Climbing Boy & His Cat

Kids are made to climb! ~

Do you ever just sit back and watch your kids do “dangerous” stuff? Of course, I’m not talking about playing with fire, but I’m just about the furthest thing from a helicopter parent because I believe kids are capable. One of the many reasons we moved to a 7 acre farm in the countryside with trees and fences and animals was to get away from city park jungles where all the hovering parents constantly croon, “Don’t do that! Get down! Don’t climb on that!”

Newsflash!!! Kids are designed to climb, and it’s GOOD for their upper body strength, core and pelvic floor!

Just the other day, I looked out my window to see this…That’s “TeeTee” our cat just hanging out with my boy! Strengthening his grip, stretching his back… so awesome!

Newsflash!!! Kids are designed to climb, and it's GOOD for their upper body strength, core and pelvic floor!


Another blogger expert who has written about climbing and hanging {much more so than I} is Katy Bowman, founder of the Restorative Exercise Institute and Aligned and Well. She wrote this wonderful, detailed article about adults hanging, and this one about child development and hanging and farm life...

The next thing I know, he’s jumped off the fence (yes, we let him jump… gasp!) and he’s pulled a long board out of his daddy’s scrap pile – a board that is no doubt heavier than him!

Strong 4 year old!

Did I yell at him to “put that back before you hurt yourself!” Nope. What I did do was open the back door and ask him what he was going to do with it. His answer: I dunno, Mom, but I like this big board, and I have strong muscles to pull it, so watch ME, Mom!!

Strong kids, that's what we want!

Still dragging his heavy board… If he drags this now, what will he be able to drag when he’s ten?? And isn’t that the idea? Don’t we want strong kids?


You can’t imagine how tickled I was when he set up the board onto a bench and proceeded to practice his balancing. Shortly after this, he called his older sister over to join him, and I had the pleasure of watching un-prompted fitness taking place in my children.

Kids can learn balance anytime, anywhere!

I love just watching my kids explore their world. They’ve taken a couple tumbles here and there, and they seldom make the same mistake once they fall. I learned that if I constantly told them they would fall, and they didn’t fall, then they wouldn’t trust me. I had to learn to trust them. Children usually know their physical boundaries better than adults. Adults tend to push their limits and get injured more often than kids do. When kids are allowed to safely test their physical strength in a natural environment, I believe they’ll be stronger and LESS prone to injury. It’s the kids who live in padded cells of homes and playgrounds with hands always outstretched to catch them that don’t understand gravity and their own limits. But maybe that’s just my own not-so-humble opinion. What are your thoughts?

8 thoughts on “Climbing Boy & His Cat

  1. Vicki B. says:

    I loved this! I have always been a believer that kids should spend plenty of time outside. My kids climb trees, use sticks as swords, build forts and make up their own games letting their imagination soar. They are happier and healthier than if they were on the couch watching TV or playing video games!

      • Vicki B. says:

        Oh my Bethany, I’ll keep your little secret! We don’t have cable either, just Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have 4 kids and they each get a day of the week to pick a show and on Friday they have to agree on the movie and sometimes I get a family movie from the library. But we also watch documentaries on history, science, biographies and such for school. Have a great summer!

  2. Alyssa Sampson says:

    I love this too and totally agree – if we constantly try to overprotect our kids from every little thing, that will make them less confident and capable overall. I think it’s important for parents to trust their instincts in terms of what is safe for their kids, but our culture definitely underestimates what children are capable of.

    • bethanylearn says:

      One of the gals on the FB page called it “bubble wrap parenting” which made me laugh out loud! All the kids bouncing around harmlessly, disallowed from pain … Tangent: do you supppose some of this is why so many young women fear birth?

  3. Rebecca Digrugilliers says:

    Wow. That last paragraph cut me to the quick! (In a very good way.) 😉 Thank you for such a simple, easy to read post that has also challenged the crud out of my over-protectiveness! God has working in my heart recently about this topic already. I’m so afraid of my kids getting hurt, physically and otherwise. I never considered that when they do, it very well might be more my fault than anything because I restricted their preparation for…well, life. <—Pretty transparent here. But if we aren't at least honest with ourselves, what are we then? Love you so! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.