Sylvan Lake Mom's Shoe-tying Video Reaches Millions

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
September 13, 2016 - 12:30pm
The Johnson family from Sylvan Lake (Brett, Rylan, Kirsten and Jayce). A video posted online by Kirsten on shoe-tying has received millions of views (Photo: Submitted)

When Kirsten Johnson posted a video on Facebook showing a new way to teach kids how to tie their shoes, she had no idea how popular it would become.

“It just kept exploding. Share after share, opinion after opinion. It’s just awesome because it’s reaching around the world and helping people.”

The video she posted just before the start of the new school year has been viewed more than 6.5-million times (and counting). It has caught the attention of media outlets world-wide including NBC’s “The Today Show.”

“I just shared it because I thought maybe there are a few moms out there who need this,” she said on Monday. “I know as a mom myself that there’s so much pressure to be perfect and to have our kids doings things by a certain age."

“I thought if I could help another mom out there stop some tears in their home, the less battles you have with your kids the better, I just thought it’d be good to show.”

Johnson says the shoe-tying method shown in her video is one she and several others came up with early in her former career as a Phys. Ed. teacher. She was working with kids who had Asperger’s syndrome and autism and other developmental delays and felt some of the other methods out there just weren’t working.

“It was a collaborative thing with ideas that came together from different people. I just remember thinking ‘I’m going to remember this for when I have kids because it’s just so awesome.

“We just knew we needed something else because some people just weren’t ever going to get the ‘around the finger and through the loop’ method. With a lot of kids we found that a wall was up and they just couldn’t get it to come down.”

When she realized her 7-year-old son Rylan was about to go back to school not being able to tie his shoes, Johnson felt the time was right to revisit and share the new shoe-tying method with the world.

“My son was starting grade two and I’m a ‘mom fail’ because I hadn’t taught him how to tie his shoes yet. I was having a panic attack when I started thinking ‘I remember this method, let’s do it.’ So we did it and he got it right away on his second try and he goes ‘I can tie my shoes!’ He just felt so proud.”

Johnson says her son learned the traditional method of tying shoes about a week later, saying it was made possible by the confidence he gained by learning the new method.

She adds it’s not just kids who are benefitting from learning this new method of shoelace tying.

“I had a lady message me [after watching the video]. She’d had lost all but one finger and had both her legs amputated and felt nothing was going right in her life. This helped her tie her own shoes and she felt like a new woman, so that was cool to see that it goes to that level, too.”

Johnson, who blogs on her “Unstoppable Mother” site, says sharing this new method of tying laces is all about helping people build up confidence, which she says is the key to accomplishing anything in life.

“Either it’s an awesome stepping stone to learning the traditional method or it’s the ‘be all, end all’ and we should be ok with that because we don’t need to always be traditional. We can be inclusive.”

When asked what she has planned for a follow-up, Johnson said they’ve already put out a new video that deals with bullying.

“We saw a really cool demonstration and I thought it would be good to show parents how to actually talk to your kids about bullying. It might just help us get to some bigger issues as well.” 

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