How To Teach a Child to Tie Shoes

Your child must be discovering and exploring things by now. You may observe him trying to do things on his own. When a child turns two, his curiosity peaks and he makes attempts to be independent, like holding the spoon during his meals, holding his feeding bottle, and even trying to tie his shoes when you are going out. As a parent, you must nurture and develop his abilities whenever he seems to be ready to learn them. One of the most important life skills tasks that you will teach your child is how he can tie his shoes.

  • Develop his fine motor skills and coordination. To best prepare your child physically to tie his shoelaces, you should help him develop the fine muscles of his fingers. You could do this by letting him play with clay or by letting him string beads together. Improving his fine motor skills is also valuable for improving his writing skills.
  • Show him how it’s done. The best way to teach your child to ties his shoes is to give him a demonstration. Lay out his sneaker in front of him, and your own sneaker in front of you. Let him look at the way you tie your shoes, and make sure that you emphasize each single step. Then encourage him to imitate you as you do it again.
  • Work with the principle of scaffolding. Scaffolding is a technique in which you teach your child by heavily guiding him as he fulfills the entire process, and then gradually letting him do it independently. To scaffold your child with the task of tying his shoes, first, you could hold and control his hands to do the movements. After a few tries, let him do the actions himself, but watch him very carefully and prompt him what to do. After a while, he should be able to do the entire process independently.
  • Repeat over and over until he masters the chore. Repetition is the key to learning how to tie shoelaces. When you show him how it’s done, make him repeat the process over and over again until he memorizes all the steps in order. When he gets frustrated and angry for failing to tie his shoes properly, take a short break to let him cool off, and you can get back to it as soon as he is ready and willing.
  • Take your time. It doesn’t work overnight. You have to teach him repeatedly so he gets the task easily. When your child is uncooperative or unresponsive to your instructions, don’t be discouraged. Tell him that you can resume your lesson when he is ready and cooperative. This way he is encouraged to learn more because he is not pressured.
  • Encourage your child. Consistently praise your child for his efforts, not necessarily for his achievements. It’s also best that you teach during a time when nobody is in a hurry, so that tempers won’t rise and teaching and learning could occur in a relaxed environment.

When teaching your child how to tie his shoes, realize that he is as eager to learn as you are to teach him. Work with your child’s innate skills, and you’d find teaching him to be a pleasurable experience. Good luck!


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