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He did it!

This may seem like a small distance for this little guy to climb but this is a huge accomplishment for his growing muscles, balance, spacial awareness, stamina and courage! Little by little he will climb higher as he gets stronger and feels safe doing so.

It is important to allow your children to learn to use their bodies and climb in their own time. Release your expectation and hold space for them to celebrate the small victories.

This little one is training his core to stabilize, his arms to strengthen and if you look closely, you will see how he is using all of his toes to position his body safely. Children should be barefoot when outside and climbing. It will let them utilize each muscle in entirely and will build confidence and stability as their body grows and they become stronger.

Once a child is able to walk on their own, it is time to let them climb into swings and onto structures on their own. Let them do it! It may take a bit but eventually they will get it and when they do, OH THE SWEET FEELINGS OF VICTORY for such hard and focused work! You are letting them learn how focus and hard work pays off! Also, and most importantly you have let them prove to themselves how capable they are. This will feed their desire to push through hard things in the future.

Placing a child into a swing or placing them on top a climbing structure, or a couch, or in a chair, will confuse the body and set an expectation. They will become dependent on the support and will not be able to learn their capability through personal experience. It may stunt their development in this area.

While on the sidelines, talk to them about what you see. “I see you are working hard to get into the swing. I see how you are using different parts of your body to pull yourself up and how you are moving your legs around. You are learning, I see you, you can do it.” Then give them the time they need. careful not to rush them or interrupt there timeline by doing it for them. That would send a confusing message. Even if it takes 1 - 2 minutes for them to get into their own chair, watch with pride and hold a safe space for them to do it carefully and on their own.

When they motion to you for help: “I see you asking me for help. I am going to let you do it, because you can. Your body is learning, you are learning. If not today, one day, you will be able to do it.”

Let them do it!

See your children greater and more capable than they see themselves. 

Let them fall and fail and be frustrated.

The falling will teach them how to balance and become stronger.

The failing will teach them that certain ways do not get the results they want and will offer clarity that they have choices

The frustration will release energy and propel them to work differently next time.

When you take these opportunities away from toddlers they may learn to rely on others for most things they can do themselves.

Let them cry, let them learn, let them choose, let them grow. Then be there for them to acknowledge that you see them and love them.

Most importantly, let them prove it to themselves that they can do it, even if it’s after some frustration & tears.

Teacher Sarah