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Barefoot GrandDaughter

(68 Posts)
j45108 Sun 06-Nov-11 21:41:21

I really need some opinion here

My daughter and son in law are a normal hard working couple in their late 20s and not hippies, there only strange habit is liking Ikea furniture which I find rather strange. I have one Granddaughter, who always has new, nice clothing.

It was early last year that they announced that they wanted their daughter, then aged 6 to be barefoot whenever possible! I had hoped this would only last a short while but since then my granddaughter has only worn shoes to school.

I have to date refuse to go out with them but recently at a family wedding that while most people found it a little strange most seemed to find nothing wrong with it. Her other grandparents go out with her while she was barefoot.

Last night I went to an organised firework display with my other daughter and my granddaughter just happened to be there with her parents. Again no one took any notice apart for a couple of people who pointed out out that the ittle girl was barefoot to whoever they were with. We went to a restaurant later.

Wherever I go I do not see barefoot children apart for my granddaughter.

My daughter says that while it might not be normal there is nothing wrong with it.

So how does everyone else think.


jingle Sun 06-Nov-11 21:58:26

I'm surprised she doesn't get sharp stones, bits of wood, even glass, hurting her feet. At this time of the year it must be cold too.

What actually is their reason for not giving her shoes? Do they wear shoes themselves?

Carol Sun 06-Nov-11 22:02:52

When my children were tiny, I refused to buy them shoes until they needed to walk outside, but this seems to be taking things a bit too far - she could cut her feet.

HildaW Sun 06-Nov-11 22:05:57

Nothing wrong with Ikea furniture.

However, barefoot in a modern environment does sound a little odd to me. Letting a child run shoeless in a garden or on the beach is one thing but elsewhere does appear strange and quite risky. Are the parents barefoot also?

harrigran Sun 06-Nov-11 22:36:09

Have to admit to going through a phase in my teens when I did not wear shoes. In the summer months I used to take them off when I got to school and even played tennis barefoot.

Jacey Sun 06-Nov-11 23:22:15

Shades of Sandie Shaw ... like harrigan I went through a phase at college of going bare foot is actually very comfortable ...but not so sure about a child doing it in this day and age.

j45108 Sun 06-Nov-11 23:26:53

Reasons, she says it normal in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and other places like South America.

My daughter used to have a friend down the road when she was a child and her friend's mum allowed her daughter to play out in her socks, her white socks and despite telling her of a million times she would come back from Clair's her socks dirty.

grannyactivist Sun 06-Nov-11 23:53:18

j45108 Perhaps you'll find this article helpful and reassuring. Barefoot at age 6 is certainly unconventional, but at that age your granddaughter will be making her own feelings on the matter quite clear. If she's OK with it then I wouldn't worry.

Cressida Sun 06-Nov-11 23:55:51

Have a look at these If you click on where it says 'technology explained' it says among other things that Research on cultures where shoes aren’t worn show that children within these societies tend to have better arch development and stronger feet as they are allowed to develop in their own time.

Joan Mon 07-Nov-11 01:01:50

It is normal here in Australia, though we have had the drama of cut feet. I remember my then 5 year old lad being so very brave when he had to have glass removed by the doctor. I hated them going barefoot, being from England myself, but the kids simply took their shoes off whenever they could. Not for going out though, - there I drew the line.

bagitha Mon 07-Nov-11 06:32:31

Haven't you got anything more important to worry about? Lucky you! wink Seriously though, why do you mind? Because other people comment? Because it's different from what you're used to? There's nothing actually wrong with going around in bare feet, is there. Problems might arise with cold or with sharp objects, but in principle there's nothing wrong with it. Most of us wear shoes to protect our feet from the cold and from hard surfaces but in many places it's (a) not cold and (b) the surfaces people walk on are softer than tarmac and concrete. In both cases, the need to wear shoes is not there and it's definitely better for feet not to be cramped in shoes.

If I were a betting person, I'd bet that the little girl will want to wear shoes when she's older, just to be fashionable. Time will tell. Meanwhile, why worry if it's not doing her any harm?

susiecb Mon 07-Nov-11 08:21:16

Apparently it is very healthy and good for the foot to be unfettered as often as possible. We are ex hippies and never wear shoes at home which some guests have remarked upon and we dont wear shoes in our garden until it gets very cold. In our younger days we would go bare foot in public - more me than DH but I wouldnt encourage children to do this in public for Health and Safety issues (yes I know groan) but realistically broken glass, dog mess etc etc. I guess its one more thing where grandparents are not expected to comment or have a view!

Leticia Mon 07-Nov-11 08:23:49

My nephew had a phase so I can see where you are coming from, it is embarrassing if it isn't the sort of occasion when it is normal. However I think that you just have to treat it as normal and 'go with the flow'.

