17 answers

8 Year Old Son Can't Tie Shoes

I am having the hardest time dealing with my 8 year old right now! First of all, he seems to rebel when I try to teach him something. He's not good at taking instruction from his dad either, however he is a perfect angel at school, church, etc. I know this is typical, but I am a stay at home mom and I need him to be able to learn from me. We have a major issue right now with learning to tie shoes. The subject has been addressed in our family before, but I've had it now. I need him to learn to tie his own shoes. He is actually in need of a new pair of shoes and I told him that when he learned to tie his shoes, I would buy him a new pair. I thought this would be a motivation, but it just made him really mad. I have a younger son and we would like to have another baby soon, so I can't be dealing with tying my 8 year old's shoes. Does anyone have any experience with this? I've tried in times past to teach him to tie his shoes, but he hasn't been able to "get it". I need some new tricks, methods, etc. to try with him. Or I just need to find someone else to teach him that he would willingly learn from. Please help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

UPDATE: Okay, we went shoe shopping Friday night and I was ready to just get velcro shoes and let the whole thing go, but he insisted on tie shoes. I figured at least this will give him opportunity to learn, so I gave in. I did tell him that sometime in the next few weeks I would like it if he at least tried to tie his shoes. On Saturday, HE came to ME with the shoes on and asked if I would show him how to tie them. In 30 minutes, he was doing great! Thank you all so much for helping! I realized it was as much his resistance as it was my attitude about the whole thing that was making the situation difficult.

Featured Answers

It took me a long time to learn, and I always picked slip on shoes. Come to think of it, most of my shoes now are slip on... but I do know how to tie my shoes. Eventually I got it. Could you just get his next shoes ones he can put on by himself?

K.

Relax Mom ..he will just do it one day when you aren't trying to get him to...buy him shoes that don't need tieing, they make shoes that look like they lace, put stretching shoe laces in his shoes, they don't have to be tied. It sounds like at this point the issue is more than it should be. Get him a dvd or vidieo that shows how to do it. Let him learn on his own...But don't make this a huge issue or he will quit trying

More Answers

have you tried the bunny ears trick, esp with easter so near he might be interested in tying up the bunny ears on his shoes

Yes, I've had the same--- my son, but make it into a game-tell him he's a big boy and you know he's so smart and have him practice on Daddy's shoe. Let him put Daddy's shoes on and work with him from there and let him know dad will appreciate him tying his shoes for him. I believe he'll have fun with that. Give him a big hug and give him a little surprise. Best wishes!

Our little guy was not understanding how to tie he shoes. But one morning he did it!! I acknowledge his success and ask if someone helped to teach him a different way. His best friend in school would tie hiw shoe each day in school then taught him how!!

Sometimes we parents speak a foreign language to our kids. They learn on a different level. So sometimes it takes one of their peers to explain and help.

I bet one of his friends would be able to explain it.

Best Wishes,

J. H.

I learned the "wrong" way to tie and now at 56 can only tie this way. After you do the initial cross over, one lace crossed under the other, and pulled tight, make a loop out of both laces. Cross the loops, one under the other and pull and you have just tied your bow. You can't tell it wasn't tied the "accepted" way and it stays tied just as securely.

H., I totally understand what your going thru!!! My son is 8 and just learned to tie his shoes. I felt like I was beating my head against a brick wall for the longest time. It sounds like your son is alot like mine. The best advise I can give you is to see if someone he is real close to, like an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or even one of his friends, teach him. And yes I do mean one of his friends his age. Also, I had decided to quit stressing over it, and that is when my son descided to tie his shoes. Good luck, and my prayers are with you!!!

Relax Mom ..he will just do it one day when you aren't trying to get him to...buy him shoes that don't need tieing, they make shoes that look like they lace, put stretching shoe laces in his shoes, they don't have to be tied. It sounds like at this point the issue is more than it should be. Get him a dvd or vidieo that shows how to do it. Let him learn on his own...But don't make this a huge issue or he will quit trying

I don't remember exactly how old I was when I learned to tie my own shoes, but I was older than what I guess was expected. I remember my older brother and his friends making fun of me. One of his friends showed me, that was it!

