Shoe Tying is Hard, Y’all

25 Apr

After last month’s success with potty training I thought… heck… I can do ANYTHING.  Let me try shoe tying. AGAIN.

I distinctly remember my dad teaching me.  Sitting on the couch at my grandmother’s home for hours we tried over and over and over again.  Practice makes perfect.  However, if  you didn’t know, I’m a girl and my son, well he’s a very active, very wiggly boy.  He is not about to sit for hours practicing something he does not want to do when there are football games and video games to play.  We tried a couple of months ago and everyone ended up frustrated, crying and grumpy.  I was pretty sure I didn’t want him to be a 30-year-old man wearing velcro shoes, so I knew it was time that I tried again.

Off to the pinterest I went in search of ideas.

There is not a whole lot out there but I did find this technique ( that seemed to make sense in my little brain.  It seems that our son, like most boys, learn from seeing and maybe the two different colored lace idea would really work.

First, DOC made this great template and I tried different color ribbon to help him visualize just what it looked like when I’m tying the shoes.

Then, I sat the Boy between my legs and first showed him what I do.  Then had him place his hands on mine then, tried it side by side; him on the colored laces, me on the white.


That was making us both pretty frustrated.  I think he was remembering the stress from last time.  I asked him to Loop it around, use your thumb, push it through.  Dang if I didn’t even try the “chase the bunny around the hole” method that I don’t like.

Finally, what worked was the DOUBLE bunny ear! It frankly never occurred to me that shoes could be tied without the chase the bunny around the hole method.  I practiced it myself a couple of times and then showed the Boy once again.

1.)  Take one lace in each hand and make an X. Draw the top lace through the bottom of the X and pull the two laces tight.

2.) Make a loop out of each lace. TWO  bunny ears.

3.)  Just like in step 1, cross the ears.

4.)  Flip one ear under the other.  Pull the bent ear through the hole and tug both ears tight.

He got it on the third try.  With beaming pride off he ran to show his dad.

There you have it, shoe tying mommas, I hope this helps! Good luck.

So, what’s the next hard thing a mom of a nearly three-year old and a seven-year old has to look forward to… maybe bike riding without training wheels? Maybe that will be a DOC project.

What are your techniques for teaching hard tasks?

5 Responses to “Shoe Tying is Hard, Y’all”

  1. Sara April 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Congratulations Momma! My father-in-law always used the sink or swim method, literally. My husband learned how to swim by being thrown out of the boat, into the water. When they left DMV the day he received his learners permit, his father pulled the truck over onto the side of the interstate and told my husband to drive…they were in an old manual pick-up truck. On the interstate. Um, I would not recommend these methods.

  2. Jen April 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    That’s a hard one to teach. I am the only lefty in our house, so I tie backwards from everyone else. In fact, when I learned how to tie, I couldn’t figure it out until one of my aunts (also a lefty) taught me. Since I almost singlehandedly pottytrained both of our girls and I know that I’d be in charge of things like buying bras, first periods, shaving, and other “girl stuff,” I told my husband that he was responsible for teaching shoe tying, which he did. Even now, when my girls tie their shoes, it looks like they’re doing some really foreign act, because they do it so differently from how I do it.

  3. Becky April 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    I leave the hard stuff, like shoe tying, bike riding and potty training to my better half. Although now that I think about it, I may have taught her how to tie her shoes. I know it was sink or swim, because she wanted a pair of purple converse, but I told her if I bought them, she’d have to learn how to do it herself. Which she now knows how to do.


  1. Summer Camp | The Evolution of Mrs. Aimee C - May 21, 2015

    […] Shoe Tying:  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get The Girl out of flip flops long enough to learn to tie her shoes. […]

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