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Vent...is it OK to say no more climbing?


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My dd has all the courage of a fearless lion but she is rather uncoordinated.  She has no fear and is very flighty.  

I am just sick and tired of her falls.  We have had one concussion, 3 broken bones, stitches and numerous, numerous other injuries.  Today she climbed into a high bush...the bush had recently been trimmed and she was trying to stand and balance on a bunch of tiny, one inch in diameter sticks poking upward.  Of course her feet slipped and she fell and is so scraped up that she will probably not be able to participate in Swim Team on Monday...

 

I'm just done!  She's almost 11 and I have spent 11 years nursing her many, many many many injuries.  I really think I have now completely morphed into my husband's Mexican grandmother who never allowed any climbing of any sort.  99% of her injuries were from climbing.  I used to believe that children needed 100% freedom to just move and be, but I am over that.  Some kids need parents to hold them back.

 

I told her today, that's it.  No trees, no bushes, no high things.  If it's not meant or designed for play, get off of it.

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Yes, get her involved in a climbing program stat!  And then make her follow the proper rules for how to climb safely with equipment and so forth and ban the random tree climbing since it seems she is too accident prone.  My boys have climbed a little, but I don't know that much about it.  Hopefully a real climber will know what to tell you, but presumably you could find her a climbing team, she could start to get her own equipment to go climbing if you have good places locally outdoors for small climbs.  

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I hope you are joking. Advising an accident-prone child to take up parkour seems rather ridiculous.

 

But if she could do it in a class, it *might* be a good recommendation.  I think it's sort of like getting a really physical kid who's always getting in scuffles into a martial art or into wrestling.  A good teacher/coach will emphasize how to have fun and do this sort of stuff more safely.  And it would give the OP a way to say, okay, you can't go climbing random trees and just risking your neck.  Instead, we're giving you this outlet and you have to follow the rules in order to use it.

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How about taking her to a climbing wall or other supervised climbing structure?

Absolutely. Hubby and I taught rock climbing and ran a gym for a couple of years, even coaching a couple of kids to nationals. The kids that had a real love for it? Most of their parents could not remember a time when their kids had not been climbing or scrambling on something!

 

Make sure that you find a gym that ha a solid kids program (as opposed to one that say, primarily works with climbing kids at bday parties!). They will teach her to do it safely, spot safely, and even fall safely, whether it be on a rope or bouldering.

 

And then, make sure the rules are no climbing unless it is done in a safe manner at the gym or at the crag...we have a woody climbing wall that takes up the walls, roof etc of our garage with fun caves and overhangs. My kid has been climbing since she was in diapers and I STILL wouldn't let her climb above a bouldering height appropriate for her size without a spotter, and never alone...

 

And...climbing is one of the best all-over body workouts you can do. You learn to be very concious of things like balance, coordination, and grace. Even if she ultimately decides that climbing is not her thing, it may help with coordination now. In fact, some therapy programs (even in things like stroke rehab) are now incorporating gentle climbing for that reason!

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I hope you are joking. Advising an accident-prone child who has proven she cannot handle climbing safely to take up parkour seems misguided at best.

 

I think parkour or a climbing gym is a great idea.  My very clumsy son started taking circus arts and some climbing too.  He can climb a 30 foot rope, swing on trapeze etc.  Safety is a HUGE priority in these gyms and it has to be for insurance/liability reasons.  The stuff is set up to be almost fail safe and the first thing they teach are the safety aspects of the sport.  It's not like kids NEVER are injured there, but it is greatly minimized and much safer than a kid just climbing a random tree or fence.  For a kid that loves climbing, if I were going to say no more, I would find a suitable outlet. 

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Maybe I am misunderstanding what parkour is.

I think you understand what parkour really is, but some gymnastics gyms around here have started offering parkour classes for kids. My 6yo really loves it, and it doesn't seem particularly dangerous to me. He's started trying out his tricks outside, but he's very coordinated and hasn't managed to get hurt yet. 

 

I agree that a climbing gym, or possibly parkour classes if they have them in your area, would be a lot of fun for her. Telling her that she can't climb outside of class sounds perfectly reasonable to me. 

