Sunday, January 24, 2010

At What Point Do you Let Your Kids Fall?

Ok, I'm donating $250.00 to Haitian animal relief. I didn't get anywhere near enough comments to reach my limit and I'm too impatient to wait for them either! Probably would never get that many anyway. I'm sure the animals don't want me to wait for comments either, really. So I'll get the money there today and move on blog-wise.

On to the next topic:

Charlie is climbing the furniture, like any good tomboy would.

At which point do I let her go for it?

How high before I take her down?

If she falls from one foot, it's probably a "lesson". If she falls from three feet, it's more of a danger. Is there a certain height where you as the parent draw the line? Or do you just not let them climb at all? I wish there was a guide that told you "anything over 1.5 feet the risk of breaking her neck overrides the benefits of learning about pain" but so far I have not found any studies like that. Well, I haven't really looked for them either ;-) That's what you guys are for.

She is 16 months and pretty agile, but still trips on occasion when running. She's all about getting higher and higher right now.

Do you let your kids fall? What about at the playground/jungle gym? When do you swoop in and rescue them? This is probably a question that will continue to arise throughout her childhood, and possibly adulthood, where I have to ask myself if I'm being too over-protective, or giving her enough independence to learn her own lessons....

Ugh. This parenthood thing. Why is EVERY decision so fraught with long term implications???


Robbin Hopkins said...

I definitely would like to know. Lulu is just getting up there to standing and I believe in letting her tumble but what's the standard? She just learned how to climb the stairs YESTERDAY and I couldn't breathe the whole time....can't wait to see your answers. This Mommy thing is tough!

sko3 said...

I can actually give you a sort of an answer on that.At camp, our rule of thumb is to not allow children to climb any higher than their height. With some kids that's adjusted down if their skills don't support it. So, S is 3 feet tall, and I don't let her go any higher than that without my help.

Nobody said...

my daughter's a climber too. at first i tried to keep her off everything, but eventually i gave up and set boundaries. she can climb onto the couch and other designated "safe" areas, (low enough to the ground where she'll be taught a lesson if she falls, rather than a trip to the er) but she has to SIT when she gets up there. absolutely no running on the couch. i don't particularly like my method... but if i didn't use it i would have to put her in a play pen, or on a leash in her own home. she's just that precocious. i guess it's no wonder i have a stress headache right now? good luck finding your own method of dealing with a very curious little girl!

Anonymous said...

After working with little kids for a long time, I've learned that a) they bounce - seriously, I've seen kids fall from the top of a play structure, shake it off and go on with their day. b) they react how you react. If you get panicky and act scared and are extremely concerned, they cry and carry on make it a huge deal. If you are calm, check to make sure they aren't hurt - a kiss and a hug - they are usually fine in less than a minute. c) there's no set rule for a height to get hurt. Like I said, I've seen them fall from 3 times their height and not a scratch and then I've seen them trip over their own two feet and need stitches.

But I agree with sko3 - no climbing higher then their height. We also have the rule that grown-ups don't help kids climb up. If you can't do it yourself, then you aren't ready yet. It's worked wonders to encourage them to try and it keeps them from coping the big kids (aka teenagers) who are climbing on the outside of slides, roofs of the play structure, etc.


Kiki said...

and what do you do if her cousins make her jump from an 8 foot high stone wall at the Institute for Advance Study...or slide down a slide head first into a puddle of mud and the bottom of the slide...or sit her in a stroller that is tied to a skittish dog. Oh wait, that's what we used to do to you when we were kids. There is a different God looking out for the little ones or we never would have survived our childhood. :-)

Anonymous said...

As a mother of 3 grown girls, I can tell you that you will pray for "mortality reality" incidents.This is most evident when they have minor car accidents and you are grateful that was all that happened.
Learning comes from pushing boundries and you have to let them test them. Sometimes there are consequences. I tend to agree with the height of the child. Finding an 18 month old on top of the swingset admiring the parade of bees coming out is a definate NO.
Later, when she is in her early 20's and coming home on visits, you will hear about incidents you didn't know about.
Also, you have to consider what is appropiate. Is she allowed the same climbing permission in other peoples houses?

Michelle said...

I have no idea what is too high. What I do know is this...when she does fall (or stumbles, trips,bumps into the way, etc.) don't make a big deal of it. She'll look to you to see your response. If you run over freaking out, upset and anxious talking about how much that must have hurt, she will flip out. If you're laid back and say "oops!", she'll shake it off and keep on truckin' :-)