This week’s edition of Sunday Surf is about giving toddlers appropriate freedoms that support their physical and emotional development. It is too easy to get caught up in protecting our babies that we forget that they need to experience their own ups and downs and be taught instead how to get through them appropriately.
"They might fall sometimes, and they’ll get banged up. But a few scratches and scrapes are worth them knowing it’s ok to keep pushing their limits."
"Me? I watch my children like a hawk, but I watch them. Not just what they're doing but what they're learning. To me, children need to hurt themselves. They need to fall down and scrape knees and break bones. They learn so much from it. They not only learn how to fall, but how to pick themselves up, how to cope with the pain, how to ask for help, how to treat themselves, how far to push themselves. They learn their physical boundaries and learn if they can push them."
"I want us to spend lots of time together and be close. But I also want him to play and explore independently, and I really feel like the playground is ideal that...It would have been so easy to just jump up and run around with him and satisfy the immediate needs. But if I had, I would have missed out on this amazing opportunity to see how independent he really is, and what he’s capable of with just a little guidance and encouragement."
As I observe more and do less, my relationship with my children has changed from one of intervention to one of trust, and it’s absolutely fascinating to discover what they’re capable of.
In order to become responsible, confident, assertive, independent adults, children need opportunities to explore their environment both physically and emotionally without continuous interference from their parents.We can often feel fearful watching our children playing on play ground equipment, climbing, or learning to swim or skate, but this needn't be translated into fear for them.