A Great Part of Being a Kid – Climbing Trees!
How do you encourage your kids to face the fear? Have you ever thought about it? That we, parents, may unintentionally teach kids to avoid risk-taking?
Reasonable risk-taking is beneficial to young minds. KidORCA Kids’ Rain Boots
To my own surprise, it takes some time to become pro-bravery with kids. To feel that cautioning my little angels against physical risk may have far-going consequences. Not good ones. And one of them might be a lack of confidence in their own decisions.
Good news is that bravery is learned, and we can learn it together with kids, through practice. Children are even better than us in it, most of the time. 😊
The simplest way is just to allow kids to climb trees — indeed risky play in general. To allow them to challenge themselves physically, to know their own strengths, trust themselves and take calculated risks.
Dream big in KidORCA Kids’ Rain Boots.
To learn that fear can be found and known, and after that, you can take a good look at it, assess just how relevant it was, and then put it back to where it belonged. Behind your exhilaration, anticipation, and confidence. In other words, you are allowing your kids to climb trees not because you are a careless, neglectful parent. You are encouraging your kids to take evaluated risks to give them tools to handle a real life. You inspire kids to get outside and practice bravery – to learn alpine skiing, scuba diving or mountain biking. However, frankly speaking, I do still close my eyes when I see my child jumping at her figure skating classes :).
Beautiful Hyde Park on our way from National Gallery to Tower of London. KidORCA Kids’ Rain Boots
Last time I had a good chance to test my beliefs was in London’s Hyde Park. My own young daughters climbed up a gorgeous, knotted tree and were sitting there perched in the fork of two branches, hidden by leaves. There was something wonderful about watching girls climbing trees. And some scary feeling as well – a basic instinct of a parent to protect our children. But you put your fear behind and recall your own childhood memories and those moments of a great joy when the world goes by underneath you, and you sit far above and dream big.
Obviously, you should choose proper shoes for tree climbing (though our KidORCA rain boots are awesome, and fit the feet properly) and instruct kids on safety rules:
- Test branches before trusting that they will hold you up
- At least three points of contact with the tree at all times!
- Climb close to the trunk and stay off of trees when they are slippery
Finally, recent studies show that risky play is important for kids because it teaches hazard assessment, it teaches delayed gratification, it teaches resilience, and it teaches confidence. And moreover, there is a critical mass of people, such as those in the free-range parenting movement, who are beginning to reject overprotection as a parenting strategy.