Gransnet forums


Socks and tights phobia

(21 Posts)
moomin Wed 21-Mar-12 20:32:22

My GD is almost 6 and lives in New Zealand where in the summer she is sock and tights free. Now it is the beginning of winter and as usual the sock and tights problem has reared its head again! She is obviously not allowed to wear her trainers without them, but has tears and tantrums about the tights being "itchy" or "too short" or "too baggy" etc and the socks, must be rolled down to the ankle, toes must be "just so" and then they are still not right. In every other respect she is a sensible girl and it's not an issue about going to school as it's been going on for a number of years.

Any suggestions please! DD has tried the reward chart (which works quite well) pocket money etc but the worry is her 3 year old sister is now picking up on the issue and starting to be difficult with her socks too!

JessM Wed 21-Mar-12 21:23:17

I wear leggings not tights. Tights do actually feel uncomfortable to me.
Maybe if mum had a pair of leggings too?
Worth a try.
Or let her wear trousers all the time like lots of us do?
or does she have to wear skirts in school?
Much more limited choice of clothes in NZ isnt there?
Whereabouts are they?
(It is a control issue to some extent isn't it... but if the will is strong a wily 6 year old is hard to shift!)

bagitha Wed 21-Mar-12 21:35:34

Why is the child not allowed to wear trainers without socks? Lots of people do. Does she actually need socks for warmth? If not, or if her feet don't get cold, why worry? Don't they have sheepskin boots in NZ too? Seems like a non issue to me, hating socks and tights.

Annobel Wed 21-Mar-12 21:56:48

I think they are more fussy about uniform in NZ - some of them look as if they haven't changed since the 1930s!

Greatnan Wed 21-Mar-12 22:01:36

My 14-year old gd in NZ has a very practical school uniform - pleated kilt, rugby shirt and v-necked jumper. Lots of children don't wear shoes, let alone socks.

bagitha Wed 21-Mar-12 22:03:02

Well, I think I'd encourage her to be a rebel if she was my kid. Not that my kids needed any encouragement to be rebels! confused

Can't think why!!

DD goes to school in odd socks every day. One day during the winter when her teacher had got dressed in dim light, she noticed in the classroom that her socks didn't match either. She said: Miss Bagitha, I think youve started a trend.

Carol Wed 21-Mar-12 22:11:16

I agree bags. It's a non-issue - there's plenty of alternatives she could choose from. Doesn't need to turn into a power struggle - she'll learn that some things wind the adults up and give her power, and she'd be better learning that compromise and negotiation will get her what she wants more often.

Greatnan Wed 21-Mar-12 22:12:09

Same gd went to school in odd socks because she couldn't be bothered finding a pair and it seemed the other girls thought it must be the fashion in England, so they all started wearing them!

moomin Wed 21-Mar-12 23:06:43

Well, thanks for responses. Leggings are not a problem - i.e. they don't cover her feet. Yes kids in NZ pad about barefoot and in jandals etc in the summer, but when it's wet obviously there is a need for shoes.

Have you ever smelt trainers after they've been worn without socks??? Particularly when you have a child with sweaty feet like GD.

Yes, we are aware it is a power struggle. I was just asking for some ideas to prevent the tears and tantrums. Never mind!

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 05:57:22

Most trainers are washable. A six year old with smelly feet? Now, there's a problem!!

JessM Thu 22-Mar-12 06:27:18

One way to deal with such a struggle is to ignore it determinedly and absolutely. Child will miss the fun and choose another battle ground. But you have to be steely in determination to pretend you really don't care that she has cold feet. If you look at it in terms of what is the social reward that keeps this behaviour going, it is getting the adult's attention. rewards are what keep em doing things and getting mum's focussed attention (away from little sis) trumps a sticker any day of the week.
Unless she lives in the far south of NZ it is not really very cold yet. My son lives in Kapiti region and he said most days still v nice. working in shorts and t shirt this week apart from one day storm.

Carol Thu 22-Mar-12 06:53:17

Yes, ignoring unwanted behaviour and rewarding desirable behaviour usually works, as Jess says. My little grandsons occasionally start doing something they know we don't want them to in front of me, with a glint in their eyes, thinking 'this'll wind nana up!' I remove myself and ignore them, then call them over to get involved in something else, and that usually does the trick.

petallus Thu 22-Mar-12 08:09:40

I hate tights myself. What about letting GD chose some really pretty socks for herself.

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 08:49:40

I never found I had to be steely. Maybe it comes naturally wink. People were always telling me my kids were in puddles and getting their feet wet. I used to say "I know. They like paddling". Shocked looks!!!! But she'll get wet feet!!! "She doesn't mind." More shocked looks meaning gosh what an awful parent. Sometimes I bothered to explain that we had gone through the whole process of working out through experimentation that splashing in puddles has wetness consequences, and that the kids had decided the consequences were worth it. But usually I just let the observers be shocked and the kids paddled on regardless. Such incidents were usually within a few minutes of home. When we went proper hiking, the kids understood that it wasn't a good idea to get their feet wet deliberately early in the day, so they didn't.

Carol Thu 22-Mar-12 08:56:03

Part of life's fun for kids is splashing in puddles - shoes dry out, feet get warm, socks go in the wash!

glammanana Thu 22-Mar-12 09:05:08

I know everyone will think I have lost my marbles but when mine where at school I used to iron their socks across the toes to make sure the seam did not rub across their toes,,I would suggest that your GDs socks or tights where made of 100% cotton any there is every chance that they will not be itchy,or make her feet smelly.

moomin Thu 22-Mar-12 09:30:23

Thanks Glammanana, may not resort to ironing, but cotton could be worth a try!

JessM Thu 22-Mar-12 09:47:27

I think the steely bit comes in B when you have a parent that really thinks child should wear socks and child has chosen this as a battle ground. Not easy for parent to pretend that they don't care and not get hooked into familiar game.

wotsamashedupjingl Thu 22-Mar-12 11:24:58

I don't think it sounds like a 'control' issue at all. I think she genuinely doesn't like the feel of having her legs and feet encased in anything. Hardly surprising if she has become used to going barefoot through the summer.

Does the school insist on socks? If trainers are allowed, it doesn't sound as though they have a very strict uniform regime. Use a deodorant inside the trainers, or ignore the whiff?

If she has to wear socks I think you've just got to find the most comfortable socks you possibly can, and then just insist that she gets used to them.

em Thu 22-Mar-12 15:01:56

Don't normally wear socks but when I do I hate the seam rubbing across my toes. So I wear them inside out!

Annobel Thu 22-Mar-12 15:57:31

Great minds,em grin