Did you chuckle, or full on belly laugh too? It makes me chuckle every time. Go ahead and think I am a “bad mom” and then I will explain why I was right there and let him fall. And no, it is not because I was video taping.
There are a few reasons why I let this happen and let similar things happen on a daily basis. First off, I knew he was safe. I knew he wasn’t going to get hurt. It wasn’t like I was allowing him to fall from the top of the climbing structure. He had also successfully climbed up the same structure unassisted about 27 times before I decided to record him.
My second reason is that so many kids these days never experience failure or struggle. We seem to always be right there to help them, to swoop in and protect them. But one day they will go to pre-school, kindergarten, high school, college or into the real world on their own where we will not be there. (I know that’s scary and it sucks to realize that our babies will be there in the blink of an eye.) How can we expect them to handle failure and struggle without freaking out if they have never experienced it, even on the small scale?
Also, I want my child to know that it is OK to make mistakes. I want him to be able to get back up and try again. And ya know what? In this video that is exactly what he did. He looked at me, I smiled back at him, he smiled back, he got up and climbed to the top by himself. At 16 months old my child has learned that fall doesn’t equate cry every time. Fall does equate get up.
I let him fall and struggle with other things too because babies and toddlers have amazing brain power. They are problem solvers. They can figure out how to do things in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. I want him to be a problem solver. I want him to realize he doesn’t have to solve a problem in the same way as someone else.
I want my child to grow up to be determined to accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish. I want him to be able to be able to perservere because life isn’t easy. I want him to have the skills to problem solve and be creative when he needs to be. That is why I let him fall.