Today’s guest post is from the author of 31 Days to a Younger You, Arlene Pellicane.  Her new book 31 Days to a Happy Husband comes out this summer. Arlene has three children, Ethan(7), Noelle(5) , and Lucy(2) and one happy husband named James.

My oldest child Ethan is a 7-year-old second grader who dresses himself each morning. For the most part, he does a great job (except when he wears hisred shirt and red pants, he looks like a giant licorice stick!). But getting dressed was not always a piece of cake.

Like the time on MY birthday when 5-year-old Ethan had a meltdown about his outfit. I wanted to take a nice birthday picture of the family so I gave Ethan a navy blue polo shirt to wear.

“I want to wear something with a car on it! I will NOT wear that blue shirt!” he threatened with gusto.

I told him there would be no ice cream for boys who don’t wear navy blue shirts.

He reluctantly agreed but 10 minutes later, he was still running around naked. My husband James, who is quite good at consequences and action based discipline, calmly said to Ethan, “You will go shirtless.”

Now for some kids, this would be icing on the cake. But for our little rules keeper, this was a terrible sentence. We put him in the minivan, shirtless.

Ethan went ballistic. “I want to wear a shirt! I am cold!” I gave him a blanket. He sobbed for something with sleeves. As the car ride continued, he got more and more worried. By the time we reached our destination, 5-year-old Ethan was very repentant.

The navy blue shirt was worn with great relief from both Ethan and me.

James told him, “If you don’t get dressed when we tell you, wearing what we tell you, you will go shirtless much longer.”

That was the last time we ever had a problem with Ethan getting dressed.

Now his sister who’s two years younger.that will have to be another post!

Who’s the dramatic dresser in your home? What have you done to avoid fights over getting dressed?

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