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Why I Took My Child to Church Barefoot

20091002_8617 blogI took my child to church today barefoot. No shoes. No socks. Nada.

Said child insisted he/she couldn’t find socks.

Said child refused to wear the socks a sibling found for him/her.

I told the child they he/she could not wear his/her shoes with no socks. It stinks them up and ruins the shoes.

This all took place a good thirty minutes before it was time to leave.

We were in no rush. There was no mad dash to find socks.

Just  a stubborn child.

When it was time to get in the van, the child had his/her shoes on.

I peeked, and the child was, of course, sockless.

I said, “You cannot wear your shoes with no socks”.

Said child ran off and grabbed dirty, crunchy socks from the dirty clothes basket.

I said no, so the child got in the van barefoot.

I grabbed the clean socks a sibling had found and offered earlier, took them out to the van with the child’s shoes and said, “If you want to wear shoes,  wear them with these clean socks”.

We arrived at church and the child chose to go in barefoot.

Some days are just like that.



  1. Mary

    I have totally done that before! The main issue is a little boy who can never find his shoes. And one day all three or four pairs were missing. And there was nothing else to do but go on to church without shoes. He has been slightly better about putting shoes away since. But not much…

  2. Anna

    We had one that refused to wear a jacket. We would send her to the bus stop wearing one and she would take it off and stuff it into the bushes before she got on the bus. We quickly gave up and let the natural consequences take over. Until the principal would call the house and ask if she owned one and if we needed help purchasing a jacket. It was so embarrassing! But she still wouldn’t wear it…

    • S

      We have one that will very often “lose” something – sometimes on the floor under the backpack hook or on top of a lamp shade or under the bed or ???? The school just sends said kid home with a new coat after a while, which then means I have to send the kid back to school with the new coat and a note saying we don’t need it. What makes it even worse is that this kid is a foster kid. So, not only do I feel like we look like we can’t afford to cloth the kid, but I feel like I appear to be a foster parent who uses the money for myself instead of the kids. This has happened for at least two years in a row.

      Also, I think the teachers at school have a different idea of what cold is than I do. 65-70 degrees (in the mornings) is not cold and a sweatshirt will do just fine for walking from the house to the car, then into school. This is especially true for a very warm kid. I feel as if the school is trying to dictate how and when I dress my kid. Yes, I get very annoyed by that. I would take a phone call any day over having to explain to the kid why they have to take back the coat even though they really like it.

  3. Suzan

    When my very scattered eldest was little I used to dress him a old clothes for bed. One morning he refused to dress for preschool. So he went in his old Easter Bunny costume! Sometimes you do what you have to do.

  4. Helen

    I live in Australia & we go to a 6pm youth service at our church. It’s not unusual for there to be several barefoot people there, especially in summer!!!

  5. Melpub

    I am so relieved to read all these stories and know that I am not alone! I can’t get the eleven year old to wear his jacket half the time. And one day –one freezing day when he had a cold he insisted was “an allergy, Mom!” he sat in a t-shirt while I was reading to him. I said, “How about a sweater?” Answer: look of contemptuous disgust. Offered to get him one. “NO, Mom!” So I thought okay, and continued reading. But I looked up and he’d turtled into his t-shirt, he was so cold: arms and head both. I got up, got a blanket, and draped it over him. He wrapped it around himself!

  6. Liz

    UGH the coat/shoes debate….As long as the kids are in our yard or going to a family members house I don’t mind..actually I don’t mind at all. I think they are a hinderance to getting the car seat safely secure. we use blankets.

    I also strongly believe in natural consequences.The problem with that is that a 3 year old can’t really look ahead and think about how he might feel 20 min into a walk. or remember the last time that happened. Luckily that is what a double wide stroller is for right? To stuff all the coats under..

    As far as the foster child story above…our children are all under 9 years of age and adopted. The other day my DH was leaving with a few of the kids and some were refusing to wear a coat. It’s about 40-45 here now. They were going to the car..the store..the car..home. I said “don’t worry about it” He said , ” you are going to get Child Protective Services called on me” only half joking.

    I told him not to worry as people treat him seriously like a rock star or maybe a wonderful Mayor of a small town when he takes the kids ANYWHERE! Seriously people stop..wave…honk..yell out car windows “way to go dad..”

    He took 4 to the Dr the other day(his idea not mine) and he said he got a tiny taste of what someone famous is like. He said people were whispering and sitting at the edge of their seats to see who would smile next and then comment on it…mind you if I took them everyone would stare waiting for the kids or me to mess digress…

  7. Penny

    I grew up in Alaska and REFUSED to wear a hat. If I ever got cold enough I might put a hood up loosely over my head but no tight-fitting hats. Ever. Drove my mother to distraction.

  8. Julie

    Ugh! I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that does this sort of thing. I often get the “you’re a child abuser…those poor kids” look when I do things of this nature. I’m glad I’m not the only one that uses natural consequences even when they don’t look so favorably on the Mom. 🙂

  9. Petra Evans

    As a young girl of 7 I began to stay with my Grandmother as my mum was working in the city and it was then that because I was living in the country I used to hide my shoes till she just said ‘ok, you want to be a barefooter? Fine with me.’ I loved it, I’m 15 now and I still go barefoot wherever possible, kids love it.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thanks for sharing you story, Petra. This child is certainly no worse for the wear. My son-in-law Ben goes everywhere, including church, barefooted.

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