Our loving, sweet, funny, adorable son is a daredevil. When this trait first started to appear about six months ago, I’d laugh it off with a stereotypical comment about boys. “Wow, little boys really are different,” or, “Now I understand what everyone says about little boys being so active.”
As time has worn on, though, I’ve come to realize that maybe his risky behavior is more personality than gender. He’s the kid who will jump off the table toward you (even if you’re not looking) with full confidence that you’ll catch him. He’s the one who is addicted to plugs and seems to feel it’s his mission to scour the house holding some kind of appliance until he finds somewhere to plug it in. He’s the one who likes to jump down the stairs…not just one or two…but from four or five stairs up.
Adding to the issue is that he’s an incredibly agile kid. He lands those jumps and then looks up with a smile and says, “Fun!” We look away for a second and he’s sitting on the back of the couch or has climbed up onto the counter. He hangs off things, he can jump quite a distance and tests it out from one piece of furniture to another and he can go up the stairs on the wrong side of the railing.
We’re not complacent. There are safety measures in place and he is disciplined for things that are really dangerous. With that being said, I’m realizing that it’s actually hard to educate and prepare him because we really don’t ever know what he’s going to try next (and let’s face it, he just turned two, it’s not like he’s going to warn us).
As parents, we all keep a close eye on our kids – I’m learning that having a ‘risk taker’ takes that to a whole new level. I feel like I’ve mastered the art of knowing where he is at all times and knowing that when it’s quiet, he’s up to something. I can also hold a conversation and somehow keep a decent train of thought while following him with my eagle eyes around a room.
Priority number one is to keep him safe. Finding the balance between keeping him safe and letting him explore his physical capabilities is the question. I must admit that this is a different kind of parenting than we’ve experienced in the past. I somehow had the illusion when we had our third that we were old pros but really, it’s not true at all. Sure you learn some tips and tricks along the way but the number of kids you have really doesn’t mean a thing. I’ve come to realize that every child, every personality and every interaction (even if they give you minor heart attacks) is wonderfully different.