My daughter is cautious for some reason, I think it's just her temperament. I actually wish she were just a little more daring! She didn't start walking until 16 months, probably because she's so cautious. But it's good in a lot of ways, because I know that I can trust her to not do anything stupid like jump off a 6 foot ledge. I give her a pretty free rein, for the most part. And as long as I have time & energy, I do not mind letting her wander around a store and pull stuff off the shelves (also if it's not too crowded and there's not a lot of breakable stuff).
There are two things I do not trust my daughter to do yet (she's 18 months). I do not trust her to understand how dangerous water is- we were at a pool party a few weeks ago and she kept trying to walk right into the pool. She was very angry when I held her back from drowning herself. So I have to watch her like a hawk around water. The second thing is running into the street- she doesn't get that streets are dangerous, possibly because we live on a very quiet street with few cars. But the cars that do pass by often do so very very fast and they would not be able to see her if she wandered into the street alone.
I do notice other moms totally micromanaging their kids at the playground, and I don't quite understand it. It's supposed to be fun, right? I wish my daughter would climb up and go down the slide by herself, but she always wants me there. I respect her judgment though and her needs and I'm there for her. I know that I'm a bit cautious too so that's probably where she gets it from. My husband is more of a dare-devil, so our next child will probably be the dangerous one.
I'm very proud that when my daughter falls down she doesn't automatically cry. She usually just moves along with what she was doing. Sometimes she gets a look like "what was that?" on her face, rubs her hands, then moves along. And once in a while she will come to me for comfort, at which point I give it to her freely. I don't like it when parents automatically shriek "you're ok!!!" everytime their kid falls, but i think the opposite "Oh my gosh you fell OOPSIE are you ok sweetiepie!!???" is also counterproductive. Let the child react and go with what they are feeling. That's pretty much how I do everything.
ok, a bit of a ramble, but a fun one