Thursday, July 21, 2011

Playground safety

Since becoming a parent I have visited many local playgrounds so the kiddos can climb around and play and I can get a much needed break. I just read an article that spoke of all the changes we have made to the playgrounds vs when we grew up. Things like asphalt and sand have been replaced by rubber. Monkey bars, tall slides and swings, and Tarzan ropes have largely been removed. We took out the fun stuff and made it safe. We want to protect our kids from every bump and bruise and scrape and pain that might come their way.

So what is the problem with that. Well, for starters when you jump off something and land on concrete you learn something....physical limits for one. Another amazing thing is when you get hurt doing all that fun stuff you actually become less fearful. Studies have proven it.

"By gradually exposing themselves to more and more dangers on the playground, children are using the same habituation techniques developed by therapists to help adults conquer phobias," according to Dr. Sandseter and a fellow psychologist, Leif Kennair, of the Norwegian University for Science and Technology.

Since Nevaeh was able to take her first steps she was climbing on tables, backs of couches, the highest point of any play area and my only way of dealing with this and not having a heart attack was to teach her how to get down properly. When she got a little older we taught her out to jump.  That didn't stop all the mothers from gasping and the fathers from chuckling when we are at a playground. But it's what has worked for our family and I'm happy to see that it's a GOOD thing and she will be braver than most and know her physical limits, which is important.

Case in point, she use to climb to the top of this one play area thing at the mall and do a swan dive-free fall off of it and Jason would catch her. Scared the hell out of people. One day she did it with out daddy there to catch and she hurt herself. Nothing broke but I was firmly rebuked by a lady. She survived and never did that again without daddy. Not to say she didn't stand up there an sing at the top of her lungs and frighten all the mommys still ;) That's my girl.

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