Argument with 5 Year Old ... Need Reassurance.

Updated on September 02, 2012
J.G. asks from Sherman, IL
24 answers

So, the high temperature today is supposed to be at least 100. My 5 year old does not like to wear shorts ... at all. He and I argued so much this morning. He almost missed the bus because he refused to get dressed. We compromised. He's wearing jeans and a muscle shirt and has shorts in his backpack, just in case.

I'm sitting at my desk thinking of hundreds of ways I could have handled the situation better, but right now all I can think of is that sad little boy getting on the bus that didn't wave to Mommy :-(

Please remind me that my little boy is still going to have a good day and that he's not going to be sad all day because we struggled this morning.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

While we were waiting for the school bus I could tell you a hundred ways I could have handled it better. I think we all do that to ourselves. I just really needed to hear that my little guy would still have a good day at school. I knew he would, but it sure feels good to hear other moms say it. Thank you!!!

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

That's not a battle I would choose, personally. He is not going to die wearing clothes that are not appropriate for hot weather. They're just clothes. In the scheme of life, it's just not worth the stress & heartache.

Let him learn by consequence. Maybe he'll realize you were right & that he's uncomfortable because he's so hot.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Trust me he forgot all about it by the time the bus pulled away. You are way more sad about it than he is!
It's amazing how quickly kids move on to the next thing, too bad we adults don't seem to have that ability ;)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

We had one of those mornings around here today too. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, "What are you doing?? We are sooo late!!". Climbed into the car and saw little red eyes, but was too irritated to be of much comfort. My son's tball coach told my son (after a rough start to a game) that "It's not how you start. It's how you finish the game." So right before I left him for the day. I said "Remember it's not how you start". And as he is running off he said back, "It's how you finish." He was already over it and ready for school. They have short memories mama. I imagine he'll be over it before the bus pulled away from the curb. Hang in there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

short term memory is a great thing, after his busy day at school he will still come home and love mommy. I have been there myself. I have 3 boys 12, 5, and 6 years old. the 6 year old dislikes shorts because he believes he'll be cold all day so he refuses to wear them. I learned to compromise by letting him take his hoodie to school to keep him warm if he gets cold in class. works every time. Your little protester will be just fine and as parents we know how to pick and choose our battles. ;-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

awww, you just broke my heart a little bit with your description of the sad little boy who got on the bus and didn't wave to Mommy. What a tough image to be stuck with while you're at work!! Yes, he WILL have a great day. He will be learning new things, listening to stories he probably doesn't have at home, eating snacks, and playing with tons of friends.

And you DID compromise--you did good!

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answers from Denver on

Oh I've been there, too. It's a horrible feeling- but mostly just for mom. I've had arguments with my daughter or been upset with her for something, and then been absolutely tortured by it all day, thinking she was too. But as I'm sure all the other posters will say- it won't phase them. He's fine. If it's something that becomes a pattern, I know I need to learn from it (like if clothing is a struggle every morning, I need to change that to do something the night before, etc.). But sometimes personalities just clash or we have a bad moment. Give him some extra love tonight, not because he needs it- because you do. You're a good mommy, and he know this. He's having a great day at school....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I've been there, we all probably have.
O. particular morning I was still so upset that I emailed his teacher, asking if my son was OK because we had a rough morning. Her response? "Well you couldn't tell it by him. He's fine, happy and pleasant!"
Kids are just SO resilient.
He's OK.
I'll bet he doesn't even mention it when he gets home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I do not completely agree that the child forgets it. Yes, they are resiliant, but how they feel affects their self esteem, etc., especially if these kinds of things happen often. Not sure who said this quote but it is so true for children and adults, "People may forget what you do and say, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Moms, read read read and ask ask ask how to parent! (Kudos to you, J., for asking about this!) You are molding them in every way in every thing you do and say!
However, I do agree that this is not an issue that is worth the arguement. Some things you should just let the consequences be his lesson. Choose your issues. Good luck and God bless!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I actually prefer long pants when the weather is hot.
I don't stick to seats and surfaces that were out in the sun are not so hot if there is a layer of cloth between me and them.
Jeans are fine.
You and he pick out clothes the night before so there are no arguments in the morning.
The whole thing was probably forgotten by the time the bus got to school, so try not to worry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

I'm sure once he started chatting with his friends he forgot *all* about it. Don't let this ruin YOUR day!

I'm like your son though. I HATE shorts. I've alwas been perfectly happy wearing jeans or light pants - they're cotton so they breathe.

In the future, why not let him choose his clothes? If they're NOT weather appropriate, send something that is so that he can change if he wants to later if he gets too cold or hot in what he chose. I never battle my kids about clothes. Today, my 5 year old is wearing pants, long sleeved-top and a skirt. I'm sweating just looking at her, but there are more important things for me to stand my ground on :o)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

He'll only be outside a while during morning recess. Our schools have a policy that if heat advisory's are in effect the kids cannot go outside. The state is telling them that the heat is at a health injury level, so they do recess inside in the afternoons.

