Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Let 'Em Fall!

This past weekend we spent a lot of time over at a nearby park. My 15 month-old old started trying to climb the ladder on the side of the large play structure. He fearlessly climbed to the top rung and then stayed there for a few moments, unsure how to make the next big leap over. Eventually he climbed back down and tried again a few minutes later.

I stood nearby amazed at my son's determination and confidence. As he climbed higher, I encouraged him, but made sure to keep my distance so as not to smother him. When he fell from the top he instinctively put his arms up and caught hold of the top rung. His unsuccessful attempts to get to the top of the ladder did not dissuade his efforts. His falls did not bruise his confidence.

I am going to continue to let my children fall down. This is the only way they will learn.

We do not go through life with a person holding us tightly when we put our feet up on the ladder's first rung. We cannot build our children's self confidence without stepping back and resisting the urge to step in. Parenting is a balancing act. There is a very fine line between being overprotective and being the Great Santini.


At September 27, 2005 at 1:17:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Solid advice.

At September 27, 2005 at 1:28:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Jack.

At September 28, 2005 at 2:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I loved the Great Santini and take it as a cautionary tale. I try hard not to try to make my kids' lives my own. They need to follow their own paths. I need to give them the tools they need to make it to where they're going.

At September 28, 2005 at 2:56:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

So you don't throw basketballs at them? ;)


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