Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's what we like to call a learning experience

Wherein how the summer started

For related stuff, see ALOTT5MA.

Those are the pins, more like 2 inch nails, about to be removed from a previously broken elbow. Everything has healed up nicely. Not that this slowed The Child down much -- she was perfecting her one-armed cartwheel while in a cast. At the ALOTT5MA post, commenter calliek asks
Here's my overall question- what is the downside to raising children in a danger-less environment? There's a huge variety of (death-defying) experiences here... how would we have been different if we had had different experiences? Does taking risks as a child enhance or hinder your childhood?

It's an interesting question. Generally speaking, there's value in letting children explore their abilities on their own and to experience the trust and responsibility of being allowed to explore. Of course some children can never be trusted and others are never curious enough to see what they can do.

For The Child, as a toddler there was climbing on the couch and stage diving to cushions on the floor. We'd let The Child do this. We'd let The Child climb playground equipment The Child wasn't old enough for, standing close by to spot The Child. Our thinking was we'd let The Child fall enough to acknowledge a mistake had been made, but not enough to seriously injure. Bumps and bruises are ok. We'd freak other parents out with what we'd let The Child do, but we knew what The Child was capable of and the idea was for The Child to also learn and to respect the edge of that knowledge. We also enrolled The Child in gymnastics as soon as possible so extra training in coordination could be had. The child is an athlete and spends the day running and jumping and climbing. The accident that caused the above photo was something The Child had probably done a hundred times before. Accidents happen, thankfully we have insurance, the healing is successful, and I have no doubt The Child will do it again. I think we've been successful in laying a foundation of thoughtful risk-taking, so I'm not worried.

Regarding the pins -- even though surgery was required to place them, removing them was just a tug and a pull. With no anesthestic of any kind. The screaming was awesome.


Anonymous Leo said...

I was planning to ponder the same question on my blog, too, as it seemed appropriate. Unfortunately, blogging is really taking a back seat lately, so I am happy to see the question didn't go unanswered by someone.

Although, I think my take was going to be more along the lines of - okay nonparents, call me when your kid takes his first header off the playground equipment. There's parenting theory and parenting practice and damned if I can ever get mine to match up.

8/08/2008 12:23:00 AM  

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