As my colleague raincoaster noted in a previous comment, a lot of people bemoan the fact that many young children’s shoes have velcro closures instead of laces. My goodness, they think, will an entire generation of children grow up never knowing how to tie a knot? How will they ever learn how to sail? Is it even possible to raise children properly when they simply run around never having to experience the hardship of re-tying their shoelaces at various unexpected intervals throughout the day?
But, I’m here to tell you that velcro is not the global menace that it seems, mentally weakening our kids and spoiling them with the ability to stay fastened.
In fact, velcro shoe closures have been proven in double-blind studies to help modern mothers retain 15% more hair than their non-velcroed counterparts.
If you have ever tried to get a toddler/preschooler ready, it can take longer than you anticipate, even though delays are inevitable. You never know if they are going to refuse to brush their teeth because they suddenly dislike the color of the toothpaste, protest getting their hair combed, or even just outright refuse to put their clothes on in favor of jumping on the bed or other worthy pastimes. Children have some sort of built in detector by which they can subconsciously calculate how badly their parents want them to do something. And increase the rebellion levels accordingly.
This can make for a bit of stress, especially if you are operating on a timetable. Which would be the vast majority of the time.
Knowing that a child as young as three, or sometimes even younger, can put on their own set of shoes is a source of great comfort to mothers who are just trying to get themselves out the door, already. It fosters independence. It teaches greater responsibility. It means that I don’t have to get down on the floor and tie them when we are running late. Or in the middle of a mall. Or in the middle of the park. Or… you get the picture.
And let’s be realistic, young children just have not developed the fine motor skills needed to tie their own shoelaces. Yet annoyingly, they still need to wear shoes, so velcro is the great compromise.
Long live velcro!
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