Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Children are wizards at navigating the complexities of smartphones and the internet, but often the children we treat have difficulty in fulfilling one of the most basic tasks of the modern-day world: tying their shoelaces.
This is a routine hand-eye-coordination task taught to all children around the age of 2-5. Yet, approximately 68% of the children we asked in Singapore do not know how to tie their own laces! *
The parents we spoke to simply just buy “Velcro-typed shoes for convenience” or “slip-on shoes for ease”.
To add perspective, children not tying their shoelaces should be as alarming as children struggling to use chopsticks to eat. As our technology advances, instead of being academically-challenged, our children are now skill-challenged.
Studies have shown that underdevelopment in the motor coordination “impacts the performance of daily living activities”. This will interfere with everyday tasks such as dressing, personal hygiene, table manners, postural control, sports performance and competence in play activities.**
We encourage timely psychomotor learning. It ensures that children are well-equipped with life skills. If parents notice a postural or walking disorder with their child, do see a specialist soon for early prevention or early intervention. Correction at a young age is far easier and much better.
*A survey conducted in our clinics over 4 months with 163 children aged between 2-10 were asked to try tying their own shoelaces.
** Activities of daily living in children with developmental coordination disorder: Dressing, personal hygiene, and eating skills – by Janet Summers, Dawne Larkin, Deborah Dewey
Author: Georgina Callaghan-Tay
East Coast Podiatry Centre