2.27.2013

Letting Them Fall

So, I've mentioned a few times Knox & Sloane have learned to climb. They are mostly climbing on the couch and the chest (in front of the couch) in their play area.

I've been struggling with this.

I guess the main reason being I'm scared they are going to get hurt. The back of the couch is the highest part and if they fall, they could break a bone or heck, crack their skull for all I know. I don't know how this works, but I do understand babies are pretty tough. The couch is partially on a rug that has carpet underneath it, but that carpet has wood right next to it. So, behind the couch there is carpet, but wood starts right next to it, so they are most likely to land on that. It's kind of the same way with one of the sides, wood surrounds it.

I know, some pople don't have any carpet in their house and have all wood floors. We will probably have our carpet pulled up at some point, but we actually left it when we moved in because we thought it would be more of a cushion for them learning to crawl and walk.

Anyways, I assume Knox & Sloane are at the age that they don't mind...because most the time, they choose not to. I can ask them to sit down on the couch like a "big boy" or "big girl," and while they may do it briefly, it doesn't last long and they'd really rather be up jumping or running from end to end. The chest doesn't bother me quite as much as the couch because the couch is cushy and unpredictable.

I'm not sure if the keyword here is unpredictable or not.

I know that taking the couch and chest out of the room would solve the problem, but I don't think that would teach any of us a lesson.

I'm having to learn that I have to have faith that they are going to be okay. I have to be able to leave the room and not worry they are going to smash their face when I'm going to the potty; I have to have faith that they will learn it's dangerous and my yelling at them to get down is only going to make my anxiety about it worse; I have to realize they are going to come across dangerous situations.

I keep thinking, though, they don't understand they will get hurt and surely I can teach them that. I don't think I can, probably not at this age.

They are going to be out in the real world, without me, before I know it. While I kinda feel like I've kept them in a shell for a year and a half, it's been my shell. I had two babies after my first baby died. I really think I've done relatively well not being a constant worry wort, although when I am, I feel it's justified.

I need to feel that I have no control over their every second....because I know I don't. I don't need to feel like if they break a bone when I'm watching them that it's my fault. If they break a bone at school, it's not the teacher's fault or any other student. It's life and things happen.

I hope I'm teaching them things each and every day, even if it is letting them fall. I hope they have faith that someone is watching over them even if I'm not there.

Falling is part of the real world, and though I won't intentionally let it happen, I know I can't protect them from it every second of my life because it is their life.


xoxo

31 comments :

  1. That photo is adorable! What PJs are those?

    I know what you mean though about having a hard time letting them fall. I freak out whenever my little one bumps her head or whatever. I can't imagine when she starts climbing. My anxiety is going to go up!

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  2. Ok, first of all, I want to eat the cuteness up. The two of them in those little outfits...adorable.

    Secondly, this is my life with Sydney right now. She is my dare devil. Not chicken about anything. And it scares me to death. Most of the time, she looks as though someone has hit her in her face because she's ALWAYS falling and hitting her head or face. I'm contemplating a helmet. I'm a little less helicopter Mom with her than I was with Amelia. And her bruised face shows it. LOL

    I think you're right in that we have to trust God to take care of them. It's our job to protect them and remove them from situations that could really hurt them but they're going to fall sometimes. Heaven help me when it's something bigger when they're teenagers...like a broken heart.

    You've been through A LOT to get those two healthy babies and I'm sure the enemy would love to keep you paralyzed in fear, but it sounds like you're doing a great job of letting go and letting them be normal kiddos who love to play and climb. :) I'm proud of you!

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  3. Instead of removing the couch and chest from their "reach", maybe you can try to remove them. It takes a lot of patience on your part... More than a lot! But, you tell them, "Sit" or "Get Down". Making statements like "Don't stand" or "Don't climb" will not be as effective because all they hear is the last part, "Stand" or "Climb". Each time you tell them, physically move them from where they are. So, if they are standing or running on the couch, tell them, "Sit on the couch". Then, physically seat them on the couch. Because in all reality, you can't protect them from everything, but in this case, you also are teaching them right from wrong. It is not okay to climb on furniture and they are capable of understanding that. If you allow them to stand on the couch now, they will continue to misuse the couch and other furniture when they are bigger. It is frustrating because you will sit them down and they will stand back up. Which is fine. Eventually, if they continue to stand, you tell them "Fine, if you can not sit on the couch, you have to get down". And physically get them down. As they see that you will not stop until they do, they will EVENTUALLY stop. Because they realize they are not allowed to stand on furniture.

    The other concern is the chest. That's also a safety issue because what if it tips on them? It may not seem like that could happen but check with your local children's hospital and see how many times it actually does. You'll probably find that it happens a lot! Again, it's a piece of furniture and it's not ok to climb on furniture. They're still babies and it will take a long time for them to learn. But it's important to begin teaching these good habits now. Or you will have 3 and 4 year olds who are literally climbing everything and how much more dangerous will it be then? There are appropriate things to climb and they have to learn that.

