Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mountaineers in the making? Kids who climb.

Wild Man is a climber. Always has been, always will be.

He climbed to the top of our bookcase before he could walk and hasn't looked back. Now he's three and he's all about climbing trees.

When I had Princess everyone said 'Girls are so much calmer, she'll love jigsaws and colouring in."

Ummm, no!

As it turns out Princess is a climber too. Before she was one and well before she could walk she also climbed our bookcase (I guess it just calls to them, for some reason).

What is it about Spunk Rat and me that makes us have such adventurous children? Spunk Rat says it's my fault because my parents met in a mountaineering society ... maybe he's right.

Are climbers born or are they made? Nature or nurture?

My kids are fairly free-range. I'd rather they were outside, dirty and having fun than inside and clean.

I also think that children need to push physical boundaries, experiment and have adventures.

I don't want them to fall and I hate it when they get hurt, but if you don't take risks how can you learn?

When I was at school we were always comparing which bones we had broken, but now most kids don't seem to break anything. Obviously it is great that children aren't being hurt but I worry that it is because kids today are sitting inside watching TV instead of playing outside, riding their bikes and generally pushing the boundaries a little.

Maybe a broken arm isn't the worst thing that can happen to you.

If you are only allowed to play on the grass why would you want to go outside?

Personally, I'd rather my kids were running towards the waves at the beach than crying because the sand is getting on their feet.

So I let them climb, if that's what they want to do. And run, and swim, and climb some more.

I do sometimes have to take a deep breath though, and ask myself 'what's the worst thing that could happen?'

And I do have one climbing rule - I don't help them up!

If Wild Man wants to play on top of the cubby house, instead of in it, he needs to work out how to get up there himself.

I help them down sometimes, but I try not to lift them down.

If you want to go up you need to be able to get down so I show them where to put their feet and hope that they'll be able to do it themselves next time (well, that's the plan anyway).

And I've put a cushion on the floor under the bookcase!

PS. the pic isn't of Princess, it is a cool little climber called Hannah.



  1. My second daughter was a climber and still is!! She's 13 now and ended up being on the school climbing team a couple of years ago.

    So you never know what will come out of it!!

  2. oh wow, that's fantastic. Fingers crossed my kids end up doing something like that ... and don't break too many arms in the mean time!


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