My dad often says that my brother and I were born who we are: S.J. would see something he wanted and go for it, no matter how many obstacles in his path or how many bumps he might get on the way whereas I would see something, start out toward it, and find something of interest that was closer. That description is still true for me. I do like the path of least resistance and I like to stumble into projects rather than pursue them, it just works for me. 🤷♀️ I see my kids' personalities clearly, too, but their differences can be measured in risk-taking and lately I'm biting my fingernails hoping each will be served well by their take on bravery.
My daughter Petra, now three and a half, was the last in her ballet class to jump and wanted to hold my hand down the tiniest curbs. I mean, the girl crawled BACKWARDS for months. If that doesn't prove her caution, I don't know what would. We put her in gymnastics, dance, soccer, movement classes... Whatever we could find that might help her break out of her shell! Still, she is only juuust going down slides without me at the bottom. Plus side: she's had a grand total of two scratches.
Petra *is* brave when it comes to style or to voicing her opinions (she doesn't mind if she bucks a trend) but her risk assessment process continues to be pretty tight when it comes to physicality, getting dirty, or doing hands-on activities. I'm proud of the work she's put into dance, swimming, and gymnastics and I see that her confidence has grown with the help of her instructors. I just think *going for it* will always be something she has to push herself to do.
My boy, on the other hand, is a mover who throws all caution to the wind. He crawled (forward) by the time he was five months, began cruising on furniture around seven, and before nine months he began to step here and there, all of which would be fine except he does not envision the outcome of his decisions. My girl would have never crawled off a bed, but Paris? He would go face-first down a flight of stairs even though I've been trying for months to have him turn around to go down on his tummy. A month ago, he had climbed my daughter's little set of kitchen stairs and was precariously standing at the top holding a spoon. I'm not sure if it's a second child thing, that he's a boy, or it's just who he is, but good lord my poor little mom-heart is constantly racing.
I'm curious, with for those of you with older children, were you able to see their risk-taking philosophies pretty immediately? Or has it been something you've been able to shape? I have finally got my son to stop eating cat food and he now gives a wide berth to my pottery that decorates the hearth but wow, especially because my system involves positive reinforcement and the power of distraction, I think it was the most effort I've put into anything. Ever. 🤣
If there's one thing I'm grateful for, it's that my children are on either end of the spectrum when it comes to being physically brave. My hope Is that they will learn from each other and see the advantages to both ways of navigating the world. And, fingers crossed, they'll each find a compromise.