how do you teach a child to...

debbie5February 2, 2002

Blow their own nose, and

tie their shoes?

DD is 4 3/4, and she tries to blow her nose (she gets lots of sinus infections despite humidifier, etc)and nothing comes out. Should I have her press one nostril closed to get more "blow force"?

And the shoe thing..I am clueless. I thought kids never learned from an adult: some kind of magic mojo that they could only be taught by another kid to tie their shoes?? LOL


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As far as blowing your nose, doesn't everyone hold one nostril closed and then the other? I tried to do it without holding one closed and I couldn't get it to work, either.

I'm a teacher and I've taught many children to tie their shoes. I sit next to them if they are left-handed, like me, or I sit across from them if they are right-handed so they can mirror my movements. I break it down into steps and put simple words with the steps (like cross over and then put the string under). You may tie differently than I do, so you will have to figure out your steps. Then I go over it and over it every time the shoes come untied or need to be put on. The shoes will come untied a lot in the beginning because children have a hard time making the bow tight enough to hold for long. Resist the urge to "fix" it once the child has tied it. Before long, maybe a week or so, your child will be able to tie without help. Be prepared to sit down and demonstrate many times before it clicks.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 1:39PM
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I taught my kids myself. But I note some parents teaching how to tie by making a knot, then turn the two tails into long loops and knot the loops. Seems the quickest way to tie shoes yet.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2002 at 3:45PM
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From an early age we blew noses by "sniffing like a bunny". I would hold one side closed while they sniffed. Worked well.

I wasn't so lucky teaching to tie shoes. I finally enlisted the help of my sister. She used the rabbit and the hole method.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2002 at 8:00PM
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blow the nose, one side at a time, imagine they are blowing out a candle with only their nose instead of their mouth.

tie the shoes, I taught mine the "two bunny ears method" first, which is not really how I tie my shoes, but it's a lot easier to explain. They make the first tie, the make two bunny ears and tie those togehter the same way as the loose strings. One they had that down, the concept of looping the string around one bunny ear was easier for them to pick up.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2002 at 11:30PM
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DD just turned 4 and has learned to tie her shoes with the bunny ears method. She is successful about 80% of the time.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 8:05AM
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It's ok if nothing comes out sometimes. Blowing too hard can cause problems with infections when the nose is stuffy.

Imitation works well sometimes to teach nose blowing. If you get a tissue and take a deep breath (exagerate the actions you take), and blow out through your nose.

The shoe tying with the two loops works pretty well sometimes. Like other skills though, lots of practical repetition and support for learning is needed. Young children don't always have a good attention span or short term memory. It's a challenge to get in the required practice sometimes. It's the positive support and repetition that will work the magic. Eventually, you'll probably notice something has 'changed' and then realize that you're not spending time teaching this process anymore (yet your daughter's shoelaces always seem to be tied).

There can be genetic reasons people are susceptible to sinus infections. Some involve the picky aspects of mucous composition (some people have thicker than usual mucuous, but less of it for example). Some may involve the structure of the sinus drainage areas. Allergies can tend to increase a person's levels of 'fluid' in and around the sinuses and ears. In some, but not all cases decongestants or antihistamines can be helpful to keep things more dry. It might be worth talking about what could be going on with a pediatrician.

it is possible to overblow though so be careful about instructions to blow harder when the nose is stuffed up and nothing comes out

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 10:32AM
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A little trick that I used while teaching my kiddos how to tie their shoes was to take an old shoe box, punch holes in the top so that it resembled the way a shoe is laced. The trick was to use two different colors of laces though. Tie the laces together and put the knot underneath the box top. Lace like you would a shoe through the holes you have punched in the top. Having two different colors of laces makes it easier to see which string goes around the tree or forms the bunny ears. Also the child can tote the box around to practice with. Hope this is clear if not let me know.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 11:57AM
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I thought my oldest would never learn to tie his shoes. It turns out he has depth perception problems and a host of other mild disabilities. Poor thing tried and tried, but just couldn't quite get it until he was almost 6.

My middle one is 5 - I just got him velcro shoes to avoid the whole issue! I'm going to make him a box tonight and start working on teaching him. I wish I'd had your idea for my oldest!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 4:22PM
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(Shhh..don't tell anyone, but I have NO IDEA how the "bunny 'round the tree" thing goes. Can someone teach me?? Really. I have no idea how to teach this. Sorry...)

d5, who must be 3 years old... :(

    Bookmark   February 20, 2002 at 12:07PM
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