You know when you go to a park, there’s always that kid who runs straight to the slide and starts climbing up it? Yeah, those are my kids. They love to climb up slides, and I don’t try to stop them (unless someone else is about to come down, I don’t let my kids act like assholes).
It’s instinct. Slides are shiny and fun, and there are no repercussions if you make a mistake – if you slip on the way up, you just slide to the bottom, which is the eventual goal anyway.
I’ve heard some parents make passive-aggressive remarks to their children about it “I don’t know why that girl is climbing up the slide. We don’t do that,” and “Slides are for going down, I don’t know why that girl’s parents aren’t stopping her.” Fortunately for them, I normally don’t respond to passive-aggressive remarks. I tend to ignore those (but make an aggressive-aggressive remark, especially involving my children, and you will regret it).
Here’s why I think those parents are wrong: they are teaching their children there is only one way to do something. You must follow the pattern, you cannot color outside the lines, you must go up the ladder if you want to go down the slide. That’s great. Their children will make wonderful office drones some day.
I’m kidding about the office drone thing. But I really believe that we need to allow children to exercise their creativity and let them explore their world. As adults, we know how (some) things work – we’ve had years to figure it all out. We shouldn’t assume that our children have the same knowledge base that we do – they don’t have years of experience to rely upon, so for them there is not one way to do something. They have to try different ways and figure it out.
Let your kid climb up the slide. Let them approach the world differently.