He climbs, he falls

JJ can’t seem to keep his feet on the ground. He’s constantly climbing, hanging off the walls and rails, and anything can be used as a footstool for his little curious feet.

He likes to feel the wind in his hair. Maybe it’s indeed cooler up there.

And the world probably looks more interesting from this angle…

 Inevitably…there are falls.

(PS. I wasn’t being mean when I captured this shot. I was sitting at a nearby chair taking photos of the kids at play, when this happened. Of course, my first instinct was to rush over, but when I saw that the daddy had managed to soften his fall by grabbing hold of his arm, I relaxed… )

I learnt this over the weekend just past. That as mums, we tend to be protective over our little ones by telling them not to run so fast, not to jump so high…essentially our message is: don’t take so many risks.

When it comes to dads however, they’re usually letting the kids run like the wind (and running along with them), and they have less qualms about encouraging their child to jump higher, hit harder, run faster, dream bigger.

I used to think that I was being protective, but this weekend, I came to see it from a different angle. The fathers too are being protective, albeit using a different method. By asking their kids to try harder and to take certain risks, they are teaching them to meet the challenges of tomorrow, and giving them tools for real life battles.

I don’t like to see my children fall. It hurts. But in real life, they will, and we simply just can’t bubble-wrap them from it all. But by allowing them to go through challenging experiences, letting them learn from their “falls” and imparting them ways to cope and to overcome, I think we’re preparing them for the long journey ahead.

What do you think?

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  1. says

    I can so relate. Must be something about boys. Always living right on the edge. Like you, I’m always the protective one running after him, holding on to him. It’s his daddy that says, just leave him be, he must learn for himself what his limits are. So far he is still alive and kicking!
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  2. says

    Wow. Javier can really climb!!!! And you are a world-class blogger. Only a blogging mum can have the state of mind to take photos of their kids crying! :p hahahha

    But yes, it does seem like Dads are more bo-chup (relaxed) when they hold us paranoid Mums back by asking us to relax and allow the kid can handle a little bruise. Of course there are things we can be more relaxed about but not for the high risk situations.
    Nerdymum recently posted..Mr Moon’s AnatomyMy Profile

  3. Foreverfriends says

    You are fast! That’s a good shot!

    Totally agree with you. Mother is the one who protects her child in every situation, tries her best to prevent her child from every single fall. Father is the one who pushes his child to beyond the limit and offers protection at the right time. I felt that from my parents. Though I prefers my father’s way but I still make the mistakes of mother’s way of “too much protection”. Well, mother’s nature

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Thanks, sometimes I look at the picture and I feel a tug in my heart because he looked so upset. But thankfully, he recovers pretty quickly. Just dust him off and he’s off again…I do admire that resilience and “forgetfulness” about toddlers. I guess it’s because of how he reacts that makes me want to loosen up a little, let him fall a little, although deep down I’m still a sometimes paranoid and protective mum.

  4. says

    I totally agree with you on the fact that Daddies are the ones that “protect” their kids differently. Many times I look at how my hubb plays with the boy I really worry for them. But again, the boy enjoys his company and that is the kind of fun they will never get from me. So after a while I also let them be. And I learn to thrust my hubb that he knows what he is doing and will take care of the boy well.

    And yes, after having my girl, I can only say that boys tend to be a bigger risk taker!
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  5. says

    I look at the pictures, and I was like… eh – SAME SAME SAME SAME!!

    First time C fell (he climbed over his cot rail and tumbled to the granite floor) Daddy couldn’t grab hold of him in time, and while he yelled, I shot dagger looks at my husband who seemed too calm after he checked the boy’s responses. He had a big baluku to show for that – made him look like he had an extra head, as though his head wasn’t big enough to start with.

    Second time round, he scraped his knees badly because he found out that running was so much faster than toddling about and fell over and over again on that stretch of walk way. Still picked himself up and continued despite my warnings.

