They’ll walk sooner, if you let them

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This is turning into a theme: will you just let the kids learn something without someone hovering over them?

My first kid never crawled, but he was walking on his own at 10 months. I never gave it much thought – my opinion is that they’re all going to do it and a few months this way or that is of no import.

But now my second kid is almost 10 months old and she’s walking around holding stuff with one hand, ready to start walking unsupported too. So now I’m starting to look for a pattern, even though two is not a very statistically significant number šŸ™‚

One of the reasons for the kids walking so early may be that the mom is an athlete and the dad is no couch potato either. But I don’t know if I believe genes make much difference. I surely share a lot of genes with my sister but we’re very different people.

A more likely reason is that the kids learn to walk because they’re allowed to learn. With the first one I was bombarded with bad advice about baby-proofing the house andĀ it took some mental strength to not give into it and wrap everything in bubble wrap.

Soon after my son started walking I realised he’s actually very, very good at being careful, with one exception – falling from heights. So I installed gates in front of all the stairs and left pretty much everything else as it was. I may have moved some glass coasters out of reach, that’s it.

The result? The kids hurt themselves sometimes. Almost every time they fall on their ass which is very comfy with the cushy diaper. But sometimes they hit their head.

“Oh my god she must have a concussion now!”

No, she doesn’t. And that’s how you learn. From when you’re a baby until you’re about to die from old age – take a small riskĀ and you’ll get ahead. We all have a built-in risk tolerance and it looks to me like we’re born with it. But hovering parents destroy their children’s natural instinct to try the unknown and their ability to learn from failures.

And please, don’t even think about running over to my child and asking him whether he’s OK when I’m right there. Unless you enjoy being growled at.