When kids feel the need to streak!
Dear parent, you poor thing!! I remember working with a family last year with this exact issue! So you are definitely not alone. There seems to be something very liberating about going streaking for children, haha!
I would suggest starting small and working your way up. For example, set a timer and a contingency, then place your demand "Clothes stay on for ___ minutes, then we can have/play ___"
Target this several times through out the day at home where he is most comfortable and gradually build up his ability to remain clothed for a longer duration of time.
So let's say he really wants ice cream (or something he is only allowed a small amount and is very special to him). You can use his motivation for that item/food/activity to practice staying dressed. "Sure, we can have ice cream! Let's practice keeping our clothes on for 2 minutes! Then we will go have ice cream." Depending on his development, you can use a visual reminder to increase his understanding and success. I love using small, child sized white boards for this. Draw his tshirt and an ice cream cone.
T-shirt = Ice cream
Tick off each minute so he regulates as the minutes countdown.
Once he is getting better at keeping his clothes on for a few minutes at a time, you can begin to increase the expectations and add minutes to the clock. This is a fun, gentle way to help him practice remaining clothed and over time, with daily consistency and practice, he will begin to remain dressed on his own with some reminders here and there. Essentially, we are targeting this as a brand new skill for him to learn rather than chasing him around which 1) may reinforce the behaviour and 2) make getting dressed aversive to him.
Good luck mama!!
About the author Stephanie Wicker is a child behaviour expert, parenting educator, counsellor and speaker - who has successfully guided families through early childhood for over 15 years. Through her experience with private consultancy, as a preschool teacher and special needs therapist - she has worked across the many facets of early childhood behaviour.
Stephanie's evidence-based programs are grounded in behaviour science and her passion for Relational Frame Theory (RFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and developmental psychology all play a big role in her programs.
Stephanie’s experience covers early intensive behaviour intervention programs for children with special needs and for families newly diagnosed. She hosts live training events all over Australia, where she shares her practical solutions and language techniques, along with providing private, in-home therapy sessions for those seeking more personalised support.
Through her company, Simply Kids she provides family resources such as digital books and educational activities, designed to keep behaviour simple.
"By helping parents place emphasis on connection, empowerment and encouragement, I believe that all children have the ability to reach their full potential." - Stephanie Wicker
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