In this week’s column, a reader writes to Kelly, “I’m having trouble getting my 4-year-old daughter dressed in the morning. She has a lot of nice hand-me-downs — all in good condition — but she only wants to wear the same jeans and the same shirt every day. We’ve tried timeouts when she acts like this, but they don’t help. She won’t even tell us why she won’t wear a particular shirt or a certain pair of pants.”
Here’s how Kelly responded:
“If your daughter thinks that she gets more attention for being naughty than for being nice, she’s probably going to be naughty, even if she cries when she’s reprimanded or gets sent to the timeout chair. Her behavior will improve in a week or two, however, if you praise her freely when she’s good and ignore her when she’s cranky.
“If that doesn’t work, look for the cause of her small obsession.
“Your daughter may call those pants and that shirt her favorites because they’re more comfortable than her other clothes or because they’ve brought her more compliments.”
Read the full column here.