Let him make choices and he'll learn that way to make better choices. It will cool off soon enough and he'll be happy to get dressed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Tomorrow will be better and remember these kinds of days are all part of the ride

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Unfortunately our kids are smarter than some ways. If they have outside recess today he will be one of the few who can go down a slide as he won't get burnt because his legs are protected. His legs will be covered from getting a burn and his muscle shirt will help him stay cool. He is fine Momma, choose your battles otherwise the simplest of things will start to get to you. He is probably just fine. Talk to him after school and just let him know that you were only trying to keep him cool and comfy cause you love him.

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answers from Cleveland on

Aww. I know how you feel - been there, too. Then I went back into the school (I drive my kids) to tell him I loved him and have a good day, and I saw him laughing and playing with his friends without a care in the world. So I left again, and just talked about it when he got home. It's always good to tell our children we're sorry we didn't handle things better. They like to know that we make mistakes, too. And it's a good example of how to take responsibility for our mistakes, and make amends.
Blessings to you and your son.
P.S. BTW, my son was the same way at that age - hated wearing shorts, only wanted to wear sweat pants, because they were the most comfortable. Fleece sweat pants in summer!! Drove me nuts, but I let him do it. He grew out of that phase, thank heavens! Then he went through a phase where he would ONLY wear shorts!!! Yep, even in the winter! Thank goodness for snow pants, which I would insist he wore over his shorts if he went outside the house. sigh........

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Ha, I have a friend whose little boy would only wear shorts for a while. Shorts in the rain, shorts in the cold, shorts out to dinner. She picked her battles and let him wear them most of the time and he's grown up and out of that phase. Your boy will forget all about your "fight" the minute he gets distracted by something more interesting which will take about 3 minutes. Five year olds do not hold grudges, such a great thing about little kids.
Next time just quietly put the shorts in his back pack if it makes YOU feel better and let him wear what he wants. Some things are just not worth the fight!



answers from Cleveland on

Pick your battles Momma :)
The other day my son refused to go to the store if he had to change out of his pirate costume which he now wears daily. At first I wanted to say abslutely not. But then I thought, who cares. It's not harming anyone, including him so off we went to the grocery store pirate gear and all! I got a couple chuckles, but so what.
If wearing the jeans in 100 degree weather makes him uncomfortable, he won't do it again. My brother who is 16 wears shorts, ALL year. -degree temps...still wears them. All kids are different! Tomorrow, let him pick what he wears. It's not worth the fight!



answers from Chicago on

Oh, my dear, let the guilt go! There is a book called Parenting with Love and Logic and the basis of the book is that we give our children choices and they choose what they prefer, which gives them a sense of control, regardless of the outcome. This happened with my daughter this past winter. She wanted to go out and play without a coat on. Even though it killed me to do it, I gave her the choice of a coat or not. She chose without and within minutes she was back in the house asking for a coat. He may or may not come off that bus with his shorts on that you packed for him or he'll be sweating in the jeans, but remember - that was HIS choice!!! Let us know what happened!!!


answers from Sioux City on

Oh Honey, He has already moved past it and is now pleasantly involved in his school activities. Cut yourself some slack. Kids don't hold grudges like adults. LOL! It must be a learned behavior.



answers from Chicago on

Oh don't worry about it, he must have forgot abbott this just after 5 mins.
R elax and chill, m sure you are a great mom, and thats why you are so conserned. And your son will realise when her is sweaty from outside play..then he will thank you.

D on't feel guilty about the argument in the me morning



answers from Chicago on

Rest assured, it will not be as hot in school as it is outside. He will be fine. I set aside clothes for my kids last night. For my son, I had a Cubs outfit (matching set). By the time we walked out, my son was wearing the shorts, but with a heavy Bears Jersey on. I asked him why he changed and he said the shirt was itchy. I shook my head and said he should have grabbed a different shirt to wear as we walked out of the house. If I had time, I would have grabbed another shirt for him, but figured, let him be. He does not match, but that's what he wanted to wear (yes, in side, it killed me). I'm guessing by the time we get home, he will want to change (at least I hope so).

Your son will be fine.


answers from Washington DC on

First -- he'll be fine.
Second -- let him wear what he wants. What difference does it make? If he spends a day sweating in school, he'll decide that shorts are a better choice. If his school is air conditioned, his classroom just might be cold. My daughter wears a sweater every single day because her classrooms are cold... it can be 100 degrees out and she's got a sweater...
Relax, mom.



answers from Atlanta on

Kids don't remember its no different from them getting into an arguement with a friend of theirs and then 5 minutes later they are playing with each other again-short term memory.
Personally I would have just allowed him to wear the pants -if he got too hot well then he would learn that he wouldn't be so hot. It's like the story of the kid who refuses to put the winter coat on. Mom says you will get cold but the child insist they don't need their coat. They walk outside and walk to the bus stop and suddenly realize that mom was right. We can tell our children things until we are blue in the face but sometimes its just best to let them learn a life lesson. Within means of course-I wouldn't allow my children to do something that could or would potentially harm them or someone else.



answers from Minneapolis on

Several of my friends who had babies prior to me (they are now teenagers/college kids) have told me the one thing they would have done differently was not fight over clothes.... it was such a waste of time and energy.

Next time look at the natural consequences of his choice.... he wasn't going to get hurt, etc. he was just going to get hot and need to drink more water... and maybe learn by trial and error that jeans are not a good idea on a 100 degree day. Now he knows it's a big deal and a fight and may not make the better choice next time b/c it was 'your' side to not wear them.

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