Gaining Confidence at the playground

Earlier in the month we went to a playground (yup thats the last of the snow in the photos). Part way through I began consciously trying to observe the boys.  I found it all rather interesting and decided to write it down.

The first time the boys attempted the climber, MJ made it up a few rungs and then called for help.  He was too afraid to climb up so I guided him back down. He watched his brother climb to the top and drop down the centre a few times, then asked for my help again.  This time MJ climbed to the top as I held him and helped him jump down.  After a few more times I had to attend to the baby.  MJ said to me, "It's okay I'm not scared anymore.  I feel brave inside."  Then he went off and climbed by himself with a huge smile on his face.

Bravely climbing

Slides are always fun.  More fun to climb up or go down in silly ways.  The boys wanted to go down head first.  Being a cautious, safety minded mom I said no, but they could go feet first on their back or stomach.  Disappointed and bored the boys were not pleased. I gave it some thought and came back to actually discuss this with the boys.  Why did I need to jump into an automatic no answer.  We talked about how those types of rules are mostly to protect younger children and to be a good role model for them.  Since we were basically alone in the park I could also stand at the bottom of the slide to catch the boys as they experimented with different ways to go down. The boys had a great time.  At first they were nervous, then silly and brave.  We took funny videos and pictures.  We noticed one slide was much faster than the other.  The boys were also thrilled to hold their baby brother so he could enjoy the fun too.  That little baby is so lucky to have two big brothers who love him so much.

On the swings the boys were having fun jumping off.  TJ asked me to take some slow motion videos of his landing.  Of course MJ wanted a video too.  He slipped on landing and fell.  I noticed the boys analyzing the videos and discussing the difference between the two landings.  TJ took time to demonstrate how he lands to his brother.  They asked me to push MJ again so he could try again.  This time he landed much better after his jump.

We also did some other things at the park too.  MJ played with other children.  TJ excitedly read some sign.  We all enjoyed the sun, fresh air and activity.  Mostly I was struck by how much confidence the boys gained from their play.  I didn't set out to purposely help them, but by simply being available it made them feel safe enough to explore and test their limits.

 Come check out our Facebook page for awesome videos of the boys at the park.