A good shoe can give confidence to your toddler because it helps him feel more stable to walk, run, jump.
It also makes him feel less scared in general.
A good shoe can also help him forget about the challenges of walking and free up his mind to explore and learn new exciting things.
How can a shoe do all that?
Let's play to find the answers.
Let's pretend that you signed up for a game.
- A game that I designed to explain to you all about shoes and confidence.
The rules of the game are simple:
The contestants have to walk on a very slippery, oil-covered field to get to the grand prize of a car only 1 mile away. The field is as slippery as walking on freshly polished ice.
- Slippery conditions are my option to explain how your toddler feels walking.
- A toddler learning to walk has to learn to control his body on all surfaces: floor, carpet, cement, grass, etc. In the learning stages, this feels to him like it feels to you when you are walking on ice.
Back to the game.
Let's pretend that on the day of the competition the conditions are just right.
You wake to a perfect day to be racing outside.
The sun is shining, it is a beautiful 75 degrees, and there is a slight warm breeze.
Everybody is excited, and the crowds are cheering!
- This sounds just like the conditions we parents try to provide for our babies when they are learning to walk
- However, we all know that your baby needs to learn to walk well in all conditions.
For example, on the playground, the other children are not mature enough to look out for your baby.
The pretend game has the peers as your competitors.
- Just like your baby's, your actions will depend on the actions of the people around you as well as the terrain, your health and well being, and your mood and will.
And all your previous experiences going back all the way to toddler-hood.
So you have the perfect day, and you are arriving at the competition with your family.
At the sign in you are informed that you have the choice of walking barefoot, in socks, flip flops, shoes, sneakers, hiking boots or tall boots.
- You choose the footwear for your baby. Your choice will affect his experience, will create a lasting memory and affect his walking pattern.
The terrain is mildly rugged.
There are grass, dirt, small rocks, roots.
It is mostly flat, but there is one small area of elevation.
- Like most parks, playgrounds and back yards.
Whoever gets to the car first wins it.
- Learning is a bit like competition. Your baby has to compete against his fears and challenge himself to try something new.
So what would be your choice of footwear?
What would give you the confidence to get to the car
the fastest yet safest way?
I would choose hiking boots.
The task of walking on a slippery surface is very complex for our brain and skeleto-muscular system.
- Just like it is for the toddler learning to walk, run, jump.
Even though you feel confident now, when you are in the competition, you will be challenged.
And whether you realize it or not, consciously or unconsciously every step you take is affected by your past experiences and your future plans.
- Your toddlers every step is laying down the foundation of his walking skills. They will affect his walking and choices that involves walking for the rest of his life.
So, the weather conditions for the race are perfect, but 1 mile on a mildly rugged surface with elevation in very slippery conditions is at least 10x harder than you expect.
If you want to win the race, you better have the best support for your feet, ankles, hips, and trunk.
Hiking boots can give the best assistance to you.
Of course, you also need skill, strength, stamina, determination, persistence, luck and the support of your family and friends!
But let's suppose that every contestant is equal in their levels of strength, skill, stamina, determination, persistence and support.
Just so we can isolate one factor and focus on shoes...
In this scenario, it all boils down
to the choice of footwear.
The person who chooses the best supporting shoe with great traction will have a better chance of winning.
The great shoe will not only give physical support to the user but will improve their stamina, create a joyful experience and most of all boost their confidence.
- And that is the ultimate goal when you teach your baby.
Thank you for playing along.
Are you interested in reading about a real-world story?
Last week I witnessed a mystical transformation of a 2-year-old boy.
All because he was given the support he needed for his feet and ankles.
The story is real, but I will give the little boy a fictional name.
Let's call him Pip.
Pip has very weak muscles.
He is delayed in his gross motor skills.
He needed my help to get him over the hump.
Pip learned to sit independently when he was 15 old.
Learned to crawl at 20 months of age.
And started walking the month of his second birthday.
Pip started walking very cautiously.
Small shuffling steps.
"He walks just like his Gpa!"-mom used to say.
He would fall very easily and thus avoided being around kids.
Pip would cry if he was challenged to do any game in standing or walking.
But last week things changed. To the better.
Pip got small braces.
The Sure Steps SMO's.
The only braces I recommend.
Pip is so weak that good shoes are not enough to give him confidence. He needed a little more help.
These braces provide the support weak muscles cant give.
And most importantly they don't restrict the ankle and foot to cause major damage like other braces can do.
These braces gave wings to this little boy!
The transformation was magical!
When I stepped into their home, he was standing there with the true confidence of a 2-year-old boy!
He even had mischief on his sweet little face what I never saw before.
He walked around the house with total confidence and played stepping up games with interest and even joy!
For the first time, our games created a curiosity, not fear. The braces empowered Pip to see the world through a different lens.
So be mindful.
Educate yourself and choose the best shoes for your baby.
The best approach to help your baby is to educate yourself about infant development and keep records about your baby's development.
With intention, a vision, a clear goal, patience, persistence, daily repletion, and a joyful firm belief in your baby, in yourself and the universe anything is possible!
As always, enjoy your baby and motherhood.
See your baby (babies) as a gift for you to love and cherish.
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