Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fear factor

Kids are fearless right? They are meant to be, aren't they?

To be honest C is probably a little too fearless. She thinks nothing of flinging herself in the swimming pool but has learnt how to keep herself afloat and swim to the nearest aid to non drowning! She rides her bike at ridiculous speeds, removing her stabilisers when she was three by telling nursery she'd taken them off at home then coming home to tell me I don't need them anymore I can ride the two wheeler at nursery. Heights don't matter. But she has learnt to calculate risk, she will think how badly things could go wrong before leaping off the top of the climbing frame. And yes there have been tumbles and tears, but she gets right back up and tries again until she doesn't fall. Yes, there are occasions when I look away, cross my fingers and hope we don't need a trip to A & E. But on the whole we encourage her 'adventurous spirit', we teach her she can do anything if she tries and practices, we are there to rescue her when she gets stuck at the top of a climbing net. But I want my little girl to grow up thinking she can do what ever she wants and she can be whoever she wants to be. To learn that there will be knocks along the way but you need to deal with these and learn from them.

No the point of this post is sometimes do we instil fear into our kids? Yes they need to be aware of danger and there are some things that are off limits because it is too dangerous. But do we sometimes make them scared to try things? We were at a fun day at the weekend and there was a climbing wall (one where you are harnessed in, not much harm can come to you except maybe a couple of bruises or scrapes). Two of the wee girls (both 6) we were with asked to have a go, there Mum's immediate reaction was 'you'll never do that, you are too much of a scaredy cat'. I have to be honest I was a bit taken aback, if your Mum doesn't believe in you what chance do you have?

So what do you think, should we embrace kids fearlessness or encourage them to be cautious?

PS I asked C if she wanted a go. Her answer was; 'can you do it not being strapped in?' No you have to be strapped in 'nah I'll not bother then!'

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