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…About Fearless Kids

by The Momma on December 18, 2010

The Daddy: The Knob- Whirlwind Daredevil with a Death Wish, or Violent Pain-Loving Masochist?

The Momma: Oh man, I think he’s just a whirlwind daredevil–not that he has a death wish, he just doesn’t even think about the pain part in his rush to DO! TRY! CLIMB! RUN!

D: I was expecting and hoping for an active kid, but I was and am still genuinely surprised at how absolutely fearless he is. Again, it borders on manic: his desire to be in constant motion. He has had his share of scrapes where he does stop though.

M: Yeah, be careful what you wish for in the future!
I kind of hope that as he gets older, and learns cause and effect more, he dials some of the fearlessness back. Not because I want him to be afraid of everything, but because I want him to, you know, make it to adulthood.

D: Yeah, I do think this is a bit of a phase he’s going through. I mean, I kind of HAVE to believe it’s a phase. Otherwise we have a hyperactive kid on our hands and I know it’s probably way too early to even attempt to diagnose it. That’s something that’s starting to set in: I just cannot expect that he’s gonna be the same kid a week later: he changes so fast.

M: Well, that much is clear. A few months ago he wouldn’t even sit still to have a book read to him or watch TV, now he’ll calmly sit for both. So who knows where he’ll be in another 6 months, or a year, or more.
I mean, I think he’s probably always going to be an active kid (he is YOUR son after all), but I don’t know that it will stay at this level forever.

D: No, I think my biggest concern is when he starts getting around other kids. We’ve seen the few times he does interact that he hasn’t learned his social graces yet. That, and the fact that his fearlessness and high tolerance for pain make a recipe for…for situations I’m not looking forward to in our quest to raise a kid who isn’t a douchebag.

M: Well, but at the same time, he’s not (so far) shown to be a mean kid, just one oblivious to his strength and pain.

D: True, but I think that when kids recoil from you in fear, it can become a gateway drug. You start to learn that aggressiveness and bullying have power, and the next thing you know, he’s beating kids up for their lunch money. I know that ideally we’ll have some input in there: teaching him manners, not to punch your friends and the like, but still… I guess the important thing is that I’m not overanalyzing it.

M: Who you? No way…
Look, one of the ways we differ as parents is this:
You are worried that every little thing he does now means something for later. I contend that A LOT (but not all) of what he does right now is what many, many toddlers do. He’s learning how his body works, how the world works, how gravity and cause and effect work. He’s learning what buttons to push. Hopefully, he’s learning that things like running headfirst into the door = pain. That all leads, yes, to who he’ll be later, but first he has to learn THESE lessons.

D: Yeah, you’re right as usual. I find I’m interjecting a lot of the science of what I read into my own opinions on the matter and formulating this kind of pseudo-science reasoning for everything he does as a microcosm of his entire developing universe. I know that sometimes he’s just working something out, trying something new, seeing all the myriad things his body can do, and not cementing in bad habits. And I say again- thank GOD you’re his mom, ‘cuz if it was just me raising this kid, he would be royally fugged-up!

M: Well, one of us has to be the sane one.

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