Aryn Petrus, owner, Uptown Boutique 

When it comes to fashion, are you finding it hard as a mother or single father getting your child dressed in the morning? Are you constantly battling with your children over what they want to wear verses what you want them to wear? Are you embarrassed sometimes because you may give into your child’s wants?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you will want to finish reading. I have been a nanny for 10 years, and I have helped raise my nieces and nephews along the way. I have learned that there is no difference in the war of getting ready for the day no matter the children, no matter the age.

Like most parents, even though I do not have any children yet, I have used all the tactics and tricks just to get a child ready in 20 minutes, but it always turns into a two-hour process. I finally learned a trick that took me a while to realize. You see, for us it is about the outfit (at least getting it to match) and for the kids it is about freedom, making a choice and independence. What I am about to share with you is a win-win scenario.

I am going to use my 3-year-old niece as an example. You can choose nights or mornings to use this idea. I usually have time in the mornings, and this is how we make the mornings easier. I pick out three complete outfits and lay them on the bed. When she gets done brushing her teeth, she will walk into her room and choose the outfit she wants to wear. She is happy and so am I.

Is it really this simple? Yes, but again, they are kids and like to throw curve balls at us. The biggest one is your child wanting to wear something you didn’t pick out. Here are two options in that scenario.

Option A: My niece wants to wear an entire outfit she put together herself. I tell her she can pick two items from her uniquely put together outfit. She picks her two favorite pieces and I get to make an outfit for her from those two pieces.

Option B: To help my niece forget about her un-matching outfit, I tell her if she picks one of the three outfits off her bed, she can help pick out mine. I then go through the same process I did with her three outfits. I lay out three matching ones for me on my bed and she chooses the one I will wear.

I hope these ideas will help your mornings go a little smoother. It has made my mornings easier knowing that I have plenty of time to get ready, too.