Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

My 8 year old, very bright grand-daughter who reads at a 13 year old level, plays guitar and violin, and has played soccer, will no longer wear "any" pants, skirts or socks in the past month. The doctors say she has anxiety and to put her in comfy clothes and send her to school. But absolutely "no" clothes are comfy for her. She eats a variety of foods and changes of detergents have no result. She cannot go to school and is very sad; she can't go to OT or therapy as she will not keep clothes on.

By Jennie from Albany, NY

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Can't she be made to leave the clothes on to take her out? One of my grandkids got sent to school in their pjs one time because they refused to get dressed for school, their clothes got sent with them. Their Mother called the school and let them know what was going on. After that the kid always got dressed because some of the other kids had teased them about wearing their pjs to school. It worked.

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You mention therapy and OT-does this child have autistic spectrum disorder or other special needs? If so, she may have a sensory integration issue and a skilled teacher or therapist can help with a program for her. If she is not a special needs child why can she not understand that if she refuses to wear clothes she is choosing to not be able to go to school, therapy, etc. Remind her that she can go to school, etc with all the kids when she chooses to dress like all the kids do. It sounds like there is something else going on and a psychologist/therapist is needed. She can probably go in her PJs if necessary. Is the refusal to wear clothes an attention getting behavior?

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What type of doctor is saying this? She is seeing a doctor that specializes in anxiety (emotional) conditions. She may need to see a specialist if she isn't currently doing so. Best wishes for her.

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It sounds to me like she needs to see a specialist as soon as possible. It could be something as simple as her way of control or it also could be something traumatic has happened to her if it's not physiological. I know this sounds mean but if she won't keep or put her clothes on take her to a specialist naked and just keep a blanket with you for modesty sake. I know that sounds mean but it's more mean and harmful to not do something about solving this problem.

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Probably a trauma that needs a therapist doctor not a GP. For such a quick change in this bright little girl, something hurt her or scared her and she needs someone who can get her to talk without fear. Sometimes that is not a Mom or Dad. She could also be under threat.

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I am training to be a special needs teacher and I think your granddaughter should have some psychological testing. Her school should be able to do it free of charge at home or school. She may have some sort of disability such as being on the autism spectrum or even an allergy; allergies with children sometimes have different symptoms. Good luck.

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This child is seeing a counselor; was tested for any autistic or aspergers syndroms; she should not be spanked for having a serious problem that she cannot control and is making her very sad. Therapist says there are some sensory issues besides emotional problems; but, since she is so bright and wants to get better, that the prognosis, though long and arduous, is good.

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I think the problem might be the hem and labels in clothes. They make them itch, feel like spinter's. I have a 22 yr old that started months ago, first started taking the hem out of socks, then & still take the hem out of the bottom of pants & shirts. I read alot of blogs written by autistic adults that all mentioned they don't like hems & labels in their clothes. Hope this helps.

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No, do not fight with your gd order Hanna Anderrson undies. No tags, no labels, no seams and no wedgies. They are a bit pricey 3 prs for $15 but worth every penny. Her visitation daddy steals them (sends her home w/no panties) and her mommy just takes them and send her home in boy unders from Walmart. The girl loves them.

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My 5 year old granddaughter will not wear underwear. She has difficulty with different clothing and cries like crazy if she has to wear socks. She will only wear crocks with the material attached to the inside. Any suggestions?

By Stella from Regina, Saskatchewan

Answers:

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

Set down a few ground rules on who is the boss and what is appropriate. If her feet get cold enough without socks in the winter, she will give in. I am in my 70s and just don't see all these problems people have with little kids not wanting to wear certain items of clothing. (10/27/2010)

By redhatterb

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

Your granddaughter could be allergic to latex, which is in the elastic on the underwear and socks, and it could really bother her to wear these items. It might be a good idea to have her checked for allergies. (10/27/2010)

By Patty Lynn

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

Yes, Patty Lynn is correct. I would take her to have her checked for allergies. My grandson has allergies and can't wear certain items. His ankles break out in blotches. My daughter can only use certain laundry detergents. (10/29/2010)

