This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Teach your child to be self sufficient from an early age.
Your child is 8 years old. They head over to a friend’s house to play, and they go into the friend’s house. They take their shoes off and have a good time. The other kids all head outside to play, but your child is struggling to get their shoes and socks on. You’ve never taught them to do it themselves, and now when you’re not there they don’t know how to do it. Don’t put your child in this situation.
This may sound extreme, but we recently experienced this exact scenario. Our son had some friends over and one of them couldn’t really get his shoes on. He ultimately asked for some help which we assisted with. When it was time to go home, his parents came inside and put his shoes on for him. It was a pretty eye opening experience - apparently some parents are still putting their child’s shoes on at that age.
You should start to teach your child to put their own shoes and socks on from as early as you can. Kids can put their own shoes and socks on from a very young age - as young as one, but most will usually start a bit later than that. Regardless, your toddler should start putting their own shoes and socks on. Socks will generally be a bit harder for them, but they will pick it up as they continue to try.
Make sure that you buy them shoes they can actually put on. Your two-year old isn’t going to be able to tie shoelaces, so buy slip-on type shoes that they can actually put on and go by themselves in. You can start teaching a child to tie their own shoes as they get a bit older, but it’s not uncommon for them to not know how to tie their shoes until even the age of eight, so don’t be too discouraged about that.
As your child learns to put on their own shoes, you’ll find that getting out the door is much easier. You no longer have to put your child’s shoes on everytime you want to go somewhere. While it may take a bit longer to get going at first, you’ll find that your child will quickly get faster at this task, and it will ultimately be a huge timesaver for you. They’ll also be self-sufficient when you’re not around.
Ultimately, being able to put their own shoes on is just one of the important things that you’ll want to start teaching your child as they grow older. Don’t coddle your child and do everything for them. While it may seem easier to do so (and sometimes it is), you’re going to set them back when you’re not around. You may think that you’re doing the right thing by doing everything for them, but you’re really not.
Start letting your child dress themselves. Let them bathe themselves and brush their teeth (although you should monitor these activities a bit so that they actually get clean). Let them get in their carseat and buckle themselves in (once again checking that they’ve done it right). Your child will want to do many of these things on their own, and you should teach them the right way to do it.
Teach your child to put their shoes on by themselves. Don’t do everything for them - you’ll set them back by doing so.