JessM Mon 07-Nov-11 08:35:35

I think that the fact you find IKEA furniture strange is interesting - if IKEA was strange it would not be such a hugely successful business . But maybe this reveals your conventional streak - which makes it harder for you to accept unconventionality.
It is good for feet to avoid shoes. How much worse would it be if she was tottering around in teenage style shoes with heels, which can happen at that age (I've seen it!).
I suspect she will assert herself soon...
My 6ft son has shoes with toes, and he does get some odd looks. I call him a hobbit. He says they are very healthy for feet.
How much worse would it be if your granddaughter had, for instance, a huge facial scar or birthmark that made people stare?
I agree with Bagitha. This is not something to lose sleep over. Look on it as an opportunity to change a little maybe?

absentgrana Mon 07-Nov-11 09:17:32

All my life I have gone barefoot wherever possible. Sharp stones, rocky outcrops and hot sand didn't bother me as a child and don't bother me now. I wore shoes and wear them now when necessary – going to school, going to business meetings, mostly but not invariably walking along streets, on formal occasions such as weddings and always in places where food and drink are served. I joke that I suffer from claustrophobia of the toes but genuinely hate to have my feet encased, wearing sandals until forced into socks and shoes by winter cold. I never wear shoes indoors. I don't see this as a cause for anxiety as long as there is some adjustment on appropriate occasions such as where there is a risk of broken glass.

bigmomma Mon 07-Nov-11 09:41:35

On another thread, I mentioned that I lived in a neighbourhood where lots of people of Indian background have settled and who still wear traditional dress. One of the things I can't help noticing is their beautiful feet with their long straight toes. They usually wear little flippety sandals which are only held on by a loop round the big toe and their feet have obviously been unrestricted since they were born. My own feet, even though I've always tried to get well fitting shoes, are showing many signs of unhappiness which I won't describe! Perhaps your daughter and son-in-law would like "Indian" feet for their little girl. Would you be able to find a pair of pretty, open sandals for her?

Mishap Mon 07-Nov-11 10:15:54

I would just ignore it if I were you - GD will object when she decides she doesn't like it - and D has to have the freedom to make her own parenting decisions. I would be concerned that my children would cut their feet, but it would not be my decision to make when it comes to GC.

GoldenGran Mon 07-Nov-11 10:36:13

Once the frost and snow comes she'll have shoes, don't worry about it, children are very conventional when it comes down to it, and when her peer group start making comments she will beg for shoes and they will give in.

bagitha Mon 07-Nov-11 12:10:34

This thread has reminded me of Dylan Thomas's character Mrs Waldo in ^Under Milk Wood^: "What'll the neighbours say? O... what'll the neighbours...?"

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a classic wind-up too — the kind that can be quite fun though smile.

jingle Mon 07-Nov-11 12:19:34

I did wonder that Bags, but it's quite interesting.

I think it was one thing when children went barefoot all day. The soles of their feet would have toughened up. (But was glass used all over the place in those times?) But if a child wears shoes to school everyday, would that mean their soles were softer?

It's just silly anyway. hmm The child's feet will probably spread and she will be unable to find a pair of shoes to fit her comfortably in the future. Not to mention fallen arches.

JessM Mon 07-Nov-11 12:53:47

I think jingle that no shoes strengthens rather than weakens feet.
What are fallen arches anyway?

jingle Mon 07-Nov-11 12:56:46

I think they are the same as flat feet jess. Not sure really. grin

I don't think current medical opinion agrees with you about shoes, though. (not talking very small children here, indoors)

jingle Mon 07-Nov-11 12:58:07

I do mean well fitting, supportive, shoes.

bagitha Mon 07-Nov-11 13:03:09

Anyone with healthy feet does not need supportive shoes except for things like climbing mountains (and 'barefoot' mountain marathon runners even argue with that). We evolved without shoes. We have all the bones and muscles we need to support our feet. Flat-footedness is a problem but it is not caused by walking barefoot.

My kids probably spent about 50% of their childhoods running around barefoot.

Re healthy, unsquashed feet having difficulty finding shoes to fit. Well, yes, but that's the fault of shoe designers, not the fault of feet!

Greatnan Mon 07-Nov-11 13:04:45

My daughter lives in New Zealand and you see all kinds of people shopping barefoot. My grand-daughter says she takes off her shoes before she goes into school, to be like all the other girls.
Fallen arches (flat feet) can be quite painful - my grandson in England was unable to take part in many physical activities - if he makes a footprint it shows the whole sole of his foot. My ex-husband was excused National Service because he had flat feet and could not march.