My 7-Year-Old Can't Tie His Shoes, But That's What Velcro Is For

Rant 41

kid tying shoes

Ok, so I have a bit of a shameful confession to make, which is hypocritical to say because I honestly don't feel ashamed about it at all. (Or at least not all that much.)

Here goes nothing. My 7-year-old son doesn't know how to tie his shoes, and frankly, I don't give a damn. Sure, I tried to teach him about a year ago. I went out and got him a traditional pair of lace-up sneakers, figuring it wouldn't take too terribly long for him to get the hang of things.

But then after about the umpteenth time of him coming home from school with them untied, and complaints about the teacher not having time to help him tie them at school -- I gave up, went back to his velcro kicks, and haven't looked back since.

And even though in the back of my brain I fully realize that he needs to learn to tie his shoes because he's a second grader, the more I think about it, I really just don't see the point in teaching him. I'm not 100 percent convinced it's a skill he'll ever really need.

Here's the thing -- there are so many shoes on the market these days that don't require any sort of tying at all. From velcro to slip-on to those little bungee tie laces you can get to put on any pair of footwear -- there are plenty of ways to skirt around having to drill the "bunny runs around the tree and jumps in a hole" bit into his brain.

And as time goes on, somehow I'm guessing shoe styles are only going to evolve even further to cater to parents who are sick and tired of worrying about their kids tripping over their untied laces. What if I spend hours teaching him now, and he never actually has to tie a shoe for the rest of his life? (He and I both have better things to do.)

I mean, by the time he's my age, he'll probably be able to magically tie his shoes with one tap on his iPhone. I can just picture him looking at me like I'm some sort of outdated old lady and saying, "Mom, people stopped having to tie their own shoes a long time ago. There's an app for that."

Sigh. We'll see -- maybe one of these days I'll break down and insist that he learn to tie his shoes just for the sake of being able to say my kid knows how to tie his darn shoes. 

But that can wait until he's at least 8 or 9 or so.

Do your kids know how to tie their shoes?


Image via Hero Images/Corbis

shoes, independence


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Evaly... EvalynCarnate

My 7 year old daughter can tie her shoes..she's just not very good at it. So most mornings I end up tying them for her... *mom fail*

nonmember avatar Kristi

I don't think it is a big deal that your son doesn't know how to tie his shoes but your attitude towards it is worthless. I can't help but link your attitude to the sickening trend in this country of "oh well society will evolve around my laziness". Saddening.

ncchicky ncchicky

My 7 year old can, and has been able to for the past year and a half.  My 6 year old were trying to teach, but its like trying to train a monkey to be a human...we went to velcro for a break.

Ashley Littlejohn

I couldn't tie my shoes until I was 10. Everyone I met thought I was lying because I could tie string and ribbon for bows, but not my shoes. Something about it seeming upside down to me just made it difficult for my brain to process the actions.

nonmember avatar Mal

My daughter is in preschool and I'm going to get her the Minnie Mouse tie your shoe book. She is interested in it and its basic info I think everyone should know. What about tying a robe or a bow on a box. It's something you use more than you realize. Also since we can't tie her own shoes at the moment, I just double knot them til she can do it on her own.

Valerie Metzger

You're going to get so much crap for this. If for nothing else, the complete and utter laziness that you fully admit to, lol.

One of his frat brothers will teach him in college. ;-)

since... sincerelyjessxo

When I was a kid I had a really hard time learning. 3 or 4 family members tried to teach me before it finally clicked. Everyone was trying to teach me how to do it with one loop until my aunt showed me with two loops. I still can't tie shoes with one loop lol.

nonmember avatar S.Smith

I agree with Kristi about your attitude...your son may not be trying because"if mom doesn't care why should I" both of my older girls were 4 when they learned to tie their shoes..dont use the bunny method just tell everything you do as you do tie yours while he's tying his

nonmember avatar Jocelyn

Not a big deal.


Riding a bike & Tying my shoes were big accomplishments from me.  I remember everyone trying to teach me and I just couldn't get the hang of it [Tying Shoes]...I am thinking I was probably 4 or 5...the Double Loop was very confusing for me...and the Bunny method was just as bad.  I had to sit down by myself and I kept trying & trying...I think it took me days/weeks...But one day, it just clicked.  P.S. I still don't like the Double Loop method--it's just too weird for me to comprehend.

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