My concern is that she has started saying nobody likes her and that we don't love her,and also the incident with her hitting herself on the nose with her shoes which burst her nose,I think this is going to take a lot of time and care and hopefully resolve
Thank you for you comments
I understand what you are saying,but if you look again at what I wrote and my further comments to other posts,we let our daughter make the desicion on what clothes to wear but this doesn't work on the night aim talking about my wife had ironed four outfits that my daughter had picked when she put them on she was not happy and threw them on the floor.
As to your punishment comment there is no mention of any punishment to my daughter,after she had hit herself it was her mum and me that we're punished,to think that there is something that we are not doing for our daughter that has made her hurt herself.
It was nice of you to write each of us individually which helps in responding. It does sound like more than simple persnickety about her clothing going on by her extreme response. She reacts in such a way that it is hard to deny something more is going on. I'd look up sensory integrtion/ processing disorder and tactile dysfunction. Is she having a nervous system response to the feel of the clothes?
I will tell you this. My son also has his 'comfort clothes' and is pretty attached to them. I buy a lot of the same thing over and over just in different colors. And he is rough on his clothes, so I patch or replace often. And I have experienced the changing of what is comfortable over night myself. Recently, he decided that shirts had to hit his wrist in just the right spot. Too long, no good. Too short, no good. If they were too short, he'd spend his time trying to pull it longer and then the neck would bother him and he'd mess with his shirt the whole day. If it is too long, he takes it and pulls it over his hand. He CAN tolerate too long but not too short and this happened literally in one day. So, many of his most favorite shirts no longer met his needs. Ugh. I do my best to roll with this. It can be frustrating, I know. What I've gotten good at is noting what he says when he complains. I would never buy exactly his size shirt right now because the sleeve will not hit the right spot on his wrist (I'm telling ya, we'd never notice this ourselves, but an overactive skin nervous system makes things uncomortable for someone).
Maybe when it is time to go somewhere, get out three of her best looking comfort outfits that she is currently preferring and leave her to pick one. And ask her at times in which it is not stressful because you are on your way somewhere---- what are you liking about your clothes right now?? do they feel good? And just keep a dialogue going so that she doesn't get defensive.
My son said to me once, I don't want you to get mad mom. That was all he said. I asked what I'd be mad about. He said, well, these pants don't feel good and i don't want to wear them. I realized I must have been impatient at some point with him although I can't remember when. I told him it is okay to tell me that and he can change. By this kind of dialogue, I can then say to him when it is last minute and we really do have to go --- wear this today and you don't have to wear it again. Because he knows that I don't want him to be uncomfortable and so it isn't a constant source of tension between us.
If she continues to self harm when angry, I would again start a dialogue with her. She may have trouble expressing emotions and this is something you can help her with. Give her words to use, a calm down spot, strategies to soothe herself rather than hurting herself. During these conversations, if you notice her self esteem taking a hit or if she seems a bit depressed, I just encourage you to try some counseling for her. Sometimes kids can feel different or awkward and it is just a phase but you don't want it to become her life story. good luck and peace
Another thought that comes to mind reading your additional comments is a self esteem issue. Although nothing major has happened at home, there could have been something (or something ongoing) at school. Even the children closest to their parents don't tell them everything. It could be an incident of bullying. Or perhaps someone has commented on her body....too fat, too thin, too tall, too short and so she is trying to not draw attention to it by wearing drab and dirty clothing? Or maybe it's just something within her...a sense of inadequacy. Maybe a phone call to her teacher or principal (confidentially of course) could help shed some light. And lots of chats about her day (without sounding like you are questioning her) and what is going on at school. Who are her friends? That sort of thing.
And lastly, I also wonder if maybe exploring the possibility of depression might be in order? It's not uncommon, especially in hormonal teens. Some symptoms of depression are a lack of interest in appearance, hygiene, that sort of thing.
Just possibilities. I am certainly no expert, but these are all things I suffered as a kid. For different reasons, but some of her behaviors sound very familiar.
Thank you once again for taking time out to respond to my post.
There is quite a lot of what you are saying that rings true,I will look up intergrtion/processing disorder,we have felt within ourselves that there could be some kind of disorder,and this is the road we are going down with the Gp,hopefully we can get a conclusion to this.
