Please read the earlier post for details on Rule #4
No shoes. No shirt. No service.
That pretty much sums up life. It is not an option to go barefoot for your entire life. And we have already concluded that preschoolers grow while shoe sizes remain constant. Therefore setting up the demand for new shoes. Once shoes become "acceptable" to Crash he has very few problems keeping them on (I can save these issues for another post at another time).
So, how have we gone about helping Crash to accept his new shoes...
1. Way in advance (especially when there is a good sale) we take Crash shopping for new shoes. We expect him to get his foot measured, but tell him straight up he can choose if he wants to try on the shoes at the store.
We ask his input on color and markings and usually let him choose between 2 different pairs. Most of the time he refuses to make a choice and may end up kicking or pushing the shoes away (which is also unacceptable and lands him quickly into time out). We are trying to give him some control over the situation and offering opportunities for him to push beyond his comfort zone.
2. We leave the shoes in a visible spot and make no reference to their impending doom. Crash knows they belong to him and he most certainly knows what shoes are for. I do not make a big deal out of this.
3. We start talking about how old his shoes are getting. We try a couple times to glue or repair broke areas (of course we don't "repair" them to the best of our abilities insuring another much needed repair will have to occur shortly. When Crash can understand logically a need for something to occur (even if that something is viewed by him as uncomfortable) he is more likely to accept the change or discomfort (of course he still puts up a good fight).
4. His old shoes disappear. We tell Crash that his shoes got too old and worn out and they are gone. End of discussion.
5. His new shoes are placed by the door and a "fun" outing is planned (trip to the library, park, grocery store...preschoolers think just about anything is "fun".
6. Crash is given a choice. Put on the new shoes, or stay home.
Crash wants desperately to go. He can even tell you why he has to have new shoes. After many tears and numerous rounds of the "mom puts one shoe on, Crash kicks ones shoe off" game, the shoes are on, and the tears are flowing. By the time he is buckled, the shoes are off.
But, he wore them to the car. I celebrate the minor victory and prepare for the next battle. Each battle is shorter and my victories are longer. By the next day he says "Mommy, my shoes aren't scary any more." Battle Over!
...or so I thought We still have minor issues for the next week or two. More verbal protests than anything else. Now all we have left to do is find a good sale on the next size up to start this all over again.