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Toddlers and calculated risk... - Page 2

post #21 of 39
I overprotected my first daughter, and she is a chicken! (A chicken that I love!)
So my 2nd daughter has been allowed considerably more [still supervised] freedom to fall, to get hurt. She's three now and going through a clutsy phase but doesn't cry when she falls; she's tough and brave and seems happier than my still-very-cautious 9-yr-old.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novus View Post
I let DS roam on playgrounds unless he calls for me and I let him play in a different room than the one I'm in if he wants to. But I'm super paranoid about water safety and I pretty much always have a hand on DS when we're at the pool, even in the wading pool (this is partly because he's been known to just lie down in the water and then not be sure how to stand back up and it freaks. me. out.). DH is far more at ease in the water and he lets DS explore more, lets him get slightly farther away, etc when we're at the pool.
This describes us lol!!! DH gets home from work and asks where his sweet girl is, and I'm like "oh... in some room somewhere playing". But when he's watching her, he complains about how he can't get ANY housework done and how exhausting it is, because he's right beside her 100% of the time watching her like a hawk.

She's over 3 now, but I was relaxed around the house like that since she was about 2. DH is only now starting to relax a bit.

But in the water... DH's parents have a cottage on a river. He grew up swimming in that river, mostly unsupervised, and he considers it her birthright to do the same. He does supervise her, of course, but lets her go in much further on her own and farther away from him than I ever would. Makes me crazy nervous. I wish he wouldn't do that!!!
post #23 of 39
I know I scare my parents a lot with what I allow DD to do. Like stairs. I know she is totally capable of climbing them on her own... she has been for, gosh months upon months now! She is just starting to want to walk down them, and that I only let her do while holding my hand. Sometimes she slides down on her behind, and that she does with me standing a few steps in front of her.

The shopping cart thing... I don't let her stand, because knowing her, she'd want to dive. lol But I never buckle her because half the time they don't work and she can get out of them anyway. If she goes to start standing I just hold her for a bit. I used to wear her, but she refuses to be worn now. She is quite independent in some regards already, and certainly has no problem letting me know her opinion. lol

I rarely let her run in stores, because of my energy levels of keeping up with her... but it happens occaisonly under the right circumstances. Such as yesterday when we were at Kohl's and no one was in the department we were in, and we had no time table, so I let her down to roam for a bit.

Running all over the property playing with sticks and stones, check! LOL

I let her climb up into her high chair seat, because she loves to... and is a total monkey climber. She is very strong and has been climbing a long time. I know she can do this. This one scares my parents alot. lol
post #24 of 39
My dd is 21 months old. I am also 35wks pg, so some of the stuff I let her do is also because of the pg and my physical limitations.

Standing in the cart: doesn't bother me as I am usually just right there. I do not however let her stand in the seat obviously and with me being as pg as I am it's easier for me to just stick her in the seat and buckle her in, then make sure it's tight enough that she can't get out.

"running free" in grocery stores: Um, big no on this one. She is FAST and LOVES to run and she would be lost in an instant. I am not so much worried about someone taking her or about her running out of the store, it's more just that she would end up somewhere without me before I would even know where to look and it would totally freak her out.

Stairs-she can climb them, I taught her how to go up and down pretty early because her bedroom is upstairs and with my pg I can't carry her up and down multiple times a day for naps and bed time. But she gets super excited about them for some reason and will go faster than she can control herself, so she has to have someone right there below her in case she loses control. However, we have a bit of an open stair case for the last like 5 steps and there's spindles under a banister that goes up that side. She will climb up those spindles all the time. She has yet to fall. If she did, it's not all that far because we have her playpen parked there and it's usually got blankets and stuff in it, just because that's where they often land.

Water: at the pool, someone just has to stay within a few feet of her, we don't let her across the pool alone. If she goes down in the water, she gets too startled to be able to right herself in time. It's not that she can't at all, it's that she's so surprised by having her face in the water that she automatically sucks in a huge breath and can't make her legs and arms move fast enough to get her face out of the water before she swallows all that water.


