Last week after Z’s hockey practice we were in the change room getting ready to leave and his best friend was getting his shoes on. Z noticed that they were shoes with laces. As his friend proceeded to tie his own shoelaces, I caught a glimpse of his face. He was not only surprised, but also had that look saying “I want to do that too”.
Z is 7.5 years old and can’t tie his own shoelaces. Granted we’ve never made an effort to teach him and have always made it easy for him. One of our favorite brands is Nike and they have such a great selection of kids shoes with velcro so that’s all we’ve ever purchased. Or, the shoes he does have with laces like his Converse, we’ve swapped out the laces and put in Laceez, allowing him to have the look of shoelaces without having to learn how to tie them.
But seeing the slightly envious look on his face, I knew that it might be time to teach him how to tie shoelaces.
When we got home that afternoon, I told him that we can learn anytime he wants to. And he wanted to…right then and there. So we grabbed a pair of shoes that required laces and started the lesson.
Now being a lefty myself and teaching a righty how to tie laces, can be a little bit tricky. I had to try to switch up my grip and do it the way he would just to make it slightly easier for him. We sat on the floor in the hallway and over time we worked together and talked it out just how to do it. I didn’t remember that having such little hands and fingers make it more difficult. But like his true self, he didn’t get upset or frustrated in the slightest when he couldn’t get it. But just like he learned to ride his bicycle, he slowly picked it up.
He kept going and going and trying over and over. He loves learning something new. And I tell you, when this kid puts his mind to something, he goes all in and doesn’t give up. One of the many things I love about him.
And soon, all on his own, as slow as it was and even though he needed some talking it through, he got it. And when he saw that he had done it, he was THRILLED.
Now don’t get me wrong. He needs way more practice. Doing it once doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to do it again. But like father like son, he doesn’t give up. And in the not so distant future as the weather changes and we put the boots away and take out our runners, he’s going to start practicing even more…and knowing this kid, he’ll have it down pat in no time.
And then we will need to work on his little brother….
How old were your kids when they learned how to tie their shoelaces? Please share your experiences!