Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fear of Falling

Recent pic of me helping the kids getting ready for bed

The past few weeks I've taken a very upbeat tone and outlined so many ways that Whitney is progressing. It makes me thankful to see how far she's come. It's not all smooth sailing as I'm sure you've guessed. Recently Whitney's physical therapist has pinpointed one major item that is holding her back: fear of falling. The physical therapist feels that Whitney is not far from having the physical strength and stamina to walk without the aid of a walker or another person. But she is terrified of falling down. I don't know how much of that fear stems from when she broker her arm a couple years back and how much is just part of my cautious little girl.

The difficult thing is that the physical therapist can only really repeat the same exercises over and over. But getting over her fear is really up to Whitney herself. No one else can really do that for her. But that doesn't mean my wife and I haven't tried. We've even decided at least around our house that letting Whitney fall when she takes a risk is not a bad thing. Our hope is that she will realize that falling down isn't really that bad and she can get back up and keep on going.

The first time she stumbled and my wife was within range to catch her, but didn't, Whitney just looked her a little surprised. But Melanie was right there to talk to her after the fall and help her realize that she wasn't hurt and that she could handle the situation all by herself.

I hope this approach will work with her. Whitney is extremely cautious about falling and no child I've ever seen learns to walk without their fair share of bumps and bruises. I'm sure she'll start getting braver as time goes by.

Got any great tips about helping little ones overcome the fear of falling down? Please post them below. We're open to any and all suggestions!


Angie said...

That is a great picture of the three of you. Gosh, they look so much alike. I wish I had suggestions for you. Mine were never fearful enough and all had black eyes from hitting a coffee table or door. One even chipped a tooth. She'll get the hang of it! Maybe meeting and seeing all of the kids in FL will be that extra little boost of confidence that she needs. See you in a few weeks.

Nate said...

Hi Angie,

I guess we'll take too cautious over too daring. No black eyes or chipped teeth at our house yet. ;-) I'm sure seeing what all the other kids can do at the conference will be really good for her!