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parkour is kind of running around jumping on and off of very high things in a controlled but not too controlled sort of way

 

it's basically what energetic fearless 6 year old boys do, only with more grace and deliberation

 

 

there are some kids you can let run free and others who have to be restricted because they don't self-restrict to the right safety level

 

eta: I have both.

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You learn to be very concious of things like balance, coordination, and grace. Even if she ultimately decides that climbing is not her thing, it may help with coordination now.

This is my thought as well. I have one child who has very little awareness of his body in space. He's constantly bumping into things and falling off of things. It took him forEVER to learn to ride a bike because he was so balance challenged. Karate has helped tremendously. When he's super-focused on moving his body, he is suddenly much more balanced and coordinated while he's practicing, and it's starting to show a little in his daily movements. He doesn't suddenly fall off of his chair at mealtimes any more. :P

 

A sport or activity that helps develop balance and awareness of the body in space, whether it's gymnastics or rock climbing or martial arts or dance or whatever, is probably going to be beneficial. I'd try the rock climbing first just because it could give your dd an outlet for her desire to climb. :)

 

Cat

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I would do for your climber what I've starred for my gymnast. Every day she doesn't hurt herself "practicing" gymnastics in inappropriate ways, she earns a nickel in a jar. When she has $5, she gets to go to open gym.

 

I would do yours with quarters, and have her earn a session at a climbing gym. Serious injuries involving a doctor or ER visit require dumping the jar, minor injuries, scrapes and bruises, simply mean not earning quarters.

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Dd doesn't have the same number of injuries but she's only 8. After the second ER visit, I was sick of the danger as well. I've found a phrase that seems to stop her climbing.

 

I say, "What do we not want to do today?"

 

Her expected reply is "Go to the emergency room."

 

This works for my dd. It reminds her of the consequences of her actions without me nagging her about climbing.

 

Dd enjoys rock climbing classes when we can find them for kids.

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Dd doesn't have the same number of injuries but she's only 8. After the second ER visit, I was sick of the danger as well. I've found a phrase that seems to stop her climbing.

I say, "What do we not want to do today?"

Her expected reply is "Go to the emergency room."

This works for my dd. It reminds her of the consequences of her actions without me nagging her about climbing.

Dd enjoys rock climbing classes when we can find them for kids.

This is funny! You should hear my DH:

 

DH: What's the first rule?

Kids: Don't do dumb things.

DH: What's the second rule?

Kids: Don't go to the emergency room today.

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She actually is sort of random with balance and stuff.  I remember the first time she got her two wheeled bike with no training wheels.  It was Christmas Day and I took her out to the parking lot of our condo (very safe) and on the video I am saying:

 

"This LIttle Joy on her first day of having a bike!  She is so amazing! She just got on it and began to peddle.  No lessons needed this time!  She's just going an....."

 

Then you see her ride straight into a parked car, see the ground and you hear me going, "Are you OK, is anything broken?"  

 

My dh says we should have sent it to AFV

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I agree with the parkour, gymnastic, rock climbing training. My youngest was a 'flyer' at a very young age. We finally stopped trying to prevent injury due to climbing mishaps and decided to train him instead.  His path was gymnastic.  He did well and it satisfied his urge to be on the top of the world.

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Dd doesn't have the same number of injuries but she's only 8. After the second ER visit, I was sick of the danger as well. I've found a phrase that seems to stop her climbing.

 

I say, "What do we not want to do today?"

 

Her expected reply is "Go to the emergency room."

 

This works for my dd. It reminds her of the consequences of her actions without me nagging her about climbing.

 

Dd enjoys rock climbing classes when we can find them for kids.

 

Someone I know used to do this with her kids.  But her phrasing was always, "And what do I not plan to do today?"  Then one day her ds goes, "Mom, no one ever plans to go to the ER.  That's why it's an emergency."  And kept right on doing whatever it was he was doing.  And that was the end of that working.  Oh well!

