Written by Doctor G

Boys and Boots

I’m a Dad with 4 yo twin sons. Their mom is… in and out of our lives. My boys are good but I’m worried because they always want to wear high heeled boots. Not kid boots – their mom’s old boots. I buy them really cool sneakers but they never want those. They just want to go everyplace in these boots, even bring them to bed. And then their feet hurt and I’m rubbing four sore feet instead of doing other stuff that needs to get done! What should I do?

Anonymous, in OH

It sounds like you are doing a great job with your boys. And it sounds like they also miss their mom. That is totally normal.

Your boys are right: They feel better when they can bring a piece of their mom (her boots) with them wherever they go.

You are right: 4 year olds can’t go out and play and go to preschool and other places they need to run and jump in women’s high-heeled boots. They could hurt themselves, and it might damage their relationships with other kids because it’s so unusual.

Here is my suggestion. Find a few other possessions of their mom’s – like a scarf or shirt or other thing she wore often. Let the boys each pick one of these for their out-of-the-house time.

In the house and in their beds, they can use the boots (as long as no one falls down the stairs!).

Out of the house they can each bring a comfort item that belongs to their mom, that doesn’t have to be worn on the feet! If the boys pick the same item, you may need to ask them if you can cut it in half – or in smaller pieces in case one gets lost. The smaller the pieces the boys are comfortable using, the less of a focus of other peoples’ attention this will be. It’s common for four and five year olds to have love objects like this.

The respect you show for your sons’ need to keep a piece of their mom with them will help them feel more secure. Understand that this is not a rejection of you, it’s a reaching out for her. Kids naturally want both parents to be available, and this sounds like a pretty healthy coping mechanism.

Parents, has your child ever been “addicted” to an object? Did you do anything to accommodate their need?

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