80. Climbing

Before children can walk they want to go up. Up is often their first word. To a young child, up seems to be where all the action is. It’s a basic instinct.

As safety-minded parents it is tempting to want to curb any sort of activity that courts danger, but climbing gives children a true sense of what they are physically capable of. If you can be brave enough to let them find out for themselves, you’ll generally find that when they do take risks, they are appropriate ones. Start with the stairs before moving on to more challenging environments like climbing frames or trees.

Eventually, you want to encourage ‘whole body’ climbing, where they are using their arms as much as their legs. As adults we tend to neglect our upper bodies, spending too much time hunched over phones and desks. Climbing can help keep chests open and postures upright.

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