Thank you once again for your input,it's good to hear other people's take on things and useful tips.
Thank you for you reply.
We have wondered if there has been some issues at school,she had made a comment that someone called her fat,which is untrue she is the total opposite,she is tall for her age and thin although not underweight.
There could be self esteem issues although sometimes she can be very confident and certainly answer you back as an adult would.
We have been in to the school in the past and mentioned her behaviour to the teachers,they have all come back and say she is a nice girl and a credit to us always polite and always helpful,I think there are some probabilities in what your are saying and its something we will explore.
Thank you once again for taking the time to reply to my post
Sorry that this has been such a trying situation - for you and your daughter. While sensory issues may be at play here, I am also wondering if she is anxious and is expressing her anxiety via what she will and will not wear. I have this many times before. Children do not know how to express anxiety and it expresses itself in many ways - one classic way is an over-exagerrated and unrealistic reaction to certain situations or things (such as what she wears). I am inclined to agree with Adgal and think that what is making her anxious is wrapped up in some sort of body image and self-consciousness issue (I say this based on her preference for old and baggy clothes and he comments to you that no one likes her). But there is really no way to tell. I strongly encourage you to consider having her seen by a good therapist - I think that this is a difficult situation to handle on your own and if not handled well can escalate. It is clear that you love your daughter dearly and are really trying to help her. She is lucky to have you.
Thank you for your reply
I think in what your saying and all the other posts ,that there could be some sort of anxiety problems.we have contacted our Gp and are awaiting him to get back to us on what to do next.
Hopefully we can resolve this soon.
Thank you for your time in relying.
By the way, every single person has sensory issues but it is the degree to which they bother you that makes the difference. For example, I do not like turtle neck shirts. They make me uncomfortable. I don't wear them but if forced to, I'd probably pull at the neck a bit and feel uncomfortable. However, I could tolerate it. Some people can NOT tolerate it because the signal their nervous system sends is more intense that it is uncomfortable.
I do not like condensation on a glass that I am drinking from. It feels gross in my hand and it is uncomfortable. But I can tolerate it if need be. Someone that is more sensitive to it would refuse to hold the glass.
So having sensory issues is not always a disorder but none the less real. it becomes a disorder if it interferes in a signficant way with your life. Some people's nervous systems just don't process things properly which is the case with my son. But EVERYONE has sensory things that bug them.
My San Carlos through the same issues with Clothing.... i feel your pain.... It is stressful and frustrating.... In Sisk case she has something called sensory integration disorder. I would recommend getting her tested for that. They really can't control it. It is the wsy theirbrain interprets certain sensations... you can help with Occupational therapy. Good luck.... And hopefully you can find the underlying issue to get it solved...
My Son goes through the same issues with Clothing.... i feel your pain.... It is stressful and frustrating.... In his case she has something called sensory integration disorder. I would recommend getting her tested for that. They really can't control it. It is the way their brain interprets certain sensations... you can help with Occupational therapy. Good luck.... And hopefully you can find the underlying issue to get it solved...
I can completely relate but Ibaded on the other comments, I don't think many others can. My 8 year old daughter chooses her own clothes at the store but when we get them home, she refuses to wear them. She wants to wear old sweat pants and her dads t-shirt everyday. We have terrible arguments about this. I don't want to micromanage her choices but this attire is not appropriate for all occasions and it's infuriating that she wants me to spend money on clothes for her that never get worn while she dresses like a ragamuffin. I feel your pain and welcome suggestions.
Hi Amye, if i were you i would tell your daughter that unless she wears the clothes that she picks out herself, that she would not get new clothes. If she wishes to wear clothes that are comfortable, maybe she would like to shop at a used clothing store, it would far cheaper until she finds a style she can commit to, and it will be supporting those less fortunate. Something she can be proud to support. While my son was studying music in high school he decided to grow a foot and a half long mohawk that he died blonde. There was never any time during these years that I would be able to have my way as to how he presented himself to the world. This was fine with me, he was a smart, engaging young man, and that's all I saw when i looked at him. My suggestion to you, is to let your child be themselves, they're not trying to get a modeling contract, other parent's understand fully that a child's choice of clothing is does not define your family, in any way. The most important thing to do with children, while they are growing, is to always support them in their choices, unless those choices harm them. Your child dressing as a ragamuffin is not ruining her chances of getting that job. Please make sure that she doesn't feel that she has to impress you visually, for you to full support her. It's important that our kids know that we judge them on their personalities, purely. I know turning 52 this year that when i look in the mirror, i see changes that are uncomfortable for me. A child lives there life, in change, and that can be scary. Clothing is the one thing that they can count on. I don't think that anything a child wears should make you uncomfortable, and if it does, i think it's more about you than her. In other words, it's more about your changing and understanding, that it is for your daughter. Let us show our children, that are bombarded with advertising, that it is the person and not the picture, that matters to us as parents.
