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Give Life To Your Story: Letting Your Child Take Risk

21 Jul 2016
Give Life To Your Story: Letting Your Child Take Risk @paratuscaloosa on Instagram

By Romel Gibson 

My family loves to go to Snow Hinton Park to climb the space-net web to the 38 foot tube slide. We’ve been there several times. My nine year old daughter climbs the net with ease. Her five year old sister had been eager to climb it ever since its construction. The only problem is that at her age, my wife and I had been reluctant to allow her to. I’ve even said, “Letting her climb this net is not good parenting. I’ve climbed it, and I know that there are certain areas that will greatly challenge her.” I told my daughter, “If you fall and hurt yourself, it would be hard for me to forgive myself.” Nonetheless, she continued to insist that we give her a chance.  


One month ago, my wife allowed her to climb it. The stipulation was that they would climb together, and my daughter had to follow her mother’s every command. Although it took a while, they succeeded.   

A few weeks ago, she wanted to climb it again. My wife wasn’t there, and I had to solely make the decision this time. Even though she had climbed it once, I was still nervous about letting her do it again.  I initially told her “no.” Then, her look of disappointment won me over. I took a deep breath and said, “Let’s climb.”  

She was overjoyed. As we approached the web, we saw parents carrying their little ones up the ropes. I looked over and said, “Just let me carry you on my back too!” For some reason, even though that was also risky, to me it was safer than trusting her arms, legs, and feet. My daughter refused to let me carry her. “I got this” she exclaimed. “Let’s just climb it together. If I get to a hard part, I’ll call you. I know you’ll give me your hand.” We began the climb, I helped her twice, and we made it to the top. That experience has taught me a few things. 

They’re Often Ready Long Before They’re Released 

My daughter had been asking for months if we would let her climb what she affectionately called “the spider web.” Obviously, she was ready. Her parents weren’t. Parents, it’s our job to raise our children to be productive, self-sufficient citizens. If we never release them to face challenges or take risks, we could be positioning them to be completely dependent upon us forever.   

Your “Track” Record Influences Their “Try” Record 

When you are consistently there for your child, you cause them to trust that you will always be there. Realistically, you can’t always be there. However, your child will be less afraid to face challenges if he/she knows that your hand of support is just a call away. My daughter won’t be a little girl forever. Hopefully, the older she gets, the less she’ll need my hand. Yes, she may fall from time to time. Even knowing that, I need her to feel secure enough to try.   

Romel Gibson is on staff with Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his wife, Q, have three beautiful girls.



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