Child vs. Shoelace

I don’t quiet remember when and where I learned how to tie my shoelaces, but I know for some it was an important milestone of growing up.  Akin to first time you got potty trained, showered on your own, or even the first kiss (not quiet).  But it is an important milestone, having said that it wasn’t an easy milestone to achieve – one of those things you kind of have to do, an inevitable rite of passage, much like getting your driving license.

Some may not see the merit of shoelaces given that we have the wonderful discovery of Velcro, but it’s almost impossible trying to find shoes for an 8 year old that aren’t infested with the “the shoelace”.  I think tying up shoelaces isn’t just about shoes, it’s also about knowing how to tie knots which comes in handy for karate tops, birthday balloons, and roping a chicken for the roast dinner.  So there is no way around it, the art of shoelace tying must continue to be passed down for generations to come – as painful as that process is.  My little guy complains that it’s too tight, too loose, keeps untying itself, trips over the hanging laces….it’s always something.  So how can this be done as painless as possible?  Here’s what I tried:

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice – show them 1, 10 or even 100 times until they get it then let them do it
  2. Never take the easy way out and tie it for them, even if you’re pressed for time, they (kids) will manipulate this and will keep it to the last minute so that you’re forced to do it for them in a time crunch.
  3. Check the lace length, long laces add to frustration, increase the chance of the knot being opened and inadvertently tripping. So even if you get slightly shorter laces and thread them through, it’ll help with the confidence level of tying up.
  4. Once in a while give them a break and have them wear Crocs or Velcro shoes just to ease some of the anxiety and then start again with Practice, Practice, Practice.

Any tips from your end?


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