April 12, 2012
April 12, 2012
- Family-friendly Local Happenings from Macaroni Kid
- Out & About: Jumping Off Logs
- Monthly Health Column: Organized Sports Activities
- Recess Monkey Joins the Circus
- Teacher of the Month - Nominate a Teacher Today!
- The Kumon "Thinking Face" Represents Our Faces.
- Featured Local Businesses
- This Week's Picks
- This Week's Calendar
- Teen Scene
- Plan Ahead
- You Can Make A Difference
- Encompass Programs
Exploring ways to raise confident kids
By: Luke Talbott, local dad and owner of Compass Outdoor Adventures
From my childhood, I have a vivid and fond memory of an oak tree that had blown over in a windstorm. It had fallen into another tree and got itself notched into a fork about thirty feet up. I can actually see the tree in my mind’s eye. I can remember the exhilaration of climbing it; scooting first on my bottom and then inching my hands forward, and doing it again and again and again. This method would get me far enough up the tree so that I could easily get a six foot jump into the soft leaves below. I spent hours and hours on that beautiful, dead, oak tree.
Think back to your own childhood. You’ll probably remember a tree. You’ll probably remember jumping out of it at one time or another. If not, call your parents and ask them what on earth they were thinking, not letting you climb and jump out of trees.
Your young children need to climb. Not only do they need to test their limits, they need to test yours as well. Climbing the local playground and jumping off is a start. Hold their hand as they jump but make sure they jump! They will gain confidence as they fall on the ground and realize that they’re still alive … nothing’s broken … the world has not ended.
I routinely let my youngest daughter Delaney jump off anything and everything. I sometimes hold a hand, but only for the first time or two. Then it’s up to her to figure out her limits.
After you’ve mastered the local playground, head into the woods behind your house or at the end of your cul-de-sac and find your trees. Show them how to balance along the trunk of the tree; how to walk four or five feet off the ground as if by magic. If you’re in more of an urban setting, find the wooded space at a park, use picnic tables, whatever you can find. Show your boys and girls, that it’s acceptable to take risks. That falling and hurting themselves can happen, but it only gives them the opportunity to get it up and try it again.
Before you know it you’ll have a confident kid on your hands. They’ll size up situations. They’ll test their own physical limitations and come out of it alive. And better for it.
Luke Talbott, owner of Compass Outdoor Adventures, has been playing outside and acting like a ten year old since he was ten years old. A fifth grade teacher for ten years with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Luke left the classroom to learn more about and make more of an impact on kids and families in the outdoors. He is also the stay at home dad of Mackenzie (9), Mason (7), and Delaney (5). They have all jumped out of trees and only been to the ER once or twice.
One of their favorite trees is in the forest across 202 from the Salish Lodge. Huge Douglas Firs have fallen and kids of all ages have climbed on the downed trees.
See examples of Preschoolers in action climbing trees ...
Macaroni Kid SnoValley-Issaquah is excited to share Luke's expertise with local families! Please take a minute to check out the adventure possibilities for you and your kids (including summer camps) at www.compassoutdoor.org.
© 2013 Macaroni Kid, LLC