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6 Year Old Daughter Won't Wear Underwear at Home

My 6 year old daughter refuses to wear underwear at home. She will wear underwear if we go out and to school, but as soon as we get home all the clothes come off and she just wears a nightgown.

By Autumn J.

Recent Answers

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]10/18/2011

I haven't seen anyone mention sensory disorders on here, that could be her problem. Does she act like she's sensitive to other things touching her, like taking off her clothes because they're tight, pulling her shoes & socks off all the time, not going barefoot in grass, not liking the feel of certain fabrics, etc.

Look up sensory disorder, some kids are extremely sensitive to the feel of things & something that may not bother us can drive them crazy. Other than that, like the others said, it could be the laundry soap, fabric softener, too-tight clothing or bad elastic. Does she act like it's itching her? Does she have red marks when she takes them off?

I'm very sensitive to the elastic in my underwear. I have to get the stuff that doesn't have obvious elastic at the waist or legs-otherwise it causes welts on my skin that can lead to hives everywhere. My bra drives me insane & I only wear it when I go out.

If none of that seems to be the problem, then I wouldn't worry about it. As long as she understands she can't go out in public like that & she is not flashing everyone at home or creating unsanitary situations when she sits, I'd say leave her alone. This probably isn't a battle worth fighting. Except I would insist she wear underwear whenever you have company.

From the time I was just a little bitty girl, I haven't been able to stand wearing shoes. I am barefoot most of the time. If I have to wear shoes somewhere, they come off as soon as I get through the door. I used to even go barefoot in the snow. It has just always bothered my feet. My mom says I've always been that way. Some people are just sensitive to clothing and shoes that put pressure on their body or feet.

And Deeli-I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who starts stripping as soon as I walk through the door! My whole family laughs at me over this! LOL!

By Anonymous [848]10/18/2011

I am with Louel53 about maybe seeing what else she might want to wear at home other than pajamas. And what does it hurt if she wears no panties at home? I am 57 years old and the panties and bra are the first thing that come off and comfy clothes go on when I get home from being out in public and I've always been that way. Let her be comfortable. If you make a big deal out of this, through nagging or punishment, you just might be stirring up defiance problems down the road.

By Louise B. [4]10/18/2011

Six year old kids take notions about things. If she is fully dressed in public, it is likely not anything that you have to worry about. You should likely, as several have suggested, see if there is something about the underwear that is irritating.

However, if it is just that she likes to be in her nightgown, I don't know that you have to do anything about it. She is just little. Maybe she just likes being in charge of what she wears. Does she get a choice in selecting her school outfits? And I mean this in a limited way -- do you want to wear your pink shirt with the sparkles or your yellow shirt with the flowers? That sort of choice. If not, perhaps that might be something you could implement, and maybe she would forget about changing into her nightgown. If she is stuck on this nightgown idea, I would get some that are quite suitable for greeting the world!

By edward1956 [1]10/18/2011

First of all, make sure it isn't the underwear fabric or detergent that is bothering her. Maybe it is really irritating her. But a lot of people like to be as comfortable as they can when they get home. If that's what comfortable to her, then I say let her do it. At least she is wearing them in public and to school. I know when my wife gets home, she takes off her bra and gets into her pajamas too, because that is whats comfy to her; even if it is mid-day.

By nj bartolini [3]10/18/2011

I feel perfectly fine in my own house being fully covered by a T-shirt or something else equally comfortable except for panties. When I was the age of your daughter I hated undershirts. I rarely wear shoes at home. I have regular pedicures, go to church usually more then once a week fully clothed! Relax she is a kid, don't read anything more into it.

By Frugal Sunnie [11]10/18/2011

I'm mother of two adults, gran to one seven year old-trust me, 6 year olds want to conform. There is a reason your daughter takes off the underwear as soon as she can, and it is very likely to do with either soap irritating her as Mary suggested, or the fit-have you checked to see if the elastic in the leg or waist openings are too tight or scratchy?

LOL, I'm 55, and if my underwear have been sewn with cheap nylon thread, it itches or chafes badly, and I can't wait to get it off. I know just how your six year old feels! Likewise the pair that have too tight leg or waist openings-yikes, cannot wait to get those off either.

Next time you buy her new underwear, measure her first, and then in the store make sure the leg and waist openings are the right size by using a measuring tape right there in the store to check.

I've done that for years for myself and my family and it really helps to make sure things fit. You can't try on underwear, and you can't return it so buying the wrong size can become costly.

By Mary Nelson [3]10/18/2011

She is probably sensitive to either the material the clothing is made of or the laundry products you are using. My daughter had a hard time with underwear for a long time. We had to go with all cotton underwear and use All-Free and Clear laundry detergent. I also do not use bleach or fabric softener. I use white vinegar to soften the laundry and also use peroxide to get many stains out. With the combination of the the above, she now wears underwear with no complaints.

If she is just being disobedient, which I doubt, then go ahead and come up with some consequences for her. I am sure her clothing is causing her to itch, have a rash, or is just irritating her though. Children find a lot of ways to disobey, but I've never heard of this one.

There is a reason she won't wear tight fitting clothing at home. Also, there is nothing wrong with not wearing underwear. Many women go without. It is much more comfortable for them. I'm more comfortable with it than without, but everyone is different.

By Wilma L.10/18/2011

Who is in charge at your house? If you can't get a 6 year old to do what you tell her, what will you be able to do at 16? I think you need to get a firmer grip on discipline. Maybe check out a book or two from your library on discipline for kids. Obviously you can't glue the underwear on, and if you haven't used the sanitary approach and succeeded then I think you need to buckle down and be a parent.

By Cricket [201]10/18/2011

Put your foot down. You're the mother, not her. She's supposed to do as you say. And if she refuses, then punish her. I won't say how. Each mother has her own methods and ideas. But don't let a 6 year old tell you what she will or will not do.

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