I get a lot of looks when I take my kids to the park.
My kids are the kids that are climbing up the slides, yelling too loud, running too fast across the bridges, and jumping off things. While they are doing that I am on the bench reading my book or *gasp* on my phone completely ignoring them. And when I say completely I truly mean it. I am not watching them at all.
Every once in a while (less now that the kids are older and I have been ignoring them for years at the park) I hear a “HELP!” and I look up to see one of them has climbed too high and can’t get down. Instead of running over, scooping them up and rescuing them I will slowly finish the sentence I was reading or turn my phone off and walk over.
75% of the time they have figured out how to get down by then anyways after the initial “holy crap I am in over my head” panic is over and they have had a chance to calmly look at their options allowing me to sit back down. The other times I will go and talk them through how to get down. Yes, they can be scared, nervous, and sometimes they even fall. But they learn either a) maybe they should climb something else more their skill level or b) that if they climb up something they can get back down themselves.
They are figuring out how to rescue themselves and not have their mom swoop in and save them all the time. They are learning to recognize their limits and not put themselves in situations they can’t get out of. They are also learning that sometimes their mom is allowed to sit and do something she enjoys without being interrupted. These skills will be put to use when they are older and hanging out with their friends, in school, and in relationships. I want to teach them that they can do things themselves. That they can get stuck and figure out how to get down. That sometimes they will get REALLY stuck and when that happens their Mom is always there to talk them through their options so they can figure it out.