It sounds like this has become a power issue between you two. Ask a friend, aunt, uncle, kid next door, Sunday school teacher to teach him.

I am having the same issues with my 7 1/2 yr old. Not only is it the shoes...it's roller blading, bike riding...pretty much anything that he cannot grab on to the first or second try...he gets mad and quits.
I am due with our 3rd baby in 3 weeks and have a 4 yr old daughter. He has got to learn to be more independant this summer! I will keep you posted if I find anything that works!

H.,
I personally believe in "picking your battles" and this is one I wouldn't worry so much about. Velcro is definitely popular and easy and I think as your son grows and sees his friends tying their shoes, he will want to learn. I wouldn't stress over it.
Jenny

It took me a long time to learn, and I always picked slip on shoes. Come to think of it, most of my shoes now are slip on... but I do know how to tie my shoes. Eventually I got it. Could you just get his next shoes ones he can put on by himself?

K.

Talk to the people he cooperates with. Can they do this, do they have any suggestions? He is 8 and maybe you could try asking him what is bothering him about his shoes. Maybe you could get him shoes that don't tie, but talk to him about it.

Nelda C
M. of 5

Use a jump rope. Have him sit and place the rope around his legs/lap. This makes it easier for kids to learn how to do it, but also manipulate the string as it bigger. It worked like magic at our house.

I am left handed and no one knew it until I couldn't learn to tie my shoes.

Also, the only way my sister can tie hers is granny knot style. The first cross, then two bunny ears and the second cross.

On the other hand, you could just let it go. You could buy lace clips or velcro shoes until he shows interest again. Eventually he'll learn.

All the kids in my family (my siblings and now our kids!!) have learned to tie their shoes the same way. We learned on one my dad's big army boots. I'm sure any big pair of work boots would work. The helpful part is the oversized shoe and the really long shoe strings. Those little fingers have a hard time with the intricate fingerwork needed to tie those short strings. Good Luck!

It's kind of like potty training...when he's ready he'll learn. When you force him, he'll rebel. My nine year old is just now learning. We bought her the shoes without ties for years then her foot got to the size where she could only where ones with laces. She is still slow but getting there. When we stopped forcing her to try she learned on her own. Funny thing too, she did the same with math and her state capitals. When her dad quit hounding her she wanted to learn and did. Let him be and eventually he'll learn. He'll learn before he's in Middle School, cuz then he'll get picked on and he doesn't want that, so don't fret so much.
Good luck with your new living arrangements, my family and I moved from the south 5 years ago and love where we are now and the change helped a lot.

Hi H.,
How are you? There are learning boards that you can buy (Montessori items usually) or make one for him to try and keep trying with several laces in different widths and shapes, he is old enough to get it fast if he practice and lets you show him how to do it. That is probably the most difficult part I know..., otherwise I would just buy him shoes with velcro and take it easy, he'll learn some day, you;ll probably find him trying on his own or find out that he already knows!. Try asking him for help with his brother, tell him that he has to help you when you need it. Ask dad to teach him. There is also a simple way that he can do 9it is not the best way, but I know some kids like it) you make 2 bunny ears with the laces and just tie a double knot with them, later he might be able to pick up the real way of doing it.
Well....that's all i can think of...hope it helps,
M. Abadie
www.MaiaCreations.ecrater.com
www.MyKidsFirst.com

Where on the Gulf Coast did you come from? I'm from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. As far as your son is concerned, have another child his age teach him. I tried and tried with my daughter and no success, one afternoon with her friend and she mastered it. I spoke to the mother beforehand quietly and she handled it great. She had them take their shoes off while playing inside, she then sneaked and untied one of her shoes. When it was time to go out, she suggested to her daughter to teach my daughter and it worked wonders(she came home teaching me)!!!!!!!!!

Good luck,
D.

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