This is embarrassing. My 6-year-old still cannot tie his shoes. Why? Because I haven’t sat down to teach him yet.
I have a couple of excuses. First, I’m left-handed and he’s right-handed. Three years ago, I had to pass the job of teaching my older son (now almost 9) how to tie his shoes to someone else, just as my right-handed mother had to have a lefty teach me. Second, his school requires non-tying shoes for children who cannot tie their own because the teacher can’t be tying 24 kids’ shoes all day long.
Hang on…he can’t tie his shoes because he can’t wear tie shoes to school because he can’t tie shoes??? Wow.
Let’s go a step further. When I bought my kindergartener his latest pair of shoes, my 3rd grader wanted to know why he couldn’t have Velcro shoes as well. (NOTE: Velcro shoes these days actually look cool.) Still, I refused to let him have tie-free shoes because I was certain he only wanted them so he could be lazy.
So, who won that argument? He hates tying his shoes so much that he wears his sneakers like slip-ons. Loose laces and a standard bow with a triple knot so they never come undone. Should I have bought him the Velcro shoes?
I think kids should be able to tie shoes and I think it requires a lot of practice to do it properly. But with all the shoe-lace-free options out there, will this skill go by the wayside? The only time I wear anything with shoelaces is when I go to the gym. But I’d gladly take shoes with Velcro straps instead, especially after the number of timed-miles I’ve run with my sneakers untied.
By the end of the summer, my 6-year-old will be able to tie his shoes. Maybe I’ll give his right-handed brother the task of teaching him.