Mom Confessions: I Let My Toddler Climb Play Equipment Unassisted


mom confessionsIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

When we go to the park or playground, I don't hover over my toddlers. I sit on the bench and watch. If they want to climb up the slide, I let them. I loved climbing up slides when I was little. It was challenging and fun -- and my mother never shadowed me to prevent a fall or little mishaps. This is how children learn -- by making mistakes.

And if my kid is arguing with another on the playground (or anywhere), I usually don't get involved unless one of them is going to get hurt. They need to learn to work out their own problems. -- anonymous



Is it irresponsible parenting to let young toddlers, say 2 or 3 years old, climb unassisted on playground equipment?

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Total Votes: 264

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Do today's parents go overboard in trying to protect their children from every little bump, scratch, and boo-boo? Should we give our kids more freedom to make mistakes and learn from them?

We all have secrets and opinions -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

Past Confessions:

My Kids Go to Sleep After Midnight

I Let My Toddlers Go Naked in Public

I Throw Away My Kid's Artwork

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It

I Find Excuses to Send My Kids to Bed Early



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Desti... Destiny13

To a certain extent. If my 2 year old is going up the really tall slide that's like 14' then I will go stnad over there and catch her if she falls. if it would be a small fall (even those can be dangerous though) I will stay back more and go by my judgment/instinct. My goal is to let her do as much as she can by herself, without getting hurt. if there is a good chance of death  you bet I'm going to go get her down or whatever the case may be. that's doesn't make me a "hellicopter" Mother...

If I'm good enough at my parenting, she will have the chance to cimb and see what she can and can't do, AND learn and grow from these expereinces, me being there to catch her is not a bad thing. I would not let my 2 year old climb on stuff with being being very far away no. Well let me rephrase... If she goes cllimbing I go to "spot" her so to speak..

Nothing wrong with that. Nothing overprotective or helicoptery about wanting your young to LIVE, AND be strong and able. ya know??

isabe... isabeesmomma

It depends on the equipment, how comfortable I feel they are doing it after a few tries with me there and how many kids are on the park. If they are getting stuck going down the slide but they still want to slide I help them, and if they are doing fine I back off a little unless the park is crowded. I have a 2 year old (well he turns 2 this week) and a 3 1/2 year old and they are small and kids are bullies especially when those moms use the park as a social session to get away from their kids (it irritates me to no end and I don't hesitate to speak up and tell the mom to do their job). However on toddler equipment that my kids are more than ready to handle I sit back and let them enjoy them selves. I try not to helicopter but I don't want my kids getting hurt badly by falling off a slide and breaking their arm. So it all depends on how comfortable I feel with the way the playground is set up.

Kimberly Virga

My son is almost two- he's 21 months old- and he basically does everything by himself at the park... However, I do shadow his movements, AKA standing next to whatever equipment he is on, because he doesn't understand certain things, like depth, how he could fall and it will be bad, etc. He HAS fallen before, not dangerously so, and learned a lesson from it; but parents who just allow their kids to run rampant anywhere, even a park, annoy the crap out of me. A lot of times they are not watching their older children, who are rambunctious and will push/shove without realizing it, the littler kids. It's annoying.

nonmember avatar Becky

As long as my daughter stays where I can see her, I let her play unassisted all the time. How else is she going to learn to be independent?

jen072 jen072

I'll admit I hate the park, but when I force myself to go, I sit away from the mom squad and let my 4 1/2  yr. old son play on equipment .  He's very coordinated and from the looks of the equipment, there was little room for an accident.  You just have to use your judgement.  I will say, I hate the helicopter moms who yell at my kid for climbing up the slide or coming down before another gets off.  I usually turn my head and ignore them once they look over at me like "what are you going to do?"...Never has one ever dared to say anything, lol..There's not allot of danger as long as they are coming down slow, which is always the case, since I live in FL and they always have shorts on...This is just what kids do, plus, they can't see who's down there when the slide is curved.  If so worried about this, then stand there and take your kid off yourself.  I must say, I sure was glad when pre-school started, sweet relief, only have to go on weekends now.

squish squish

Both my 3 year old and my 2 year old have no caution. My 3 year old is very steady now and pretty big for her age, so I don't hover. But you bet I do with my 2 year old. She is not afraid to climb anything!! It is annoying to have to hover, but I don't want to limit her play. I am sure in about a year or so I won't have to anymore, and then I will actually ENJOY going to the park and playing with my children instead of constantly being worried about what she is attempting to do next! :)

Christeen Conrad

When I go to the park it is with my DD's cousins. They are 3(DD), 4, 6, and 8. I let them play on the stuff. I do watch them but I'm not up there. I play with my daughter in the house. So when she goes to the park it's play time with the other kids there.

So yes I'll be sitting on the bench chatting to my sister. Uf some of yall don't like it, tough luck.  There's only one person I need to prove to that I am a good parent and that is my DD.


Dylan... Dylansmom83

It depends on the situation.  I let my three year old climb unassisted, but I am usually right under him.  Especially when the playground is crowded.  There are always a few bigger kids whose parents aren't watching who tend to get too rough.  If the playground is mostly empty I will sit on the bench.

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