My firstborn is a very cautious child. At three, he sits at the top of the slide muttering 'Brave! Brave! Brave!' to himself before changing his mind and climbing back down the stairs. I've never had to worry too much that he's going to climb too high or run too fast. Then my second came along and she's a wild woman. She climbs everything in sight and it's not uncommon for me to find her standing on top of the toilet or making her way onto the kitchen table. "Babyproof" has taken on a whole new unattainable meaning.
When I looked after other people's children, I developed a heightened anxiety around bumps and bruises. After all, the goal was to return them to their parents in roughly the same condition as I got them. I often had my heart in my mouth as I watched kids on playgrounds, praying that these childhood rites of passage wouldn't happen on my watch.
Now I'm faced with the challenge of finding a balance between letting my kids learn from experience, and doing what I can to avoid knocked out teeth and stitches. I don't panic over every cut and scrape, but I'd be lying if I said I don't look at our favourite climbing tree in my parents' front yard and wonder if I'll ever loosen up enough to let my kids climb as high as we did. I don't think this is an area where anyone can give too much advice (though a dear friend of mine once said, "When you have nine children, sometimes its best not to even look!"). There will be laid back parents and there will be cautious parents, and neither is right or wrong in my book.
So where do you fall on the scale? Do you wish you were more laid back or more cautious? Do you have a daredevil or does your child play it safe?