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When my son was 6 he got his fourth concussion from climbing and falling. The doctor looked right at him and said, "Anymore and you will have to wear a helmet permanently. No concussions until 10." We are six months from ten and no concussions since. (Tomorrow he will probably get one since I just wrote that.) We thought he broke his wrist in a far an out two weeks ago but it was just a sprain.

 

What helped the most was enrolling him in community education rock climbing classes, and then taking him to REI on the discounted days for the climbing wall. We gave him a safe outlet for climbing rather than just saying no.

 

ETA: Anytime Ds did anything even remotely more than three feet off the ground I would say, "how old do you have to be before you can get another concussion!?" It was annoying enough that he was more cautious.

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I've been known to say "If you kill yourself, I'm not taking you to the ER."  They laugh, roll their eyes and do try to be at least a tiny bit more careful.  

 

Yup. Here it's "If you <crack your head open, poke your eye out, lose a finger, etc.> don't come crying to me!"

But my kids' antics have (so far) panned out just fine. 5 kids, 15 years, 1 ER trip for risky behavior (2 or 3 for simple accidents.)  If injuries were a running theme, preventative measures would definitely be called for.

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Yes, get her involved in a climbing program stat!  And then make her follow the proper rules for how to climb safely with equipment and so forth and ban the random tree climbing since it seems she is too accident prone.  My boys have climbed a little, but I don't know that much about it.  Hopefully a real climber will know what to tell you, but presumably you could find her a climbing team, she could start to get her own equipment to go climbing if you have good places locally outdoors for small climbs.  

 

 

Absolutely. Hubby and I taught rock climbing and ran a gym for a couple of years, even coaching a couple of kids to nationals. The kids that had a real love for it? Most of their parents could not remember a time when their kids had not been climbing or scrambling on something!

 

Make sure that you find a gym that ha a solid kids program (as opposed to one that say, primarily works with climbing kids at bday parties!). They will teach her to do it safely, spot safely, and even fall safely, whether it be on a rope or bouldering.

 

And then, make sure the rules are no climbing unless it is done in a safe manner at the gym or at the crag...we have a woody climbing wall that takes up the walls, roof etc of our garage with fun caves and overhangs. My kid has been climbing since she was in diapers and I STILL wouldn't let her climb above a bouldering height appropriate for her size without a spotter, and never alone...

 

And...climbing is one of the best all-over body workouts you can do. You learn to be very concious of things like balance, coordination, and grace. Even if she ultimately decides that climbing is not her thing, it may help with coordination now. In fact, some therapy programs (even in things like stroke rehab) are now incorporating gentle climbing for that reason!

:iagree:

Great advice.  Definitely get her into a structured climbing program.  Dd loved to climb trees.  Although she never had an accident, I was always terrified- she climbed so high.  I would always tell her "I know we live close to the hospital, but it is not on my agenda today.  I don't have time for that."  She started climbing competitively 4 years ago and loves it.  This really satisfies her overwhelming desire to climb in a positive way.  She has much greater body awareness since she started on a climbing team.  My boys tried climbing when we had a wonderful homeschool rock climbing class taught by a man who had coached several climbers to Nationals. While they didn't fall in love with the sport, it did teach them some body awareness and motor planning, especially my sensory kid.  I think it helped them in Karate. 

 

As a side benefit, it is such a friendly sport.  We have met some of the nicest people in this sport - nothing like people I don't know cheering my daughter on when she looks like she is struggling on a problem.  For the most part, she has met the nicest, most-supportive kids from all over the country.  Another benefit - it is a life-long sport.  While I am too old to boulder (landing is very painful, even when I do it right), rope climbing is as close to a no-impact sport as you can get. 

 

 

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Someone I know used to do this with her kids.  But her phrasing was always, "And what do I not plan to do today?"  Then one day her ds goes, "Mom, no one ever plans to go to the ER.  That's why it's an emergency."  And kept right on doing whatever it was he was doing.  And that was the end of that working.  Oh well!

 

Yes, my dd would have said the exact same thing. I blame her father, because I would *never* have talked to my parents that way.

 

:tongue_smilie:

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