    Again, SO MUCH PATIENCE is needed with this, but isn't it with everything at their age???

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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    1. Hi! Sorry, I didn't indicate how I was actually handling it. We are removing them from the couch if they will not sit down. We do it over and over ....and over again, haha. I know it has to be repetitive, like anything else, for them to really start understanding.


      They know when we say "sit down"...what that means because they do physically sit down, but often times, it just doesn't last long. We have determined they are testing our patience, but they do know we not give in and once we start walking towards them, they try to sit down real quick.

      You are also right that it does take patience, especially when there are two trying to learn the same thing. We get one down, the other jumps back up...repeat.

      As for the chest, it's not going anywhere and again, we do remove them from it if they don't get down. Most of the time, they don't last on it long because they've learned when they do sit down, the couch is much more comfy :)

      Thank you for the comment and hopefully the next time I post about it, they will have learned :)

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  4. I struggled with this too! My little boy is so rambunctious and I am constantly scared to death he's going to get hurt. I do what I can to protect him, but I've learned to trust God above all else. I pray for my son's safety and for God to watch over him. It breaks my heart every time he gets a bruise, but I am thankful that he doesn't get hurt worse. That boy is wild!

    Prayer will be your biggest relief along the way. You can't see every potential unsafe situation they will encounter and you won't always be right there with them. You just have to trust God. They are going to get roughed up. There will be plenty of scrapes, cuts and bruises. Praise God they are healthy enough to have those things!

    You are such a good mother to pray over them and want them to be as safe as possible. You are doing a fabulous job!

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  5. This reminded me of my niece! She has always been a climber and mover and it used to stress all of us out! At my moms house there is one step down to her living room and everything is hardwood. She was about 15 months old and my mom and I were watching her. We had told her about 800 million times how to get down and showed her, but she would always just walk straight off of it! Each time she did that one of us was there to catch her. Then the one time my mom and I both turned our backs and she walked right off!!! She was fine, but never did it again! I'm not saying to purposely let them fall, because I never would have, but they sometimes just have to learn on their own

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  6. Are you not concerned about them climbing on the furniture from a manners standpoint?

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    1. haha, the point was not that they are climbing on the furniture per se..and I addressed in a comment above how we are actually "handling it".....the point is that we are teaching them not to, but we aren't always going to be able to prevent their "falls" in life ;)

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  7. Oh the climbing! Fun times! I know it is hard but just try to be consistent with telling them to "please sit" or "sit down" and then actually put them in the sitting position on the couch. You could also sit down with them and say something like "see this is how we sit on the couch". You will have to probably do it a million times but they will eventually understand. After me doing all of that, my kids still fell off couches, beds, etc but luckily none of them had any major damage. Thank God! But I was still really consistent and pretty strict! Children are kind of like animals and they need to be trained. Ha! I know that sounds bad but it is true!

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  8. Hey Megan,
    I've been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Cohen. This is happening in NC where I live and I thought you might be interested.

    http://www.wral.com/newborn-heart-screening-bill-moving-quickly/12153788/

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    1. Oh, this is wonderful news! Thanks so much for sharing, Brooke!

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  9. You are not alone. I realize that I am often a helicopter mom...I kind of avoid taking them both to the park by myself because I can't stay with them both to watch them! We recently took the gate off of our stairs so now Cole can freely go up and down. It's taken a lot of adjustment on my part to let them go upstairs to play and I don't know what they are doing but know that it's a part of growing up :(

    And whn K & S are 4 they will probably insist on seeing who can jump the furthest off the couch...that's fun to deal with too :)

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    1. oh gracious, the game of jumping scare me, too! haha

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  10. As a mom of twins who could be classified monkeys from my experience the very best thing we did was teach the girls how to safely get off the couch ( turn over on their belly and slide down to the floor) also how to get down the stairs on their own. My girls climb on everything- heck they even get in and out if their high chairs on their own and they are only 20 months old. It gave me peace offend because they learned that was the only way to be near the edge and get down from things. Good luck and remember babies are tougher than they look!

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  11. Connor is doing the same thing. I let him climb up to practice & when he starts to run across or jump we make him get down. They have to practice climbing to learn these skills. It's perfectly normal & as scary as it is, you're right. They will "fall" physical, emotionally, etc. You're doing a great job. Keep it up momma.

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  12. It's pretty impossible to make them not climb. My 24 month old started climbing a few months ago, on EVERYTHING, and yes she's fallen, alot and i've been really worried sometimes, but she is fine. I remember when my 3 year old was little she was sitting and toppled over and hit her head on a hard surface (she was sitting on carpet--fell into the next room) and we were first time parents, of a child with medical needs so we rushed to the ER (lol) and the dr told us that it's not considered a traumatic fall for children unless it's twice their height that they fall from!

