Appropriate risk taking

We have all spent time with them, worked with them or are related to them…. the ‘watch out!’ ‘Careful!’ ‘You’ll hurt yourself!’ ‘Do you know they have a…..!’ ‘Do you let them…..!’

I didn’t think we were free range parents until we watched other parents at work.

As long as we can hear the girls we are comfortable with them being out of sight.

We talk to them about rules and they set boundaries for appropriate behavior. Having a Freya certainly helps as she is a stickler for rules and is a keen policewoman once they have been agreed.

Even with our laissez-faire attitude to risk Flossy gave us a shock this week!

We went for a wall along the canal. Each time we saw a branch off into the wilderness we went in an adventure to explore it! On one such adventure we found ourselves under a canopy of trees in a small clearing. The trees were very climeable so, naturally, coats were thrown off, toys downed and three children started their ascent.

Freya has always been an avid climber, indeed she scaled impressive indoor climbing walls at three years old. Flossy, usually so keen to keep up, has not shown as much interest in scaling heights… until this day!

Having seen Freya clamber up to dizzying heights she decided it wa Ather turn. The usual rules were discussed; three pints of contact at all times, look for the next hand or foot hold before moving, if you need help just ask.

Nick and I continued our conversation as Flossy set about scaling the tree. It was only when a cry of ‘look at me’ came that we checked where she was. She was high!

Not just high for a five year old, really high!

She seemed happy enough until she started her descent… suddenly she got scared and was convinced that the branches she had used on her ascent had some how now disappeared! We coaxed, cajoled and talked her down step by step until she could launch into my arms about four foot from the bottom. Shaken, a bit tearful and still adamant that some branches had been removed she vowed never to climb a tree again!

Much to our surprise, all this did was spur in Felicity who promptly shouted for assistance in her ascent up the same tree!

All this outdoor learning is going to give us a heart attack one of these days!

We went back today… they all climbed the tree again! So much for never again 🙂

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