Shoelace tying lessons being offered to kids

Do kids really need shoelace tying lessons?
Do kids really need shoelace tying lessons? Photo: Shutterstock

I have to admit, I've never taught my kids to tie their own shoelaces. I just figured they'd learn it by osmosis. Knowledge of how to tie laces is everywhere, surely it will just leech from society into their brain somehow?

And in the meantime, I bought them Velcro shoes.

My strategy has worked well so far. My eldest two somehow learned how to tie their shoes. My four-year-old is still clueless, but she's the type of kid that, even if she knew, would still insist one of her minions (aka her parents or siblings) do it for her.

But now there are formal shoe tying lessons available to teach your child to tie their own shoes. Shoe manufacturer Ascent are working with Athlete's Foot to offer half hour shoe-tying workshops for primary school children in schools and shopping centres, complete with a multi-media presentation, footwear samples for each student to practise on, and a certificate of achievement.

The internet is divided on whether this is the most brilliant idea ever, or outsourced parenting at its laziest.

"What next," one commenter asked on Facebook, "bum wiping lessons?"

Fair point.

But others have welcomed the lessons, including some parents of children with learning difficulties, who have struggled to teach their children how to tie their shoes while keeping all parties calm and engaged.

Kirsten, a parent with two children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) said, "My two boys with ADS (11 and 7) can't tie their laces. The 11-year-old wears boots to school and runners two days a week. I tried to teach him but I nearly clawed my face off in frustration. So I would happily pay someone else to teach him. My daughter learnt at school through a workshop Athlete's Foot ran."

Leanne, another mum of a child with ASD agreed. "OMG yes! It did my head in trying to teach my daughter. She just doesn't have the fine motor skills and it took me years to teach her. I wish I'd have had the option to pay someone else."

So while at first shoelace tying lessons might sound comical, there are parents out there sighing with relief. As for me, I'll keep using the osmosis method. It hasn't failed me yet.