Also, my son was able to shop in a used clothing store for as long as he wanted to, there were no time constraints and he could try on all clothing without being rushed. We talked about his choices, are you sure that shirt is long enough? I know how much you like your shirts to be long enough. Are those pants too tight? Remember those pants you got that were too tight? Maybe try a pair in a few different sizes, just to be sure that what is really comfortable for you?
Now that he's older, 24, i get to go and have him try clothes on for me, but, if he doesn't like them, he won't show them to me. In fact, he waits until he's made the purchase, and brings them to our house (because he usually stays for dinner after we go shopping) and tries them on for me. Simply, he says, "everything i try on you think i look good in". And i can't argue that, he's right!!
Another thing, make it known that it's okay to return items. Make it a plan to bring home clothes, try them on in her own room, and return them if they're NOT perfect (to her). I found raising my son, that making a purchase did not mean that we were keeping the item. It would have been far too expensive and frustrating to do that, if he wasn't going to wear the items. If you go into this Mom, knowing that you're going to bring items back, it won't be a shock to you. You can plan on it. Your daughter will be forever grateful if you allow her these choices, and don't make her think that she can't change her mind. I know , especially if you work that taking the extra time to return outfits might be a bit of a bother, but believe me, our kids appreciate every minute that we give to them. I enjoy my time shopping with Jesse, whether it's returning goods, or bringing them home. Have fun with it. Keep Smiling. All will be well.
Hi there. Well, my son has sensory integration disorder and has tactile defensiveness. This means that things we block out are really uncomfortable for him. Classic signs are that certain materials don't feel right (my son won't wear jeans, at all), an absolute avoidance of some things and even getting upset if you try to push the issue that they wear them.
We did something called 'brushing' which an occupational therapist started us on. It's really easy and takes about 3 minutes and you do it several times through out the day. Small soft, brush similar to what a surgeon uses to wash their hands and you do hands, arms, feet, legs and back and then do these things called pushes which are joine compressions. The theory is that the nervous system is sending wrong signals and making a child more sensitive to touch things. And the brushing and joint compressings help out with that. It worked very well for my son. We did it for about 6 weeks and once in a while we go back to it now.
The other thing I do is think about what he is telling me is comfortable. If your daughter likes the feeling of sweat pants---- what can you find in a similar material that looks decent? Then when you find something, you buy extra pairs for her so you aren't washing the same thing every day.
Hi my daughter is 7 and was suffering the same thing. Every day was hell getting her dressed. Always wanted to wear dirty clothes and didn't like socks because of bumps. We have had her diagnosed with sensory sensitivity disorder and now we know what we are dealing with things have been so much better. We have purchased seamless socks and there are sites on the net selling soft clothing for kids with this problem has made big difference in our daughters life good luck
We keep a set of clothes for each child in a bag in the car. A full set - undies, shirt, shorts / skirt (for the girls) and a pair of sneakers and a fleecy top / sloppy joe. The clothes are neat but low cost like the shoes were less than $10 from k-mart. If kids are not ready to go at the appointed time or having a moment then they have to wear that outfit. No questions. No arguing. It lives in the car so that if we are out then it is available in the case of need like say kids getting messy / muddy when playing. So it serves many purposes. But it does get them to focus especially the girls.
I think that we need to remember that at the end of the day, the child is a child and the parent is responsible. I know all these people talk about letting the child take responsibility and thats great but at the end of the day the parent is responsible. The parent is in charge and the parent has the authority and the parent needs to recognise and exercise that. If the kid is getting dirty clothes out or even if on this occasion the parent has decided what the child is to wear then the child absolutely must wear it no matter what. No excuses. Our kids know that if something is put out for them then they wear that. If nothing is put out for them then they can choose.
