Tips on Teaching Your Kids to Care for Their Shoes
Perhaps the points listed below will help you to instill your kids with an appreciation of the shoes they wear.
Kids are kids, and as such they don't give any thought to taking care of things at a young age. Having no concept of what it takes to buy clothes, toys or whatever, they have no appreciation for making these things last as long as they can. Not that all kids intentionally destroy things. That is certainly not the case. But, at the same time, kids don't go out of their way to keep their belongings from being damaged.
One item that kids seem to damage a lot is shoes. It is bad enough that they grow out of them at a rapid rate, but adding damage to that brief time can have your kids in and out of shoes at an alarming rate. Perhaps the points listed below will help you to instill your kids with an appreciation of the shoes they wear.
Tell your kids that shoes are not toys. Sometimes kids like to take things apart so that they can see what is inside. Explain to them that shoes are meant to stay on your feet and be worn. If they want to tear something apart, find a toy that they can disassemble and put back together. Explain the necessity for shoes. Shoes protect their feet and help them to walk correctly. It may even be a good idea to explain that shoes actually fall into the category of clothes. In this way you can explain the importance of taking care of the rest of their clothes.
Explain and illustrate the care of shoes. Take your child to your closet and show him how you have your shoes stored. Try and discuss the importance of keeping them clean and in an orderly fashion. Extend this illustration, while you are at it, to the other items in your closet. Perhaps if he sees how you take care of all of your things, he may want to imitate that action. Wait and see if this time spent with him makes any difference. It may happen in steps and some of it may have to be repeated but give him a chance to alter his behavior. By keeping a close watch on him, and his shoes, you can then reinforce this past action at a later date.
Make sure that there are consequences to not listening. After you have explained that shoes are not toys and you have shown him your shoes, make sure that he understands that there will be consequences if he does not take care of his own shoes. Tell him what those consequences will be so that it is not some generalization that he cannot understand. If he destroys his shoes and you simply replace them, then he has not learned anything and he gets the impression that caring for his shoes is not that important.
Be firm but fair with your child. Make sure that you stick to whatever consequence you set for his actions. If he feels that he can squirm his way out of any punishment then you will constantly be at his mercy. But, at the same time, be fair with him. These are shoes that we are talking about and shoes do take a beating. So, if he does present damaged shoes to you, listen to his explanation and then make your own judgment on what to do. If, however, he does not place his shoes in the area which has been designated, he should be reminded of the consequences to that action.
Teach him the value of shoes. Shoes are not cheap to purchase. Talk with your child and try to make him understand the act of buying a pair of shoes. If you need to buy some shoes, take him to the store with you so that he can witness the purchase and see what all is involved. You may even want to have him begin saving money for his next pair of shoes. Tell him how much money he may need and that it will take some time to save up that amount of money. Now he can place a value on those shoes.
It is difficult to instill value into children. By starting with a pair of shoes, this ideal will hopefully spread to his other possessions.