Do It Yourself

29 Dec 2004 /

A fellow parent at hockey practice asks me, “Does your son lace up his own skates?”

“Yes,” I reply.

Inline hockey skate

“They look kind of loose.”

“Well, they’re not as tight as they would be if I tied the skates for him but, you know, that’s the tradeoff with letting him do it himself.”

“It’s hard on his ankles if the skates are too loose.”

What did I just say?

He’s 11 years old. He used to ask me to tie his skates for him, then, about a year ago, he stopped asking. I guess he thinks he’s old enough to tie his own skates.

If I insist on tying his skates until he’s able to tie them as tight as I can, it could go on for years. It could go on forever! Even as an adult, he might never be able to tie a pair of skates quite as tight as I can.

And there are lots of other things that I could do for him better than he can do them himself — you should see him wrap Christmas presents! — but I let him do those things too, if he wants to.

After the practice, I ask him, “Does it hurt your ankles if your skates are too loose?”

“No,” he says.

“Do you feel like you need me to tighten them up for you?”

“No,” he says.


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