    So, I try to remember that. If they were standing ON a high chair and jumped off--yeah hospital probably lol. but hopefully they just fall off the front of the couch. DD2's big issue was standing on the toilet, and after she fell off twice, I was frustrated and so now, no standing on it, PERIOD for any reason, and as soon as she does she has to get down. It doesn't matter the tantrum she throws, it isn't worth it because she's going to fall.

    Good luck with climbers (TIMES TWO!)

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    1. This makes perfect sense! Thank you for sharing :)

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  13. Oh Megan, I know how scary these new steps can be. We have had a few nasty falls with a trip to the emergency room, that was not pleasant at all, but thankfully both of my climbers made it past this age successfully. I think one thing that I did to help was to show them now to turn around on their bellies and get down from the couch, stairs, chairs, etc. A part of learning to climb is also learning how to get down successfully. It is hard because you want to teach them to respect their surrounds and your furniture, yet you also want them to learn these new skills in a safe environment. I had a friend who told me that if you don't want them jumping on the couch when they are older, teach them now when they are little that this isn't what they do either. She was very successful with this, me, not so much. It takes a lot of constancy and I haven't been good at that at all. A part of me wants them just to be little and have fun. But, it does need to be done safely. Praying you make it through this new stage. God Bless !! Elizabeth

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  14. first of all they are super cute, second of all I love the chevron pjs, and third of all.. I struggle with THE. EXACT. SAME. THING..... I'm always thinking that I can prevent it all if I teach my daughter how dangerous it is.. but then I realized unless you learned that falling hurt, you don't understand what dangerous means, or that doing the thing that made you fall is not ok... hang in there mama

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  15. Congrats...you are on your way to NOT being a helicopter mom...which is awesome! :) I swear babies (especially their heads) are indestructible!

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  16. I saw your concern about this on Instagram- but didn't realize they could fall off the back. I get why you were so worried now. Our couch is up against a wall due to very limited space (I know it's a no-no interior design wise...) but it does come in handy for the couch climber stage- no worries about falling off the back. Maybe you could scoot yours against a wall for now - until they are a little older and better able to understand to be careful? Just a thought. It's a tough call choosing what to worry about and what not to worry about and what to allow and what to excuse and even what they are able to understand/obey or not!

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    1. Okay, seriously...WHY haven't I thought of that!?! haha #foggybrain.. really, though, that's a good idea. My goal is to see if the rest of this week goes better than last, but they will definitely be my next step! Thanks lady :)

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  17. I also just read your above reply about how you're handling it, so it seems you have it under control, which I did not doubt. I am probably bad because I let mine walk on the couch and stand. He knows how to get off safely so it is just a battle I chose not to fight! Haha. I'm sure I would get some criticism for that! ;)

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    1. see that's the thing, mine are getting off safely..just rolling to their tummy and sliding off....they just run like they have no clue they can actually FALL off....even though Knox has! haha it's like it doesn't even phase him! I guess that's maybe part of the boy thing? haha

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  18. I'm just going to throw out a guess that the commenter who suggested (rudely, in my opinion) that you should be concerned about their manners related to climbing on the couch does NOT have 18 month old twins. As a mom of 16 month old twins I'm going to say kudos to you for having them fed, clean, and alive. You obviously have it under control! I will commiserate though...Ainsley will not stop standing up in her high chair...we had a "Come to Jesus Meeting" yesterday and it helped for all of about 8 minutes.

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  19. It is really hard to learn to let your kids fall. As Momma's, we have the tendency to see the accident before it occurs. And for more than one reason we want to avoid it. First and foremost, we want to keep our kids safe and protect them from getting hurt. And on a selfish note, we don't feel like dealing with the tears from a boo-boo or a trip to the ER...especially when twins are involved! It sounds to me like you're doing a great job of being aware that you need to trust them when they're developmentally ready, but still listening to your Momma Gut when you sense unnecessary danger. My theory is that ignoring dangerous behavior and hoping for the best will lead to children who don't understand their limits. Chances are they will probably continue to climb on the couch whether you prefer it or not, but as long as you explain to them why it's dangerous they will learn to trust your guidance after a conk on the head a time or two. Eventually this will lead to them being aware of their own safety and understanding the importance of good choice-making.

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  20. We have concrete floors in our house so I get it...it's scary. With our kids we would throw the couch cushions on the floor and give them an hour of jumping. We tried to sit a few feet away and not hover (key word "try") after the hour was up onto something else. It helped both of us, kids and parents.

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  21. Totally off topic, but I really like your sofa. Care to share who makes it?

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