Guest blog post by Mini Exchange
It can be a challenge to get your kids dressed for school. Some children develop peculiar quirks about clothing that can really drive a parent crazy. A common quirk that many parents have encountered is when their child hates putting on shoes. Some kids just love having the freedom to wiggle their toes, and feel restricted wearing closed shoes. So how do you win this battle? Here are some helpful tips:
Know the root cause
The first step is to try to figure out why your child dislikes wearing shoes. Are they too tight or too heavy? Does the fabric cause irritation, or are they just plain uncomfortable? Offer alternatives like open-toed sandals. Hopefully, you'll be able to determine the specific reason your child is anti-shoe, and eventually find a style they can be happy with.
Make them feel you understand
Empathize with your child by explaining that, in an ideal world, they shouldn’t have to wear shoes. This could help to change how they feel about the situation. If a child feels that a parent understands, they feel acknowledged and validated.
Explain why they need shoes
Explain that walking barefoot outside can be dangerous. Offer examples of things that could hurt them, like sharp stones, glass, and thorns. You can get creative and tell a bedtime story of a little boy (or girl) who never liked to wear shoes, and one day they went outside and cut their foot on a shard of glass, and because the ground was so dirty, the open wound was infected with germs. Remind your child that shoes are for their own protection.
Let them choose
Give your kids the opportunity to choose their own shoes. Provide them with a few good options, like flip flops, or flats, that you’re happy with. That way, they can choose the pair they like most, and feel like it was their decision.
Once your child has chosen a pair of shoes, have them practice wearing them around the house. You can also try to associate shoes with fun activities, like taking a walk to the playground, or walking the dog. Get them used to putting on shoes before leaving the house, so that it will be routine by the time they go back to school.