Toddlers and calculated risk... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 39 Old 08-22-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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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.
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#32 of 39 Old 08-22-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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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.

Married to P and mama to DS (1/09)blahblah.gifand DD  (09/13 babygirl.gif). I'm into friends and family, gardening, exercise, yoga, reading, knitting, photos, traditional foods, breastfeeding, home birth, babywearing, and much more. 
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#33 of 39 Old 08-22-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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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.
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#34 of 39 Old 08-23-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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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.
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#35 of 39 Old 08-23-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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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.

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#36 of 39 Old 08-23-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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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.

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#37 of 39 Old 08-23-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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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.

Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

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#38 of 39 Old 08-23-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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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.

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#39 of 39 Old 08-24-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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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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