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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Climbing Trees

Posted by Barack Levin on September 29th, 2009

My son started a new hobby; he likes to climb trees. I guess a new stage in his development is the testing of his boundaries and the testing of his abilities. The other day, I was thinking about this new stage. What was so intriguing about climbing trees? I came to the conclusion that it was the trees’ unpredictability and instability. Plus, their height is just there to challenge the exploration sense in my son. I have no problem with him climbing trees and he enjoys it. My problem is with his sister.

As soon as she saw her big brother climbing the trees, she immediately got interested and wanted to try it. At first, I helped, but in a short time, she gathered her self- confidence and did not want any help. She wanted only to mimic her brother. On one hand, my concern was that they were 18 months apart and she was not aware of it and she was not very stable yet. On the other hand, I could not overprotect her. I needed to let her try.

Last weekend, we found a nice shopping plaza with some short, but branched trees. My boy saw them and had to conquer one of them. He climbed it as high as he could. At one point, he would simply hang from a branch with both hands and eventually he decided to jump. Now, I know my son and I know he knows his boundaries, so when he tried to jump, I knew he had already assessed the risks and decided they were minimal. He, of course, was fine, but when my little girl saw him, she wanted to try too.

I told her that she could, but only from a lower branch. A few minutes later, she was holding on to the branch with her dear life and then let it go causing her to safely fall to the ground. I was happy to see them enjoying themselves.

Since I saw that they were fine, I let myself sit down on the curb and I watched them playing on that tree.

At one point, my little girl was holding the same branch and I got a bad feeling, but it was already too late. She was not paying close attention and one of her hands slipped. The second one joined the first one and she plunged to the ground face first. She landed with her mouth on the dirt and scraped her knee on a stone. She, of course, immediately stood up, all shaken from this ordeal and started to cry. I know my kids and I know that in most cases, the cry is really worse than the pain, but this time she was in shock. She was trembling and bleeding. Still, I did not want to make it a scene and I saw an opportunity to teach her something new. Wanting to do first things first, I took some water and tissue and asked her to sit down. I wiped her face and blood while talking to her and asking her questions. “What happened to you? Why did you slip? Tell me what happened.” I have already learned that once a kid is engaged in a conversation, it is harder for her to concentrate on the crying and indeed within a few minutes she stopped crying and began telling me what happened. Now that she had seen that the matter was not serious and nothing major happened, we started with the joking. “Why did you leave the tree? Why did you hit the ground? What do you think Mommy will say?” I know that joking this way takes away the pain and trauma completely. Within five minutes, we were back to normal. The bleeding had stopped. She was soon clean and happy and began to joke about her fall.

For me, these incidents are part of life. I believe that bruises are a part of growing up. I do not take them very seriously and I teach my kids that bruising can be part of the game and that they need to know to act on pain accordingly. I want them to understand the words, “no guts no glory.”

One Response to “Climbing Trees”

  1. JimmyBean Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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