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Helping children with friendships

It’s such a wonderful feeling when your child makes a good friend. We are so happy when our kids have a buddy to navigate the school yard with. However one of the hardest moments as a parent is to hear of your child struggling to make friends.  We sat down with Gen Muir from Connected parenting, who is also a mum of four boys. She shares the realities of what friendship looks like at school and how we can truly support them with navigating them.  Helping children with friendships (What to do when your child says they had no one to play with) When your child comes home and says they are sad about the fact that no one played with them today, or that someone was unkind to them, it can be heartbreaking.  As parents, the thought of our child being teased, left out or excluded can have us feeling scared and helpless. It can bring up past feelings of when we were left out. We can quickly and easily go to the place of blame, shame or fear.  The truth is all kids will have days where things don’t go right in the playground and not all ‘friendship fires’ need a parent to intervene.  Here is what to do when your child has a bad day with friends: Listen When our child tells us no one played with them it can make us want to spring into super-parent save the day mode faster than a speeding bullet. We want to know who did it (so we can talk to their parents) or ask our child if they “told the teacher” or sometimes we may jump to giving our child advice about the fact that maybe if they were kinder to others for example, this wouldn’t be happening….  We kind of know none of these reactions are what our kids need, and it can so easily happen. Deep down, we know what our kids need. They need the same thing we all need when we have a hard time. To be heard. What if next time your child says ‘no one played with me’ you took a deep breath, paused for just a second and said: ‘Oh, that’s really tough. I can see you’ve had a really hard day.’ You may pause and give your child a moment to process that you hear them. Sometimes we can let our child know what it’s like to have that feeling by adding something like ‘sometimes I feel left out too’ or ‘I remember being left out when I was about your age and it made me feel lonely and sad ... is it like that for you?’ Emotion coach More than a judge, or a saviour our kids often need someone like us to help ‘coach’ them on what to do next as if we are coaching a sportsperson from the sidelines.  A coach isn’t too quick to give advice, they are likely to watch and then guide you. This is what kids need.  Once kids feel like we “get it" about what happened in their days, they often don’t need much else from us. Friendship fires mostly blow over fast and just feeling safe and heard helps our kids a lot. However when the problem is ongoing, or your child needs more help you can emotion-coach them.  To do this we want to 1. Describe what happened  This is just making sure we understand what happened and how it made our child feel, and what they’ve already tried. This process helps our child to replay what happened while safe and connected and helps the brain to process it.  2. Ask your child about what they might do if this same thing happened again?  You might ask directly or ask if they would like you to suggest ideas for how they might manage the situation.  I love to use the word ‘wonder’ when coaching because it’s less confrontational and it opens us and our child up to being more creative with the answers. It may sound like this: ‘Feeling left out is really tough. Have you thought about what you might do if it happened again tomorrow? I wonder if you have ideas about what you could do? It is in this supported and open environment that you can help your child to come up with a plan that may or may not involve letting the school know. I have found over the years that the best solutions for friendship fires or struggles at school have come from my kids, it will be in a moment of emotion coaching that my child will come up with a brilliant way to handle things, and seeing them develop the skills to manage relationships long term is a really incredible thing to observe.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Joanne Helm (@our.fam.in.squares) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shoes & Sox Kids Shoes (@shoesandsoxau)

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From the playground to adulthood