Once, when my oldest was two, she was going backwards across the porch. I told her 3 times to stop, that she was going to fall off. She didn't listen, so I quit telling her. Sure enough, a moment later she backed herself right off the porch. It was only like a 1 ft drop so it wasn't like she REALLY got hurt, but boy did she learn her lesson. I am all about those sorts of natural consequences, even if it means the little one gets a little bit hurt. Obviously I am not letting my daughter touch a hot pan where she can get seriously burnt or run out into the street or anything, but yeah, if a little boo boo might get the point across, I am willing to let her get a little boo boo.
post #25 of 39
I am definitely pretty laid back about most everyday "dangers", especially since my son is very advanced physically for his age. I'll let him climb and jump and stand on chairs and climb stairs because I know he's capable. Whenever he's trying a new task, I follow him closely, but for things I've seen him do a ton of times and he's good at, I kind of let him have free range. I wouldn't let him stand in a grocery cart, only because I let him ride in the back a few times and once he almost climbed out and would have landed head first on the tile if I hadn't been right there to catch him. That was an adrenaline rush I don't need again! But I definitely let him run around in stores and on playgrounds and stand in the bath tub (although not walk or climb or jump, all of which he tries to do).

I have certain rules, like you have to sit in your high chair and you can't climb on the dog. But for the most part, if I know he can do things safely, I let him
post #26 of 39
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

good topic!
post #27 of 39
Various family members have been appalled that I do not strap my toddler into grocery carts or strollers, that I let her walk down the sidewalk without holding mommy's hand (she knows that mommy will carry her across the street), that I let her enjoy steaming hot oatmeal, and that she gets to play with butter knives (at the table, not running around brandishing them). I let her do the stairs herself at a young age because we only have four steps up to the house and I figured it was better for her not to be scared of them.

I do not, however, let her stand in the bath, because I fell, as an adult, and was injured. Nor does she get to jump on the bed, because our bed has a wooden ledge around it and I am afraid she'll fall wrong and hit her head on the sharp edges or corners.
post #28 of 39
we just let ours do whatever he wants as long as he isn't seriously hurting himself.

hE is 17 months

He stands in the shower.

He plays with anything- he played with a pizza cutter the other day (supervised) outside for 20 minutes and loved it! Some people freaked out by it but I don't see the problem with it. It's not like it was a knife or something!

He will ALWAYS wear his helmet.

He climbs stairs up and down by himself and has been for many many months now.

He must hold my hand if we are in a store but I let him walk whenever he wants, as long as he holds my hand. We don't use the stroller much just because he loves walking.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mokey4 View Post
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

good topic!
Mine (17 months) falls down all the time at the playground and he is totally fine!! I am more worried about him playing than he is! He is a tough little guy
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
I am so happy to have so much company!

I agree with mokey4 about falling and waiting for a reaction rather than creating one. We absolutey know when DD is hurt because she will cry. She falls many times a day and just gets right back up without a peep, so when she does cry we give her the attention we feel she needs at the time. I also HATE when people say "Oh you're okay", my sister does that all the time! I know she is just trying to be helpful, but it drives me nuts!
post #31 of 39
Quote:
He plays with anything- he played with a pizza cutter the other day (supervised) outside for 20 minutes and loved it! Some people freaked out by it but I don't see the problem with it. It's not like it was a knife or something!
We were at a restaurant the other day and let DD put a knife in her mouth (not a very sharp one, although it did have a pointy end) and the people we were with were horrified and said she'd be sure to cut her tongue off....but she was fine.
post #32 of 39
Very interesting thread!

