9 year old daughter wont wear shoes

by Ann
(NC)

My daughter has been diagnosed with OCD. She likes to know that things are "just right" and this involves mostly her clothing, hair, etc. She doesn't like the feel of socks nor shoes. She will only wear flip flops. This is fine during the summer, but we live in NC and it does get cold here.


I cannot tell you how many pairs of shoes I've bought that she says in the store "feel fine" and then gets home and refuses to wear them for one reason or another. I am so stressed out. Does anyone have ideas? thanks so much.

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Jul 11, 2017
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Let her go barefoot.
by: Anonymous

You could let it be her choice and let her go barefoot. My nine year old daughter (soon to be ten) goes barefoot almost always except of course at school. Their feet toughen quickly and it's not long before even sharp things like rocks and stones can be stepped on painlessly.

I'd suggest you keep a rag/towel near an outside hose so she can wash any dirt off before coming inside. The more she goes barefoot, the less dirt that will cling to the bottoms of her feet. They also will have an even tan in the summer, no light places where sandal straps go.

I also don't allow her to wear socks without shoes. It's either socks with shoes or her bare feet. We have hard wood floors which make it a slip hazard in only socks. Plus they get dirty and wear out faster. If she goes outside in socks, they will quickly get filthy. Her feet wash more easily.

Her friends have the same rules when visiting for the same reasons, if their shoes come off, the socks come off too (if worn). At their age they like to run and bare feet have better traction on the hard wood floors. Outside it's easier to climb trees and grip with bare feet. My daughter will even climb a tree and climb on the roof, although she knows I don't allow it because she could fall.

While I keep a pair of flip flops in the car, she prefers to go barefoot when we go shopping, she likes the cool frozen foods floor. Her feet often are black when we get home between store floors and parking lots, but she's been taught to wash them before going in the house.

You will get used to seeing her barefoot, her feet will toughen eliminating most concerns of her stepping on something. No tan lines on her feet from wearing sandals, no shoes or socks to hunt for at play places or playgrounds.

She will be happier, no fights over wearing shoes, no hunting for missing shoes. I do require my daughter to wear nail polish on her toenails, even if it's clear. It helps protect her nails from scrapes when kneeling on the sidewalk, for example drawing with chalk. It's also easier to have "tickle time" if she's always barefoot 😊.

I let her wear boots without socks but always insist she wears socks when skating, otherwise she may get blisters from the foot rubbing around in the skate. Other than skating, she's mostly barefoot the rest of the time. You get used to it. So if she doesn't want to wear shoes let her go barefoot. If she runs around in her socks getting them dirty and wearing holes in them, make her take them off. Her feet will quickly toughen. I know heather's did.

Aug 13, 2014
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daughter wont wear shoes
by: paige

Hi all i have a 5 year old daughter who you would not get to wear shoes all ways barefoot. Have tried and just takes them of in mins of having them on. She will wear a short skirt only. Hates underwear if get them on are off before leave school if get there with them on. Will wear top but picky very. School complained so i sent her in in dress underwear and shoes put on and school could see what i meant by it when she too her shoes knickers and tried to take here dress of as it was a struggle. So know as long a she has skirt and top on they dont mind the knickers or shoes

Jul 15, 2014
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Please help!
by: Sam

Im so glad im not alone! My son whos 4 has recently started moaning about so many different things for no reason. And about 2 weeks ago started crying about not knowing which trousers to wear after giving him 3 different ones because he moaned about everyone of them. And today hes started with shoes. He goes to nursery and my daughter is in full time school we have been late for her 5 times in 2 weeks because of my son not wanting to wear trousers/shoes. What can i do im so stressed!

Jun 15, 2014
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could this be the same thing
by: Anonymous

my 10 year old son I have a problem with him wearing his right shoe he's OK with socks and he's OK with the last one I was wondering if maybe this could be some form of ocd

Dec 01, 2009
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i can relate
by: Ann

Hi - I feel your pain! I wish I could tell you some trick I've used, but ... my daughter sounds very much like yours. She would be happy to wear a big t-shirt 24/7 and that's about it. This might not work for you, but I think I've found something that helps - not with the clothes - but with my daughter's over-all stress. Her siblings give her a hard time and I think sometimes she feels isolated and lonely. Anyway, I got her a kitten for her 10th birthday. It has really helped calm her. It may not be an option for you, but it worked for me. We have clothes issues everyday still, but there seem to be less complete melt-downs. Good luck! You are not alone.

Dec 01, 2009
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my 9 year old too
by: Anonymous

My 9 year old was diagnosed with OCD at 7. Most of her issues seem to involve clothes/socks/shoes. Right now she will only wear one shirt to school because it is the only one that feels right....this is after spending a huge amount of money on school clothes that she promised she'd wear. She never wears socks...ever. In the summer she will only wear flip flops but her school won't allow them, so during the school year it is a challenge to find something that works. Prior to the current shirt she is attached to, she would only wear tank tops. Again, her school does not allow these, so we compromised by wearing a bolo sweater over them...but her school still made an issue - which by the way did not help... this is AFTER i'd explained her OCD to them. She has always had alot of friends, but now she is starting to have issues socially as kids are beginning to question her behavior. I would love to hear from anyone that could give me some advice on how to make this a bit easier. Our lives become huge emotional upheaval - almost always over clothes and appearance.

Oct 28, 2009
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thanks
by: Ann

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. I tried boots but they are "too hot" for her. I tried toe socks, a no-go. She is open to the idea of clogs b/c i told her she could slip them off her feet. It is the front of the shoe that bothers her. Anything on her toes. She is freaking out a little because she has a big neighborhood to walk on Halloween and she wants to wear flip-flops. So I am scrambling to find something she can tolerate.

She was actually tested for SPD and I was told she didnt have enough issues. She may not be a text-book case, but she does have enough issues to make life difficult for herself and our family. She also will not tolerate anything touching her belly (waistbands) She wears all her pants "low" as well.

Thanks again all.

Oct 27, 2009
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the shoes and my eight year old
by: Anonymous

The school is working w/ us on this... she wears them for walking around the school. but, can take them off while sitting. that way she gets a break from wearing them and at the same time gets use to them again. We did thicker socks also.

Oct 26, 2009
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edit
by: mo2g

My 12yo just informed my that her friends are actually wearing Airwalk boots from Payless. They look like the UGG boots but cost WAY less.

Oct 26, 2009
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slippers?
by: mo2g

We have our own shoe issues, too. My 6yo would wear sandals/flip flops everyday if I let her. She usually ends up w/ skecher's, but they come off the minute she gets inside.

For my daughter, the big problem seems to be the socks. She can never seem to get them just right. Could your daughter go w/out socks?

One thought I had was maybe some slippers? Landsend.com and similar sites have slippers w/ non-slip soles and boasts of "outerwear-grade polyester fleece" that is "wind resistant." An option that might get you through at least the non-wet days. They have them in boot styles, too.

I also thought about clogs. They're loose, like flip-flops, but would at least cover her toes. Even better if you can get her to wear socks w/ them. Crocs come in a furry style.

If you could get her to wear any type of boots, UGG boots are loose and popular w/ the middle schoolers here. Having what the other kids have might be an incentive to wear them. Of course, buying them could be an expensive mistake if she won't.

Keep us posted on what works. I'm sure there are lots of people here who have the shoe issue. Currently, my 6yo wants to wear her pants and underwear about an inch too low. lol

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