I have a four year old stepson who every now and then picks up a bad habit or two. Recently (about a week ago), he complained that the jeans he was wearing bothered his underwear and therefore bothered him. His father told him it would be ok to take off the underwear and wear the jeans without them, but as a result since that day; he has not wanted to wear underwear. I asked him the next day why he did not want to wear underwear and he answered that one of his friends at pre-k did not wear them.
I'm sure he will eventually wear them, but my question is the following.
1) Should I try and buy different type of underwear so he could feel more comfortable?
2)OR Should I let him make that decision on his own like his father says and let him go without underwear?
3)Is this another phase of toddlerhood?
4) What age is it appropriate to let your child make these decisions on their own?
5) Is it ok for him not to wear underwear?
I think it shows the child a good habit, but his dad disagrees.
This is my first time being a step-mom or mom so I'm learning as I go....
If him not wearing underwear bothers you (and it sounds as if it does,) you need to talk with your husband to get his buy-in to help reinforce the new rule, then I'd tell your step son "In our house, we wear underwear." If he still refuses to wear underwear, then next time he comes to you for something (a snack, trip to the park, TV time, etc.) tell him he will get what he wants after he puts his underwear on, and repeat "In our house..." and leave it at that. Don't let him sweep you into an argument/debate. You are the parent.
1 & 2) Let him select his underwear after you discuss with him that he must wear underwear in your house 3) Maybe, but it sounds as though he's rather enjoying his control over you, especially since Dad doesn't seem to care 4) He's old enough to dress himself, he's old enough select his own underwear. If he can't decide, you (or Dad) will decide for him. 5) I cannot believe that a state-licensed daycare would ever allow a child to not wear underwear; that's putting the other kids and daycare personnel at an even higher risk of infection.
I think it would be hard to establish a rule now that you've let him go without. Take him shopping. See if he's interested in another style...like boxers or boxer briefs (I'm assuming he was in briefs before?). Encourage him to pick a new style to try. Don't push it. And if he doesn't like how those feel either, then I suppose you can't MAKE him wear them because you've already set that precedent. Talk to him more about WHY the underwear is uncomfortable with pants. Are they scratchy? bunchy? wedgie-ish? Try to do some problem-solving with him. Explain that it's standard for people to wear underwear. Tell him you're not forcing him to wear underwear because they seem to be really bothering him, but remind him that underwear is important so we need to figure out a way to make them work.
My son didn't like wearing regular underwear so we bought him boxers. He loves them. We let him pick out his own with his favorite charachters on them.
"Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments" -Henry Ward Beecher
Do not give the boy a complex! Not wearing underwear is no big deal. Many boys are more comfortable not wearing underwear and desire not to wear them. Wearing underwear is a carry over from the past and the Victorian era. I remember dispensing with underwear at an early age and how much more comfortable and happier I was.