We let DS (19 mo) do most whatever he's into with supervision (sometimes right next to him, sometime just visual from a ways away). Things that others remark about (ranging from silly to significant):
Giving him food not cut into miniscule chunks...he gets a chicken leg, a half sandwich, apple, whatever. We've always done "baby led solids," so he just eats like a messy, uncoordinated adult. This is a major one for ILs, they think kids choke on anything bigger than a grain of rice, for Pete's sake!
Playing alone in the (fenced) back yard for 5-10 minutes while I do something within earshot in the kitchen, laundry or garage
Playing alone in his room upstairs for short periods, like while I shower or do a chore in another room. If I can hear him, he's fine. If I can't, he's usually perched on the bed looking at a book.
Drinking independently from a glass rather than a sippy cup
Climb and descend stairs on his own (he's able to do it and will call for help if he needs it)
Stand in the bath
Be in water that is deep for him (with us in arm's reach)
Walking/running up and down the block on the sidewalk, as long as he's staying away from the curb
Use the slide solo (the shorter one in the toddler area of the playground)
Put dirt/rocks/sand into his mouth. He knows how to spit things out and will do so if asked.
Roaming/following solo in the store...only if it's not going to get on anyone's nerves. We pick up what he takes off the shelves.

Glad to know that we're not alone! Sad to see so many kids restrained from exploring by helicopter parents/grandparents...but we do other things differently for our perceptions of safety that they don't do: no vaccines, rear-facing carseat, traditional foods, bike helmet in the trailer, etc.
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by haurelia View Post
Glad to know that we're not alone! Sad to see so many kids restrained from exploring by helicopter parents/grandparents...but we do other things differently for our perceptions of safety that they don't do: no vaccines, rear-facing carseat, traditional foods, bike helmet in the trailer, etc.
This is the odd thing to me, that the parents we know who helicopter and won't let their kids climb on things or do much independently insist on turning their children foward facing at 12 months and don't bother with bike helmets. I'm sure they're equally baffled by us.

I feel like my decision make process is pretty rational- "Could this kill or maim my children? Do they lose anything if I prevent it from happening? If so, are the odds worth it?"

So, playing with candles, fine (no severe risk). Climbing on rocks, fine (some risk, but it's fun and they develop motor skills and exercise and spend time outdoors). Bike helmets, required (uncomfortable but they don't prevent any activity and do protect their precious brains). Turning forward facing, slightly trickier (Not till 18 months for my massively car sick older son, not till he outgrows his seat for his two year old brother. With my oldest we decided the relatively small risk of death was outweighed by either being housebound or having an acutely miserable child every time we went to the grocery store). And so forth.

I'd be really interested in understanding the though process behind deciding that little Billy should face forward in his car seat because he's old enough to now, but absolutely shouldn't be allowed to go down the slide on his own. Not that I think I'd change my mind, but I'd really like to at least vaguely understand the thinking behind it.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by winter singer View Post
We were at a restaurant the other day and let DD put a knife in her mouth (not a very sharp one, although it did have a pointy end) and the people we were with were horrified and said she'd be sure to cut her tongue off....but she was fine.
I've done that! And my mother was horrified that I let DD play with a fork at the dinner table. A fork! She wasn't going to hurt herself with it! If she were waving it around precariously I'd take it away (and give her a spoon in exchange).

I agree with prorythia's thought process: if it could kill/seriously maim my child, then I'll probably not allow it. Part of my thought process is also how much fun an activity is and whether not allowing it is worth the effort. If making something forbidden will involve me saying "no" every 5 minutes then I'd rather just let it slide... I think it's bad for DD's self confidence to have her every move questioned.
post #35 of 39
Our little guy is also very tough and adventurous. So we let him do a lot of exploring, and he's learned well what his limits are. Standing in a moving cart would be a huge no-no for me, but the bathtub is fine. He also loves to slide down the playground slide head-first, which I'm not a fan of (and I didn't teach him that), but he's great at catching himself and it's not like he's going top speed.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbm View Post
Various family members have been appalled that I do not strap my toddler into grocery carts or strollers, that I let her walk down the sidewalk without holding mommy's hand (she knows that mommy will carry her across the street), that I let her enjoy steaming hot oatmeal, and that she gets to play with butter knives (at the table, not running around brandishing them). I let her do the stairs herself at a young age because we only have four steps up to the house and I figured it was better for her not to be scared of them.

