Little guy has been busy growing and becoming a more active toddler around our house. He has just turned 15 months and the difference in him since he took his few steps 3 months ago is significant. I have been taking him to the playground to let him walk around and exert his maximum effort (which is not too difficult at this stage). He is only able to do a few things at most playgrounds. His favorite exercise is climbing stairs and up slides. I know many parents do not agree with letting your child climb up the slide, however I see the benefit in him developing the strength to do so while under close watch. In my short time being a mother, I have learnt that as a mother you are given the choice to choose between keeping your child safe by not letting them do things considered dangerous, or letting them learn from their mistakes and possibly hurting themselves. I have settled on a middle ground where I like to allow my son to do the things he thinks he is capable of, while I am there, right by him, to catch him if he trips or falls.
I have noticed since I have adopted this less fear-based approach with my son that not only have I grown in confidence in my parenting style, but that he has also grown in confidence because he has been allowed to achieve things. The last time we were at the playground, little guy climbed up the slide and turned himself around to position himself and slide down again. My instinct was to grab him once he turned around, however I caught myself as I realized that little guy had a plan and I wanted to see how that played out. So instead of grabbing him, I kept my hands about an inch or 2 away from him but still close enough to catch him if he showed any signs of tripped or falling. He did neither and I was flabbergasted that my 15 month old son was able to go down the slide without hurting himself. Every time he does, I stay close enough to catch him, but one day I’ll be able to let him slide down in confidence knowing he is fully capable. He is growing up too fast but it is wonderful to see how confident he is in his own abilities.