The last few days my little guy has been pushing some of my parental anxiety buttons with his in-home risk taking adventures. K has become an avid climber of anything he can lift his knee onto before pulling himself up *cue worst case scenario thoughts of a falling child*. He will climb chairs, onto the table, the tv unit, even the bins in the kitchen. His most recent conquest however is the cat tower.
The cat tower we have is somewhere between 2 and 2.5 meters tall, we got it for the cat as a present from K before he was born to help the cat accept him and so that when K got old enough to be mobile, he could still escape somewhere.
This morning K decided to scale the cat tower higher than the first platform, after trying the standard “hop down right now”, “get down before you fall” and “NO” I decided to just let him climb. Now before you all freak out about this being irresponsible parenting… I was less than a meter away and ready to catch him if necessary. The reason I did this was
a) kids need to learn their own boundaries and capabilities (under supervision in case they push further than they’re ready to)
b) kids will learn safety faster as a result of consequence (no I’m not saying that means you should let them stick a knife into the power socket or let them drink poison so they learn, I’m merely referring to giving them some freedom to develop skills and independence in a safe way)
c) if I didn’t let him do it while I’m there, he is more inclined to try when my back is turned or I’m out of the room – therefore increasing the risk of injury
So yes, my parental alarm was blaring… but I was there to be a safety net while he explores his boundaries. I think its important to let them learn through play, and kids will climb things eventually, I’m of the opinion that the sooner they learn where their capabilities are, the sooner they will understand not to overreach too soon.
Do you have a little climber on your hands too? How does your little adventurer push your parental buttons, and how do you handle it?
* Please note I am not a scientist, this is merely an opinion piece based on my experiences and reading of other parents personal accounts of similar scenarios*