Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My favorite shoe trick

Here is one of my two favorite tricks for helping my kids become self-sufficient.

When my kids were first able to start dressing themselves, they were adamant about putting on their own shoes.  I wasn't allowed to help, even though they put their shoes on the wrong feet more often than on the right.

One day, I got a permanent marker, and on inner edge of each shoe, by the ball near the big toe, I drew a picture.  One one shoe, I drew "Daddy" (a smiley face with short hair); on the other I drew "Mommy" (a smiley face with long hair).   When the shoes are on the right feet, Daddy and Mommy can "kiss".  When the shoes are on the wrong feet, Daddy and Mommy are far apart.   This let my kids see for themselves which way to put on shoes.

While my son was still young,  I occasionally drew pictures on his undergarments to help him get those on right, too.

This is a small thing in one way, but to my kids it allowed them to do a tricky task right, with no grown-up correcting them or nagging them afterward.  From my point of view, it's one of their first steps on the road to being responsible and autonomous.  My husband would call this a "step in the right direction".

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