Monday, October 11, 2010

Doing “dangerous” stuff

My poor daughter has to be one of the most sheltered girls ever. She will be eight next week and is rarely ever further than a few feet away from either me or my wife. We are finally letting her experience independence but with her being an only child, it has to be a conscious choice that my wife and I make. You can only imagine how much it makes things worse that my wife is a nurse. :-)

I am finally coming to a realization about fathers though. I always knew that dads have a very important role in a child’s life but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that it isn’t just in being protective and nurturing. Kids need their father because usually, it is he that lets the child make decisions that a mother probably would have avoided. That includes things that mama might consider “dangerous”.

There is a reason I keep putting that in quotation marks. I of course wouldn’t recommend actually putting a child in danger but when a situation is controlled, I am starting to believe the inherent danger in some activities helps foster the feeling of responsibility, concentration and seriousness that we were already trying to instill in our daughter.

For example, one of the first decisions I “got in trouble for” with my wife was allowing my daughter to walk across the rocks that stretch across a (non moving at the time) drainage ditch.

Dad and Daughter Activities: Doing dangerous stuff

My daughter learned the following lessons from that encounter:
  1. She was making a choice knowing the consequences and SHE would have to live with them (getting wet).
  2. She needed to slow down and be careful to ensure she didn’t make a wrong move.
  3. When you are careful and paying attention to what you are doing, you get to do things you normally wouldn’t

Once I explained all those things (and the fact that I wasn’t only half-cocked) to my wife, she agreed and has trusted me to let some of the activities we get in to be more active and occasionally dangerous. With the above information in tow, I have introduced my daughter to a variety of (controlled) dangerous activities that both dad and daughter have thoroughly enjoyed.

A great help to my quest of adventure has been our membership to the YMCA Adventure Guides. I will be writing soon about our first time ice skating which is a father daughter activity that I can assure you only happened because the adventure guides took us there.

No comments:

Post a Comment