During the past few months I have been trying to get my one year old son to walk. I find this journey interesting because he is aware of the fact that gravity exist but does not think that it applies to him. The same child that drops toys while sitting in the high chair just to watch them fall, also suddenly tries to climb down from my bed or let go of my hand while he is unsteady, but he is also very afraid of hurting himself. He has fallen pretty hard a few times and as a result he has learned to protect himself by landing on his bottom or at least partially sitting up so that he won’t bump his head.
I am very anxious and excited to see my son begin to walk, so I decided to look up some videos on YouTube in order to discover techniques to get him on foot patrol sooner. While he seems to be comfortable for the most part with his balance, there are times when he won’t let go of my hand. I found a video on YouTube(unfortunately I don’t remember which video it was) that suggested allowing the child to cruise alongside something steady and also to surround the area with pillows in places that he is likely to land if he falls. I tried the exercise with him and it was very effective in getting him to learn to be less afraid of hurting himself. It worked wonders and he became a little less anxious about falling. You see even though he knows how to cushion his own landing He reached out for my hand a few times but I kindly reassured him that he was safe cruising on his own. The point wasn’t to actually cushion his fall since he is perfectly capable, but reassure him that he won’t hurt himself. Though I know that he won’t be walking tomorrow morning, this is an exercise that I will continue to do with him in order to build his confidence.
That being said I wonder how many times we rely too heavily on things and people in our lives.. Sure having a strong support system is beneficial, but you don’t want to abuse that system. I myself have been guilty of having people in my life that I was overly dependent upon. Now I know that my son isn’t aware of the fact that pretty soon he will be walking on his own but I wonder if he would be as anxious as he is right now if he knew that one day he would be running on his own. Do you know that one day you could run on your own?