I do not, however, let her stand in the bath, because I fell, as an adult, and was injured. Nor does she get to jump on the bed, because our bed has a wooden ledge around it and I am afraid she'll fall wrong and hit her head on the sharp edges or corners.

this exactly!

i had a waiter run over and take a butterknife from ds and hand him a spoon. i was like, "what the heck?! its a butterknife- how exactly is a spoon safer?"


i hurt myself jumping on a bed so its a pet peeve of mine that i dont like watching... and standing in the tub is also scary to watch. though i try to act like its not. because i think my kids only do certain things to freak me out.
post #37 of 39
I do all of those:
-Riding in the cart standing up, even without anyone standing right next to them, gasp.
-My oldest likes to lay down at the very bottom of the cart(under the basket) and ride
-They never have helmets on, but I really should buy some for them, but I guess I figure they are on trikes/big bike with training wheels.
-My oldest(5 yrs old) is allowed out by himself in out front yard
-They all 3 stand in the bath AND there is no faucet protector.
post #38 of 39
Im really laxed in some areas but not in others. Also, it really does depend on age.
For example, in the playground my oldest (3 1/2) is allowed to play on anything as long as she is within sight and comes when called. My youngest Im with all the time because she isn't that certain on a lot of the slides/ladders, she is 21 months. My oldest can walk along beside us when we shop and help me put things in the cart, my youngest is only allowed out of the cart if DH is there. If he isn't there she has to stay in the cart, sitting in the seat. Shes usually ok with that since shes allowed to hold mommy's list and pen and scribble all over it.
We don't wear bike helmets but my girls only ride the trike inside. We don't have a safe area outside to ride it since its been deemed not appropriate to ride them on the sidewalk (yea, and its not safe for a 20 month old to ride anything in the street so where do they ride? No idea). Sometimes DH will take the oldest out to ride in the parking lot and she does wear a helmet there.
I think rocks, sticks and dirt are a child's best toys. They are allowed to throw them (outside only of course and not at people), have stick fights, get muddy etc. However, they aren't allowed to put them in their mouths or hit/throw them at others.
At the same time I'm very cautious about where my kids are at. A lot of parents I know will leave their kids (even some younger than my oldest) alone in the book store and go upstairs to the PX to do their shopping. Other leave them in the kids toy area and go do their shopping. One of my friends suggested I get a meal for both, sit them down and go do my shopping at the commissary which is next door to the eating area (not even in the same building or connected). There is NO WAY I would ever allow my child out of my sight in public like that until they are a LOT older. Maybe at 6 or 7 Ill allow them to start using the bathroom by themselves and get items from down the row from where I am. I have been told Im paranoid about them being in public but in my mind it only takes a minute for something to happen.
post #39 of 39
I let DD (14 months) stand in the tub, I spent months trying to get her to sit down before giving up. I do hold onto her the entire time because she has fallen before.

I let her walk down the street without holding my hand. I don't tell DH because he is much more of a helicopter than I but I do think the freedom to explore and go at her own pace is good for her. I am always right beside her watching and I move a lot faster than her. She has never gone into the street by herself, we live in Manhattan so letting her walking down the block by herself really seemed crazy and unusual.

I do follow her around on the playground equipment and stairs. I wasn't watching at my parents house and she fell down a flight and it really terrified me. She knows how to go up and down safely but my stubborn little girl insists on trying to walk up and down the stairs like a big girl and her legs are too short so she goes tumbling. The playground has so many gaps and she really has no fear and I know she would jump. She has fallen every time she doesn't have help on the slide she will try to walk down or do something equally dangerous.
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