There’s no denying it can be tempting to want to buy your child’s school shoes a few sizes bigger, especially when they can grow out of them quickly. The same can be said for hand-me-downs or marketplace finds but you will soon learn that this is best avoided, especially when it comes to your child’s school shoes.   We sat down with Emily Smith, one of Australia’s leading sports podiatrists as she explains the importance of having your child’s shoes correctly fit and the longer-term implications of ill-fitting shoes.   From the playground to adulthood: the long-term implications of ill-fitting shoes School shoes are often seen as just part of the school uniform, when in fact, they play a crucial role in promoting overall foot health and well-being. From the playground to adulthood, the shoes your child wears can significantly impact their foot development which can have immediate and long-term implications. The Playground Origin of Adult Foot Problems Children are naturally active, as they spend a significant amount of time running, playing, and exploring. With feet enduring up to four times their body weight during active play, their developing feet are highly susceptible to the consequences of ill-fitting or substandard footwear. Be it school, sport, or everyday shoes, the footwear they sport during these formative years can shape the health of their feet for a lifetime. 15,000 Hours  Consider the sheer number of hours your child spends in shoes. Whether at school, playing on the playground, participating in sports, or just wearing shoes casually, it all adds up. It's estimated that children spend over 15,000 hours each year in school shoes alone, a significant amount of time for potential foot problems to develop if they're wearing shoes that don't fit and support correctly. Start Off On The Right Foot Approximately 65% of children have been found to be wearing the incorrect shoe size which means two-thirds of our kids spend their days in potentially harmful, ill-fitting shoes. A visit to a specialist shoe store like Shoes & Sox ensures your child starts with the right-sized shoe, providing the perfect amount of room for growth. Additionally, Shoes & Sox offers established brands known for their engineering, support, and durability. Small Investment, Big Returns The investment in well-fitting, well-engineered shoes from the outset is a small yet significant down payment on a child's physical, social, and emotional health. A comfortable child equals a happy, confident, and physically active child. Quality shoes provide the necessary support, protection, durability, and comfort that growing feet require to help prevent future foot problems. Moreover, if your child begins to experience foot or leg pain, one of the first considerations of a Podiatrist or practitioner will be the fit and function of their shoes.   Consequences of Ill-Fitting Shoes A child's feet are malleable, which means that ill-fitting shoes can have various consequences: Blisters and Calluses: Poorly fitting shoes can cause friction and pressure, leading to painful blisters and calluses. Ingrown Toenails: Shoes with narrow or tapered toe boxes can cause nails to grow into the skin, resulting in painful infections that may require podiatric treatment. Foot Deformities: Ill-fitting shoes can contribute to foot deformities like bunions, curly toes, or hammertoes, causing pain and dysfunction into adulthood. Foot Pain: Shoes that don’t fit can lead to tension, shortening, compensation, and additional load on soft tissues, potentially causing pain, fatigue, and injury. Trips and Falls: Poorly fitting shoes can lead to instability, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries. This not only affects your child's sporting and social activities but can also result in abrasions and broken bones. In conclusion, it's crucial to recognise the significant impact that shoes, including leather school shoes, have on your child's health. From preventing foot problems and deformities to promoting injury-free play, the right shoes make all the difference. So, consider school shoes as an investment in your child's well-being and remember that when it comes to their health, it starts from the ground up. Written by Emily Smith, Sports Podiatrist & Founder of Emily Braidwood   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shoes & Sox Kids Shoes (@shoesandsoxau)

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Tips for getting your kids dressed and out the door on time

No matter how prepared you are, there are just some days that are harder than others when it comes to getting your kid (or kids) out the door and to school on time. Unless you are Mary Poppins of course! Sometimes we have to cut ourselves some slack and realise that parenting doesn’t always go smooth sailing. 

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Buy Children’s Shoes online at Shoes & Sox in Australia

Trust Shoes & Sox as your leading online shop for kids’ shoes in Australia. With 30 years of experience in the industry, we are dedicated to providing you with premium quality kids’ shoes. Whether you’re looking for boys’ or girls’ shoes for school, sports, casualwear, or formalwear occasions, you’re bound to find something comfortable, durable, and stylish for your kids. 

We stock a wide range of Australian and international brands such as Adidas, Nike, Asics, Clarks, Ciao, Bobux, Crocs, Skechers, New Balance, and more. So browse our collection to find something to fit your purpose and suit your kid’s style. 

When you shop with Shoes & Sox, you can enjoy fast, free delivery for orders over $99, Australia-wide. Alternatively, you can also click and collect your order at your nearest Shoes & Sox store. With our flexible returns policy, you can shop online at Shoes & Sox with peace of mind. Browse online or book a fitting instore to find the right shoes for your children. You can shop by style, age, collection, brand, or check out our sale products. 

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