I am new to this forum, and was so relieved to see I was not the only one with issue. I too, like you, let my child pick out his clothes/shoes when shopping, then we get home, and the next day he has an issue with them, and wears the same things over and over. Socks bother him, seams in underwear,etc.. We have tried the whole laying out clothes the night before, worked for a while, now that school is back in , we are seeing it again. We are almost out the door, and he changes his mind. I do not want to send my child to school upset or crying, or frustrated over clothes. We were tardy this morning, because instead of fighting him, I let him take his time. I truly believe he has some sort of issue, my husband seems to think he has too many options, but we fix that at night when he picks out his outfit, and is happy about it. He got new shoes for school, LOVED them in the store, has not worn them once, he wears the same dirty shoes from the summer. I hope you found a resolution to your problem, and hope you can share if you did. 6 year old boys should be worried about sports and bugs, not clothes. :( Good Luck to you and your family.
Hi there. You know, some kids do absolutely have a sensitivity to things like how clothing feels. They feel the tags in their shirts that we don't or the way a fabric feels that we don't notice. There nervous system is out of sync and feels things more or less than the average person causing great and REAL discomfort.
I have had great success with my sensitive son by listening to what was bothering him and working to find alternatives. He wears no seam socks, t shirts without tags, comfy athletic pants to school rather than jeans. While I might want to dress him differently, I allow his comfort needs in clothing to direct what we buy.
Yes, sometimes it was tough when he was little and to this day as he is now 9 when a need would arise such as socks that were fine yesterday result in his not being able to focus on anything else the next.
this is called tactile defensiveness and is part of the sensory system. A good mother addresses such needs in their child. By doing activities and things that help regulate my son's nervous system, it helps him actually be in a better position to handle tactile issues that could be distressing.
Sensory integration disorder is treated by an occupational therapist. Issues with clothing are a hallmark sign that is quite common with sensory kids. If anyone would like more information about this, I'm happy to help.
Yes, children are very sensitive to how fabrics feel. Just think how tender their skin is. I used a lot of velveteen, sateen and other soft fabrics for their clothing, and I never put them in denim or other harsh materials. They were probably the only kids that owned a pair of jeans.
My sons issues are more related to his nervous system and his sensory integration disorder. But yes, he is very sensitive. My other son has things he likes and dislikes but can cope. that's the difference with a sensory kid with tactile defensiveness verses one that isn't--- one can cope and the other truly can't.
Neither of my boys like jeans either. You know, I found pants in khaki material that fits like athletic pants? That's what we wear on our 'nice' days.' Luckily, my kids are sporty and their garb kind of represents that but in reality, it's a lot more comfortable!
my 6 year old daughter is the same. i let her choose what ever she wants plus we go shopping together. Nothing seems like its going to a right direction. she rather stay at home and b in the underwear than go outside..overwhelming
Yes that is! I understand how you feel and have been there. We did occupational therapy for sensory issues and they do something called the brushing protocol. It was amazing. They did it in the office and then I took a brush home and did it at home frequently. In all truth, within 6 weeks our issues around tactile sensitivity got markedly better. It has something to do with the nerve endings. In a child with tactile defensiveness, the nerve endings are over sensitive and it makes certain things really uncomfortable and other things they will seek. The brushing over the nerve endings with this brush that looks like a surgical hand washing brush helps balance them and as soon as they are done brushing, they do what is called pushing. This is something any ot can show you. Basically you push the joints which sends a signal to the brain called 'sensory input'. So, it was brushing and then our pushes. it helped tremendously.
I have a 9 year old with these exact same problems. It has nothing to do with control/wanting her own way. It is from something called Tactile Defensiveness, resulting from sensory processing disorder. For some people, a brushing technique you can learn from an OT really helps. My daughter is very resistant to the brushing, so that hasn't helped us. Please contact a local OT, and see what they can so for you. I understand the frustration & stress. Good luck!
Thank you for your response. And hopefully you are aware that we have a great SPD site here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396
Specialmom is the CL and she has a son with SPD so is very in tune with the subject.
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