The Trampoline

This is a true story.

At the church we attend, there is a room which stores stacked up chairs, foldup tables, and toy equipment such as balls, hoops and skipping ropes.  There is also a small one-person trampoline. These toys typically get taken out at youth group activities.  On a couple of occasions, someone has  taken out the trampoline after the Sunday service and children jump on it while the adults have their coffee and fellowship time.

Last Sunday, after the service and Sunday School were over, two boys ran to the storeroom and started carrying the trampoline out into the Coffee Time area. I was at once struck by their ‘boldness’.

Some children would not have taken the initiative to get something out themselves, instead, waiting for an adult to get it out. Other children would have asked permission first. These boys wanted something and they went for it.

When an adult saw what these two boys were doing, he said, ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea to take that out today. There’s too many people about.’

Some children would have accepted it and put the trampoline back without complaining.  Other children may have put it back, but grumbled while doing so.  These boys explained that they were going to put it somewhere where it wouldn’t be in the way (they specified the location). 

The adult had a thoughtful look on his face and he relented.

This incident was very interesting to me. While it could be argued that the boys were being disobedient, insubordinate and even disrespectful, it could also equally be argued that there is something admirable about their behavior.  They had a mission, they had  a plan, and they knew how to plead their case in case they came up with opposition.

Was what the boys did right or wrong?

How is this kind of ‘risk-taking’ behavior learned? Should children be taught this?

Advertisements

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, in Life, Parenting, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What, you didn’t get the “How to be the best parent of the most well-adjusted kid ever” manual at the hospital?

    Agree, sometimes I worry that I’ve been too strict on mine and in particular with the older one that it may have dampened her risk-taking initiative. We are trying to do things that boost her self-confidence. Of course, it is possible that some of this could have a genetic component or some other variable (some people will tell you that, as a generalization, birth order tends to manifest itself in specific ways based on how parents generally deal with first, second, third, etc.) so as best as I can do is what I’m doing, which is to put her in environments with challenge with supportive people. Not sure that gets her as far as truly independent risk-taking, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.

    Like

  2. This is the second time (I think) you’ve mentioned the Parenting Manual. Maybe if I’d gone to the hospital instead of the Birth Centre, I would have gotten one.

    I am the firstborn and I know that I would never have had the nerve to take the initiative like that.

    As an adult, I would have been (am?) the Grumpy Old Woman Who Always Says NO And That’s Final. So, I am also in awe of the dad who handled the situation. I am trying to change – honest!

    Like

Go ahead. Tell me your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: