Yesterday I watched my three-year-old decide for twenty minutes if he could jump off the slide in our backyard.
He was hesitant, he asked if I was sure he could do it, he was trying to work up the courage to do it “on his own.” He spoke to himself, saying, “Ohhh, what if I get hurt?”
I was pretty sure it would be fine, but to be honest, it was definitely higher than he’s jumped before. My first instinct was to stop him and tell him it wasn’t safe.
But I checked myself.
If we don’t have the courage to believe in our children, how will they ever have the courage to believe in themselves?
So, I told him to have courage. I told him to try. And I knew I would be there if he needed me.
He jumped and was fine, and he had the most amazing smile of accomplishment on his face! In that one little jump, we both grew…
We celebrated and then he did it ten more times. 🙂
As parents, our main job is to keep our children safe. It can be easy to just immediately say no to anything that even remotely seems dangerous. But I would challenge us to go the extra mile to determine if it’s truly a threat, or if the real danger is never allowing them to jump.
That moment where he knew it was a risk but he did it anyway is SO important for our children to learn in life. It’s the same feeling that gave me the courage to leave a toxic relationship in college, that made me go after my dream of working at Pixar when everyone said it could never happen…that then made me leave that job to strike out and start a business of my own.
Jumping in life when we don’t know the outcome is how you accomplish big dreams and big goals, and that is a skill I want to instill in him NOW. Today it was on the slide, someday it may be for his future.
Risk is not an enemy, it can be our greatest reward.