Where’s the Line?

There’s a line somewhere that divides the bubble wrapping parents from the rest of us. Somewhere there’s a line separating the over protective parent from the barely protective. There are parents on both sides of those lines. Some just play jump rope with it.

Where do you draw the line at what you’ll allow your children to attempt? Crash wanted to ride his snowboard down the slide in the backyard this past winter. Giv’er buddy. He wanted to ride his bike down the step of the neighbor’s front porch. I don’t think so, Tim. Bang wanted to jump from bed to bed in our hotel room. Giv’er, buddy. He also wanted to climb onto the shed roof to get a sand shovel he threw up there. Fat chance, kiddo. How do you decide when to tell them no and when to let them try?

Fear is imaginary. It’s not real. It is created in our brain. Don’t confuse it with danger. Danger is very real. Example? Spiders. When you walk into a spider web, what’s your first reaction? I’m guess you flail around like demented windmill? That would be your fear of spiders. Fear of getting bitten by a poisonous one. The danger isn’t there, but the fear is. The chances of the web containing a poisonous spider is very slim, especially if you live here in Canada. Of the spiders that can be harmful to humans, most don’t even build webs that you can walk into. The black widow lives on the ground, as do tarantulas. So you need to ask yourself when your dare devil wants to try something new, “Is my fear greater than their danger?” If it is then you’re probably over reacting by not letting them try.

However, once their danger level is equal to your fear of them getting hurt, perhaps it’s then time to put a stop to it. Climbing a tree is one of Crash’s favorite things to do. Do I fear him falling out of it and getting hurt? Sure. Is it actually dangerous? Not really. It’s a pine tree with hundreds of branches so the most he would fall is 8 inches to the branch below. Is that different than the 8 inches he would fall riding his bike down the front porch steps? Yes, because now there is equipment with which to hurt himself on.

So, when I hear “Dad, video me and put it on youtube!” My answer is always no. He doesn’t need the encouragement to be dangerous. I’m glad he doesn’t have much fear, but he needs a better understanding of danger. Though, I can’t blame him. I was the one who slid down our neighbor’s shed roof on a sled into a snowdrift. My excuse? I was 14.

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20 thoughts on “Where’s the Line?

  1. “Video me and put it on YouTube” hahaha, are you running Jacka**, Kiddie Edition up there?

    And thanks for making me scared of the ground with that fact about black widows!

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  2. That’s a deep thought – fear and danger. I fear because it’s dangerous; It’s dangerous therefore I fear. Where do you draw the line indeed! A very well-worded post, Eric. I’m not a big fan of putting up my own kids’ videos on youtube. On the hindsight though, I suppose if your kid can be cute on youtube, that shld be OK, no? :p LOL

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  3. My dad knew I’d get hurt here and there. He let me do most things and even get hurt. But the big hurts, never he got involved then. I’m not sure where the line is but I give my son plenty of room to make mistakes and even get hurt. I don’t like seeing him get hurt, I always tell him you’re going to end up hurt, but in the end he needs the experience to make good choices.

    “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
    -Will Rogers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said. I let Crash do a lot of stuff… like ride his snowboard down the backyard slide into the snow. Little hurts, nicks and scratches I allow. But, like your dad, if a big hurt is a big risk then I put a stop to … like riding his bike down the front porch steps. Thanks!

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  4. Sliding down the railing of the staircase, hanging up-side down from a tree branch: Any day, monkeys. Getting on a bike and cycling out of our security complex, across the main road on our doorstep that regularly has lethal car crashes, and off into the places where wild men drag kids off their bikes and smash in their skulls with a rock so they can steal their cellphones? Sadly, this is not a safe country for raising kids any longer. Sorry: No bikes.

    I get what you are saying.

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