Letting Children Go Bump

Today we live in a world where we fear. It’s as if we fear every shadow and every corner. When it comes to our children, it’s a ramped up paranoia. I believe we over protect our kids.

One of the activities I got all of my children to do was to climb those climbing walls you find at children’s playgrounds. They really aren’t that high though they probably look high to young children, yet by the age of six, all of my four children we sent up the wall.

They were all scared and sought out ways to get out climing the wall, including putting on the tears which is of course, understandable as they are scared but we should not let our children learn that it is okay to back out every time they feel scared of something. With encouragement as well as the words, “Climb all the way to the top. You’re not coming down until you reach the top”, earning me many angry glares from other adults around me, they all made it and they all felt proud of themselves as they accomplished something that felt GREAT to them. Getting them off the wall was near impossible once they succeeded.

Once I took my two eldest children to an indoor climbing centre when I lived in Rockhampton, Queensland. My second eldest was at the beginning of school age and she was fearful of many things around her so I took her to this indoor wall climbing place. She was extremely scared going up the wall and it was hard to get her to do it. I got her big sister to climb the wall and touch the ceiling so she could see it can be done. It was a big job for her to do so and through all the panicking, she never realised just how close to the ceiling she had climbed until she looked up and touch the ceiling and down she came. My fearful daughter went straight back up again. She learned the important lesson of tackling what you’re scared of and taking control of it.

I believe that by bubble wrapping our children from doing activities because we fear they will get hurt, from things they are scared of, the children do not develop the coping skills they need to meet the simple challenges in their life. This leads to anxieties and who knows how many other complex issues that can and does destroys their adult lives.

There is nothing wrong with children having fun. You don’t want them to take stupid risks but they do need to learn how to decipher between good risks and dangerous risks. And so we need to let them do things that hurts like running down a hill. You can’t learn if you’re denied the right to make mistakes.

It’s time parents grew up.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Morrie said,

    Absolutely, 100% correct! You nailed it. So, what are we going to do about it? Your example is wonderful, but do we need to do more?

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