Let my three year old climb trees and rocks?? Without holding my hand?
It can be scary as a mother watching your 3 year old scramble up cliffsides, running along trails, climb trees or big rock formations. However, I try to trust my children as much as possible, and encourage them to assess the challenge vs. their skill level.
I will often ask them, “are you sure?” Or “is that branch/rock steady enough?”. Sometimes I may even say, “what will happen if you step here?” To teach them to analyze the risks.
Allowing them the chance to scale new surfaces will improve their gross motor skills, also their confidence in themselves and their ability to reason whether something is or is not a good idea.
As moms, as much as we may wish to, we will not always be there to make decisions for our children. We may be afraid to let them make decisions because of a perceived risk. Instead of saying no, we should instead help our child learn to be safer while climbing. We must prepare them to do think of these things independently.
Yes, this does extend much further than a discussion about tree climbing.
I believe we must mother from a place of trust and not fear. We need to provide children with opportunities to grow in their judgement in a relatively safe context, so they can practice making decisions independently.
The decisions our children make will get much more complex as they get older. So let’s start them on the way, by letting them decide what they will and won’t climb while out hiking.
Breakfast: the girls and I had a curious conversation about the current prospects for women in the workforce. They decided to personally contribute to the advancement of their gender by becoming a mermaid and a princess.
On the way to school, Elise had a big burp, which turned into throwing up all over herself. Nothing a few wipes can’t fix.
I had a few minutes between appointments, so I decided to luxuriously apply makeup. Of course this happened in the driver’s seat of my minivan, while I was nursing. Luxurious nonetheless.
Came home, and in the time it took for me to brush my teeth, the girls took down every single coat, snow pant, rain coat and vest from the hall closet… and hid all the shoes and boots in there too.
What kind of special joy does the afternoon hold? I won’t hold my breath… but maybe a basement flood??
Kidding! But I definitely see a glass of wine in my future.