Going crazy when it comes to my 4 yr old and shoes...

Jen - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My 4 yr old son has hit a weird foot and shoe stage. He is very picky wih his shoes and how they fit on his feet. He has to have them very tight (he thinks that will keep the dirt out) he has to have his socks a certain way, if there is any dirt in his shoes he will take them off. He has both tie and velcro. He does prefer the tie ones more. But there are times that I will put his shoes on and turn around and he has them back off, messing with his sock and then wants me to put them on again. If he is outside he is coming to me every couple minutes with his shoe in hand asking me to put it back on. The velcro ones he will tighten so much that as soon as he bends his foot it comes undone. His shoe laces busted the other day and we went to get a new pair of shoes, he picked out velcro ones and said he loved them. Turns out he hates them! He cries if he has to wear them and refuses to go outside. He would rather stay indoors than wear shoes. Now obviously I am going to go get him another pair, ones that tie. But has anyone else dealt with this at such a young age?! This shoe thing is driving me crazy!!!lol

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Sherry - posted on 03/23/2010

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This sounds very frustrating for the both of you! We all hate to have something in our shoe that doesn't belong. It is smart of him to figure that tightening the shoe would keep out dirt. Maybe explain that it's not truly possible to keep dirt out, it's not the end of the world when it does happen, maybe compare it to other body parts or people. They get dirty, it's okay, there's simple fixes (wash hands, shake a shoe, wipe a face), then everyone can go back to what they were doing. Staying calm will encourage him to do the same. Don't accomodate unrealistic demands, hearing no or wait won't hurt him. Empower him by showing him how put shoes on himself, then the velcros would be ideal. Eventually, delay your response time to push him to do it on his own. If he wants to stay inside, avoid a power struggle, make outside extra appealing. Sit out there blowing bubbles, painting, etc by yourself; he'll come around. If nothing else, maybe a pair of tall rain boots would appease him. Best of luck!

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Rebecca - posted on 03/25/2010

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(most toddlers love wellies -- even in summer, and i say let them wear wellies if that's all they'll wear!)

Rebecca - posted on 03/25/2010

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my 3 year old drives me nuts with shoes. this last xmas (i live in the southern hemisphere so it's summer at xmas) i took her shoe shopping and she insisted on two pairs that have a toe thing (like on flip flops). when she chose them i asked her to try them on and make sure she was comfortable with them because i can't stand shoes that go thru my toes. she insisted they were find for her. about 1/2 hr after we got home she refused to wear them and said they weren't uncomfortable and was crying that i chose the wrong shoes !! she's worn them very occassionally since and summer is almost over. thank goodness they were cheap shoes... they're hardly worn and they won't fit by next year ... some lucky girl is gonna get some nice hand-me-downs.

the other day she needed some new tackies (trainers?) for sports day at school. we tried on every pair in the shop and the only ones she liked they didn't have in her size -- nothing they had in her size was good enough. i had to go to another shop on another day and she ended up choosing a plain black pair of velcro boys tackies -- she wore them for sports day, but now she is saying that they are boys shoes and she doesn't want to wear them!

i deal with it by buying as few shoes as possible and letting her go bare foot most of the time --- luckily the climate mostly allows that. but she is also constantly hurting her feet -- nowadays i just tell her, well if you won't wear shoes when you go out, you can expect to get sore feet. .... the message STILL isn't getting thru to her.

i bought her some boots for winter today. i'm waiting for her to get home and see if they fit (couldn't face another shoe shop with her in tow). she has a pair of red wellies she loves and if that is all she wears all winter, well, at least it saves me money!

Samantha - posted on 03/25/2010

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I had this with my daughter when she was 4, was told by professionals that it is just a common phase that children do not like change no matter how small and they will find all sorts of excuses to avoid change. My daughter would not let me buy her any type of shoes she used to scream the shop down if she even saw me pick up some shoes. I used to have to make her wear them and eventually she'd get used to it untill I needed to buy the next pair but on a plus note she did outgrow that phase within 6 months but admittedly it was hard work! My daughter was very stubborn (stubborns an understatement really) so she could not be talked round, not sure if you have that problem with your son, I ended up with a behaviour specialist as she was such a difficult child at that age. You can be reffered to one by your health visitor/doctor if you talk to them about it. I'd suggest you dont give him choice, he should get what hes given that way there is no room for arguement. With the taking his shoes back off take him out without shoes he'll soon see his feet are worse off without and then he will wear his shoes, sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind, I'd much rather that then end up stressing at him all day everyday. I remember going through it and its very frustrating and I wished I didnt havent to argue with her all the time so I did it that way and she started to listen to me. Hope this helps...

Tina Marie - posted on 03/24/2010

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one of my friends has a son that she had tested for OCD because of things like this. he was very particular about shoes and clothing and dirt...you might check with your doctor. my friend did and found that her son does in fact have OCD. i wish you luck. but the only other thing i can suggest for you is boots. boots on little ones are always cute especially with little boys when they are wearing shorts...sorry april...lol!!!

April - posted on 03/24/2010

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My kid will only wear cowboy boots!! and thanks its funny to wear them with shorts!!!

Leah - posted on 03/24/2010

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Sherry has some really good ideas there. definaterly worth giving them a shot.
the only other thing I can suggest is try a pair of riding boots, they are higher then normal shoes and may give him a little extra comfort and he would be able to put these on by himself. Worth a shot.
Goodluck

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