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.