Up a tree - As high as the branches will hold

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Unbelievable! I just went outside to do a visual on difficult child. He is up in a tree - so high up that the next branch would not hold him. OMG! O.K. Adrianne, take a deep breath and stay calm. I have never seen him climb and I wondered if I should call for help to get him down. He made it down by himself saying that I need to let him climb as long as he is still young enough to do so. Do any of you have a climber? He was still talking about how much fun it was and looking forward to climbing again when he walked inside.

    I know climbing is fun but how do you set limits so they get the fun but keep the safety?

    I told him he should wear a helmet and all the elbow and knee pads he could find. He replied that if he did so, he wouldn't be able to climb. I smiled and said, "Good idea! You should wear a helmet and pads 24/7." For some reason, he didn't see the logic in that.

    Who is this and what did he do with my observer - always watching, never joining little boy? Well, he is sure coming out of his shell this year! Top candy bar seller in his class (and I mean very top - 6 plus boxes while everyone else only did up to 3) with his history of not wanting to talk to people he didn't know (he loves going door to door -where did that come from?), looked forward to his part in this year's school play after years of refusing to do anything in front of a crowd, and will actually start a conversation with his teacher.

    There are good things happening with him. :) I just need to keep these in minds during his "moments" of anger or stubborness. (like when he is standing his ground with an adult or is up a tree and I wonder if there will be a future without a permanent injury from a fall). There are good moments, there are good moments. (which will be even better is he stays out of trees).
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My guy was a climber when he was younger-still does but not so much of the super risky stuff anymore. Use to scare me half to death! It does sound like he is doing lots of positive things to this year!
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hook him up with one of those rock climbing walls so he can be safe and work with his interest and strengths. At least he will be in a harness.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    We have had opportunities with those rock climbing walls every so often. He has never shown interest. I bet next time he will! Yep, he is turning into a little adventurer.


    I remember one of his day care providers telling me that this baby will give you a run for your money. I thought, what does she know that I don't know? He was a very quiet, content, easy going baby, toddler, child. She moved out of state when he was still a baby. I would give anything to talk to her now to see if this is what she meant.

    As everyone else is most likely doing, loving my difficult child and looking to make our good moments stronger, longer,and more frequent.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I was a climber. I truly loved getting as high as possible and looking at the world. I could stay in a tree for hours just looking. I hate to imagine how terrified my mother was. She did try to stop me, up to and including banning climbing. I obeyed her but I was miserable. Fortunately, my father took over and we came up with a compromise -- I could only climb halfway up a tree, no higher. This way, I wasn't up in the weaker branches but still high enough (depending on the tree) to see "my world." He also built me a treehouse.

    It is good to hear that he is climbing out of his shell so beautifully. Hope you don't mind, but I'm green with envy. Mine never got out of her shell and still only does the minimum of anything productive.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like difficult child is spreading his wings. And he's discovering he likes it.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry much about the climbing. My brothers did it. Plus tons of other stuff my mom would've had a stroke if she'd only known! And since most of the boys in the neighborhood did the same types of things, I think it's fairly normal behavior.

  7. navineja

    navineja New Member

    All of the kids in my family were and/or are climbers. Thankfully for my nerves, where we live now doesn't have terribly high trees! But seriously, it is a very normal thing. And while there is danger, sometimes you just have to let them explore. I am one of 7 children and my parents have 25 grandchildren and we all have done our time in trees and have loved it! (Except the time that my sister fell 20 feet, but that is another story!) I think that Meowbunny's compromise is a great idea. That way, you are not eliminating something difficult child finds very enjoyable, but you are giving an opportunity for him to show self-discipline.
    Also, Way To Go to difficult child for all his successes this year!
  8. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    Adrianne, you should try to get difficult child to try out gymnastics, trampoline, or tumbling. As soon as my difficult child mastered walking, he started walking across the back of the sofa and jumping from there onto my barstools and just climbing and jumping onto everything he could. Thank goodness our trees aren't too tall around my house! I always felt that gymnastics could be his thing. When he was 6 we were invited to a birthday party at a gymnastics place. He loved it so much I put him in a class. It started in September, by May he was tumbling with the teenagers in the little show at the end of the classes doing flip flops and whips. The next year, he joined a team and for the next 6 years he competed on the local, regional, and national levels. We've been to CA, TX, FL, and Indiana for competitions. He was great. Unfortunately, he quit this year. It was fun for him and us and it was great for him. So...your child may have an unexplored talent. See if you could get him to the gym.
  9. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    This is kid behavior you probably won't be able to stop. We did it as kids, especially at my grandma's farm, with a big grove of trees down into a bit of a ravine not too far from the house. My mom couldn't even see us do it there, she would probably have had fits if she did. Maybe you could sit down with him, let him know how afraid you get for his safety when he's that high, and compromise on how high he can go.
  10. I really recommend rock climbing with all of the appropriate equipment! difficult child absolutely adores it and always whisks up a rock face or rock wall while others are still at the bottom in contemplation. He was a climber as a toddler - we could not keep him off of furniture, trees, you name it!

    I really can't blame him though. I adored tree climbing as a child. I'm not saying I never had accidents - I had many - some that my parents never knew about. I guess it explains a lot ... LOL

    in my humble opinion, it is very normal behavior...
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    I like the suggestion of rock climbing. Lots of safety equipment.

