Sunday, 22 May 2011

Lessons in trust

It's been an odd week this week feeling a bit of a come down after a busy weekend last weekend. Trying (and failing) to catch up on some sleep. Hoping to be able to reclaim the bedroom any day and still waiting (we're promised just one more day). Working up to another of Matthew's trips. It's all had that feeling of limbo.

But in amongst it things are happening.

The sibling relationship is changing. There are still many many times a day when a referee is needed but there are also touching moments - holding hands as they both feed (we'll gloss over the eye poking) and sharing a yogurt.

A big lesson in life is 'take wellies' otherwise adults end up left with the choice of wet feet or letting children (and bear) roam free in the water. Not such a bad thing when it's the older child.

But a little unnerving when it's the smaller.

I've been reading bits of Jean Liedloff as there are various tributes to her following her recent death. One of the things she talks about is children's innate sense of exploration but also of wariness and how in our childproofed lives we rob them of this faith in their own judgement of possibly dangerous situations. If we allow them to learn their own limits then they are surprisingly safe even in potentially dangerous situations. It's when we undermine their internal mechanisms by constantly jumping in before anything can possibly happen that they find it hard to learn limits.

As is often the case with children book knowledge is soon shown in real life. I know that the edge of the water is shallow but that it gets deeper once you're a few feet into the river. The water is always cloudy with mud (and more so once a dog has thundered through it) so there's no way to visually see the depth of the water. So take one 14 month old intent on doing things her way and without help (thank you very much!) and one mama standing just out of the water trying to work out whether it's worth ruining my boots or not and whether I'm ready to dive in to the rescue and then walk wet or naked back to the car.

But she went carefully. She did a lot of standing and feeling with her feet. She went as far as she was comfortable. And then she turned round and came back and was happy to have had her paddle and now wanted 'up' (this girl knows her own mind).

Lesson in trust learnt by one grown woman. Fun and exploration enjoyed by one girl. No one drowned (although the dog did his best).

There was much picking of clover and lying in sunny fields. It was fun.

1 comment:

  1. i've been having similar experiments here. Letting E crawl to the edge of the stairs. He stops, he feels with his fingers, and I am poised, though trying not to let him know.
    I did this with the others too, but we have a newer stair case, and it's steep and windy...