Princesses Don’t Wear Socks … Reasons Why You Should Listen To Your Kids

Let me start out by reminding you about my 3 year old daughter, Honor.  She’s the one always wearing the princess clothes … The one that had a Princess Birthday Party … She has no doubt that she IS a princess.

For months now Honor has REFUSED to wear socks.  It started in the spring … I figured maybe her feet got too hot.  And, because it was spring I wasn’t too worried about it.  Until there came a time when I needed her to wear socks … and then it was an outright battle.  There was crying and yelling … and then I stopped and asked her, “WHY don’t you want to wear socks?”  And she said plainly,


And she’s right.  We looked through all her princess books … she showed me the evidence.  Princesses DON’T wear socks … they have bare feet or slipper-like shoes or high heels … but NEVER any socks.  Hmmm.  She’s got a point.

And had I just asked her from the beginning WHY she didn’t wear socks, I could have understood her dilemma and helped her work through it … rather than having a battle of the wills.

And I KNOW THIS.  Time and time again I hear (either in words or in their play) from the children I work with that if their parents WOULD JUST LISTEN things would be better.  They tell me about why they acted a certain way … they didn’t want to do something because they were scared/confused/angry … but the parent didn’t realize, or take the time to recognize, what was going on.  They didn’t put themselves IN THEIR CHILD’S SHOES.

There’s always a lot of different aspects going on as a parent … meal planning, house cleaning, educational concerns, multiple children, etc … and a parent can’t be focused 24/7 on a single child (even if the child is an only child).  That’s a luxury I get when I work with a child as their therapist.  It’s my job to focus on them and try to understand how it feels to be in their shoes.  And then help the child and the parents understand too.

As a parent, and person, I’m far from perfect … I’m human and make mistakes too.  I can’t ALWAYS take the time to understand everything that is going on behind my children’s eyes … but every now and then … like when I want to pull out my hair and run away screaming … I NEED to stop and think about what it’s like to be in their shoes … with or without socks!

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Laura Hutchison

Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.

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  1. Susan Case

    So sweet. Of course, now that Honor has mentioned it, and proven it by books, I realize that princesses don’t wear socks. She’s right. She’s going to have some cold feet in the winter though. What about the Ice Princess? Surely she needs socks.

  2. Brittany

    Thanks for sharing this story. It is a great thing to think about.

  3. Elizabeth

    Princesses do wear tights, though. And technically you can’t tell whether they’re wearing those little bootie-style socks you put on under ballet flats…

  4. Katherine Collmer

    This is such an open and honest post that will most definitely help parents to accept themselves in a time whenn “perfect parenting” seems to be the new normal. Thank you for sharing these sincere thoughts.

  5. Jane

    I read this post yesterday, and gave it serious thought. Apparently, I completely forgot about it this morning when my daughter woke up. She must have woken up and gotten out of bed in between the time I tossed some books into the baby’s crib to keep him occupied just 10 more minutes, and the end of that 10 minutes. I did (kinda) fall back asleep and had no recollection of hearing the toilet flush (by my daughter).

    Naturally, I assumed my four-year-old had not yet used the bathroom (she does have control and constipation issues), so I told her to use the bathroom. What ensued was a 35 minute argument consisting of me using my best Love and Logic techniques:

    Julia: Momma, turn on the TV.
    Me: Julia, I’d be happy to turn on the TV after you’ve used the bathroom.
    Julia: I don’t have to go potty.
    Me: You need to use the bathroom.
    Julia: TURN. ON. THE. TV.
    Me: What did I say?
    ETC. / Repeat above conversation lines for 30 minutes. UGH.

    FINALLY, I remembered this post and asked Julia, WHY she didn’t want to use the bathroom.
    Julia: I don’t need to.
    Me: Did you already use the bathroom this morning?
    Julia: Yes. I did, and I flushed.
    Me: ……… (enter family room; turn on TV)

    Oops. Thanks, Laura, for reminding me to listen to my princess, especially the things she DOESN’T say because I’m not asking or saying the RIGHT things.

    You’re the best!

  6. Laura

    Thank you for all our your kind comments! I really appreciate them!

  7. Carrie

    What a wonderful reminder to put ourselves in their shoes. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

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