How to Dress for (Getting-Out-the-Door) Success

Tips to help parents get all members of the family dressed and out the door on time each morning.

How to Dress for (Getting-Out-the-Door) Success
How to Dress for (Getting-Out-the-Door) Success

Does getting everyone dressed in the morning make you wish someone would invent spray-on clothing? These tips can speed up your routine — and give your child with ADHD and you a happier start to the day.

Go to bed dressed in as much as possible. Undies and socks can be put on after last night’s bath. (In extreme cases, consider dressing your child for tomorrow at bedtime, choosing sweat suits and other items that will allow a comfortable sleep and won’t look too slept-in.) Don’t worry that this will lead to a life of sloth. It won’t.

Limit choices. Have fewer clothes in the closet or drawers. No kid needs 20 shirts and 10 bottoms. Hide special clothes, so they don’t become an everyday option. Or send your kid to a school that requires uniforms!

Opt for easy-on/easy-off clothes. For young kids who are still mastering the art of self-dressing, buy tees and sweaters with large openings for heads, pants or skirts with elastic waistbands, tube socks that don’t have heels, so there’s no right or wrong way to put them on, and slip-on or Velcro-tabbed shoes.

Code some clothes. Paint a red X with nail polish on the inside of left shoes and paint another dab on your child’s left big toe, or put a Band-Aid on his left knee. To help him tell front from back, buy tees with pictures on the front, or opt for plain shirts, that will look OK even if they’re on backwards.