    Few bumps and bruises later, he got used to it, and so did I. He knows that he might fall and hurt himself, but curiosity and the lure of climbing things win, every time.

    Now he climbs everything and anything. Window grilles, door grilles, railings, chairs, tables – anything that looks climb-able. I keep an eye out for him, but as you mentioned, I won’t cramp his style apart from making sure that he is safe to a certain degree.

    Did I also mention that boys also seem to notbeabletostopmovinganddoingthings?
    My friends who have had girls before boy(s) have told me that they may have just stopped at one if they were blessed with a boy first! 😀
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    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Yes, non-stop action, totally with you. I think I get all the exercise I need just by keeping up with him.

  6. says

    I used to think that my 3 year old boy loves climbing, jumping and dangling from poles too… But I learnt that he is actually capable of assessing his own abilities and won’t attempt ‘stunts’ that he is not confident of. I brought him to west coast park last week… He enjoyed the playground meant for 2 to 5 year olds… Then we proceeded to the spider web structures meant for 7 year old kids… He climbed around the bottom bit and didn’t venture further… Then we got to the flying fox… I showed him how it works and asked him if he wanted to try… He said, “no mommy… Too high for me…”… Then we proceeded to the other structures meant for older kids, he contemplated for a whole, then to me that he doesn’t want to try. So I supposed though it seems to me that he is playing dangerously… Running, climbing and all… He is actually quite a cautious chap.
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  7. says

    I’m a man in this aspect. I don’t Jump when my kids fall. Actually, I feel annoyed when they do! :p I instinctively blame it on their clumsiness. I am a bad mummy this way.

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      You’re not a bad mummy dear, you’re just more relaxed and chill about them falling. It’s just a different approach. I’m sure at the end of the day, you don’t want to see them get hurt either, and you hurt when they do. 🙂

  8. says

    Hi June! =)

    It’s the same with Vai and Anya. Vai is the one who’s more prone to falls and bumps, simply because he’s the more ‘carefree’ one, the one who climbs and perhaps, the one who calculates the risks ‘less’ ? (do first, think later?)

    Your post reminded me of this post I wrote sometime back … When we tend to say ‘Be careful ah…’ to a child, it affects his confidence when he’s about to explore something new …
    Leonny recently posted..Parenting : When Parents Spend ‘Too Much’ On Their Children’s BirthdaysMy Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Hi Leonny, thanks for sharing! So true what you said about our response affecting the way our children approach life and new things. Lovely post there! 🙂

  9. PR says

    June, I was going to write a post on my boys climbing too. I always go after my boys with “don’t climb. dont’ jump” phrase. I gradually learn to let go a little and supervise them at a distance.

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Hi PR, great minds think alike 😉 That sounds familiar – beginning every sentence with a “don’t”. I do try to sit back and relax a bit now that they’re older. But, as can be seen, Javier still needs a close eye. Especially when he’s quiet for too long, I start to get a bit nervous…

  10. says

    Javier looks very confident and happy in all but one of the pictures! What a fun little boy 🙂 I think Europeans tend to be more daddy-like in their attitudes – I never noticed until one day at a BBQ I was remarking fondly how happy our gang of children was climbing all over the place and one Singaporean mum pointed out to me that it was only the European children climbing! All the Asian ones were well behaved and staying close to their parents… I have to admit being a little jealous of such lovely behaviour!

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      It’s funny, Katrijn, but I think I would be a tad jealous that other kids are more adventurous and daring! It’s something that I’ve noticed too, in general, although there could always be a few exceptions. Maybe Asians tend to be a little more protective…

  11. says

    I am definitely in the “let them be daring” camp, but have to confess when I watched my daughter slide about half a meter on her knees on bitumen after tripping while running, I became a lot more cautious.
    I can still “feel” the pain she must have felt, and the image of her sliding is still as vivid as ever, even though it was about three years ago.
    The grazes on her knees were very bad.
    I don’t think she remembers the incident, but she is probably a more careful runner!
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