By xintexas

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

I agree the child should be tested for allergies. Maybe the laundry soap or fabric softener are causing discomfort and itching or a burning feeling. Double rinse the clothes after washing and dry without fabric softener sheets. Try to use cotton undies and avoid nylon and other synthetic fabrics. (10/29/2010)

By fresca03

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

Please find a child psychologist for her and ask about Sensory Integration Disorder. You can Google it for info to see how closely it might fit. A good friend of mine's son has it and yes allergies seem to play a big part in it, but there is behavioral treatment available also. Good luck! (10/29/2010)

By elle1972

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

I am surprised to see the number of folks who are familiar with this situation, as I can relate to all of these examples. I could never stand anything tight or "rough" and I always rolled down my underwear and pulled my pants below my waist (to avoid any rubbing or pressure on my stomach). Now that I'm older I buy Hanes (all cotton) bikini underwear and worn jeans from Goodwill; and need to use "additive-free" detergent and fabric softener. (10/31/2010)

By Raechyl

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

Does it really matter? Why not let her try on clothes and just allow her to pick out what she'd like to wear. It may not make you happy. Sometimes it's a way of having a bit of control when children feel they have none. Just part of growing up. (11/19/2010)

By takelababy

Child Refuses to Wear Underwear and Other Clothing Items

My 5 year old daughter is the same way, she absolutely refuses to wear socks and hates wearing underwear. She hasn't worn any kind of sock in years. She will wear her shoes without a fight, whether Keds or ballet flats or Mary Janes, but only as long as she doesn't have to wear any socks or tights with them; although she's OK wearing footless tights as long as she's able to have her bare foot in the shoe without socks. I didn't really care if my daughter didn't want to ever wear socks, since I don't wear socks much myself, but the no underwear issue seemed like something troubling.

She's been avoiding both socks and underwear for almost a year, but her not wearing underwear only really became an issue this fall. After I had given in and agreed that she did not have to wear socks with her shoes if she did not want to, she started dressing herself for kindergarten everyday and seemed to be doing very good. However, apparently she was not wearing underwear to school for almost 3 months before I found out.

When I first started making her wear underwear to school last month, I found out that she was going to the girls' room and taking her underwear off and putting her pants or dress back on without underwear and go back to class. I've tried to talk to her about why she needs to wear underwear, but nothing seems to work. She claims to "not like the way it feels" but she doesn't seems to mind wearing all manner of pants from jeans to soccer shorts to dresses without underwear. So, I'm not so sure.

One of my friends said her daughter was the same way between 5 to 9 years old and was always playing games not wanting to wear underwear. She said that after she couldn't take it anymore, she eventually decided to let her daughter not wear underwear at all and started taking both her daughter's socks and underwear from her drawer and told her that she could only have them when she was a big girl and decided to ask for them. I guess it was reverse psychology, but for over a year she wouldn't let her then 9 year old daughter have underwear even when she begged for it. Needless to say, she and I disagreed about her parenting method; but I was surprised that it kind of worked.

She told her daughter that she'd be allowed to wear underwear when she turned 10 years old, if she behaved herself for the rest of the year. Apparently it worked somewhat and her daughter both acted better and now agrees to wear underwear at least two days almost every week.

I don't want to find myself having to fight with my daughter over underwear for another 5 years. After my daughter's kindergarten teacher asked me last week why she hasn't been wearing underwear to class, I decided to to set up a meeting with the elementary school counselor after the holidays to discuss what they'd recommend. I can't afford a private psychiatrist out of pocket and don't have adequate health insurance to cover it; so the school counselor is our best bet.

Addie (11/22/2010)

By addiesmokes

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I have a 7 year old granddaughter who will not wear underwear or anything she feels is too tight. We've tried everything from larger sizes to trying every style of undies for children. She needs to stretch everything before she puts it on.

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My 7 year old granddaughter won't wear underwear. Mother has tried all types, she goes hysterical and breaks out in blotches on her face.

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Parenting Grade Schooler BehaviorNovember 29, 2010
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