Great article. This is my life: I let my kids try everything that they want to try, and I offer them help if they want it. But I let them do it. Victory is apparent when they push my hand away and say, “I got this, Dad.” That is sweet music to my ears.
As they grew older, they became more adventurous, and sought challenges. Sometimes I’d give them something to do just to let them prove to themselves they could do it, even it they found it challenging at first. For awhile there, I was offering a challenge to them whenever an idea hit me.
Now they see something they want to try and they go for it. I don’t even have to encourage them. I just stay out of their way. I can do this because their mistakes of the past improved their ability to assess risk. Letting them take a minor spill here and there gave them awareness of natural consequences and that they will get through it.
I even saw how a minor spill at the playground was relieved by a hug and carry for a few minutes. Then they were kicking me away so that they could play again. It’s like that. The desire to play overcomes the fright, but with better judgement.