    Like Meowbunny and 1 Day At a Time, I was also a climber as a child (still am, as a matter of fact). I spent practically every recess at school up the highest tree in the warm weather (it was known as MY tree), and once persuaded all the "big kids" to roll me a giant snowball in the winter and then hoist me up on top of it so that I could see the world.

    Little easy child is also a climber, and now we climb together. We live in a neighbourhood with lots of big old climbing trees, and together we see how far we can get. Little one gets to climb his trees, and I'm right up there with him testing the branches to make sure they're safe, and to help him down if he over-reaches himself.

    It's wonderful that your son is coming out of his shell so much. Enjoy these moments.

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Others have beat me to it but my kids were also climbers. My dad has this cool video tape he made of all my boys in one tree...lol. My kids even took it further though...they would climb to the top of pine trees and "parachute" out of them by grabbing onto the top of the tree and getting it to swing them down!
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you to everyone! I feel so much better about climbing. I was just so surprised that he had gotten so high without showing me any interest in climbing before. He has stopped going to the tip top (while atleast I haven't seen him do it again:) )

    That has now become his tree. He is finding shells down by the lake (another new issue - it is not a swimming or fishing lake - just a for look at muddy lake that he has today decided the need to explore - not just the shore but walking in the edge) and putting the shells up in the tree. I told him that when the wind picks up it will blow the shells out. Maybe we need to find an old little box to wedge into the tree that can be his treasure trove?

    The tree is in the back of the house. He is suppose to watch the puppy if he takes her out. All of a sudden I heard a scratching at the front door and his voice from the back calling for the puppy. Puppy found her way around the house to the front door! Orion was making his way out of the tree to find the puppy. I suggested tying puppy up when he is in the tree.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Could the puppy have been tattling on him? :)

    I agree with-Daisylover, "

    Sounds like difficult child is spreading his wings. And he's discovering he likes it.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry much about the climbing. My brothers did it. Plus tons of other stuff my mom would've had a stroke if she'd only known! And since most of the boys in the neighborhood did the same types of things, I think it's fairly normal behavior."
    I think it's getting your attention because he has all these new behaviors at once.
    And my parents never knew half of what we did. Thank d*G!
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Adrianne, difficult child 3 is very cautious, to the point of his anxiety stopping him from doing a lot of things I judge to be safe. But he has always been a climber. As a baby he would climb out of his cot. I put the side down permanently when he first climbed out - the side down was safer than him falling from the top of the cot.

    But he never fell. Even as a baby left on my bed, he never rolled off. I would leave a mattress on the floor beside the bed so if he fell he would have a soft landing - he never fell.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 is also very wary when climbing or balancing, although it doesn't look it. As a little girl in elementary, she would walk along hand rails (these were round tubes, not angular wooden ones) and in fact would try to walk and balance on some rather narrow and tricky places. At after school care she had a chance to learn circus skills and chose stiltwalking - she was a natural. She was 8 and has been working professionally as a stiltwalker since she was 11. I've seen her walk up and down a flight of stairs, while on stilts.

    difficult child 1 also climbs. If he is upset, he climbs the big tree in our front yard. He's also climbed it in the dark, especially on Halloween nights when our house is getting egged. He puts on his black ninja outfit, complete with the black hood that makes his face look like it's not there, climbs about 6 metres up and waits for any kids to come along who are up to no good. He then makes spooky noises, or similar, to scare them away. Even with a torch you can't find him in the tree.

    The only one to have ever fallen from the tree was difficult child 3, once, after another kid actually pushed him. He was 5 or 6 at the time and fell headfirst onto a rock from 2 metres up, gave himself concussion. But all he wanted to know, was where he'd dropped the icy pole he'd been eating!

    I've found that while they seem to take risks, their natural caution protects them a lot more. And from my own memories of climbing trees, the more you climb a particular tree the more you know your way around it, what weight a branch can bear and where to put your foot or hand for the next hold. You also get a good feel for how the tree behaves in response to being climbed, so even as you get older and heavier, you still naturally compensate for this by noting how much a branch moves when you put your weight onto it. If I ever climbed to a dangerous height, I generally only did it once. After that I would go to the height I could handle; if I grew taller and could then more safely reach a higher branch, it would still be a carefully calculated move based on my previous experience of that tree.

    I wouldn't worry about his climbing - at least he's outside getting exercise! And safety equipment - I don't think it's applicable, for that sort of tree climbing.

    But I wouldn't put the shell collection in the tree - trees are designed to move with the wind and those shells won't stay there. As they fall down, they will either break, or could break someone else's head.

    We collect shells - lots of them, because we live near the beach. We have a bowl where we put them. If we're collecting different kinds of shells, sometimes we have different bowls or jars. I've put them in a bottle sometimes and filled it up with water, which makes them look even bigger (lens effect). Or you can use shells to decorate a garden, or make a collage. I collect shells with holes in them and make necklaces out of them. When difficult child 1 was about your son's age, he made a desk ornament by using cornice cement (or similar slightly flexible wall repair goo) to glue shells to a glass jar. You can do the same with a terracotta pot, to make something decorative to put a plant in. All of these ideas are much safer than putting the shells high up in a tree!