I haven't figured this out yet . . .
Please watch this video and vote on whether or not I’m a mean father for not helping my daughter climb a fake rock at the playground.
As I was going over this video, my wife says to me, “Why didn’t you help her? She’s asking you to help her so she can climb!” At first, I gave myself pause. I thought, “Yeah, I’m kind of a jerk for leaving her hanging.” Then I thought, “No, there must be some reason I left her hanging.”
And there is. I left her hanging because, and I don’t mean to brag, but C can climb that rock on her own. She’s physically adept enough to do it. I didn’t help her because I figured she could do it on her own. She only wanted my help because she was afraid of falling (despite only being less than a foot from the ground).
So, why should I help her do something she can do on her own? Won’t that just teach her to rely on me instead of herself? And what parent wants that?
I figured letting her figure it out on her own will allow her to test her limits at her own pace and develop some self reliance. Trust me, I’m not a cold-hearted meany, and I’m a total softy for the daddy-daughter bond. I love that my baby girl wants me to hold her hand and keep her safe, so saying “no” is not easy for me. But I also want my daughter to be strong.
C encountered another rock about twenty minutes later and I’m happy to say I’m proud of her. She conquered that bad boy all on her own.