Out of Control Kids (Or Judgmental Spectators)

Facebook Mom of the year

I recently heard from a friend that our kids used to be known as the kids at the climbing gym that were going to get hurt.

I was shocked.  I know that they run around a bit, but we teach them not to run on mats (only play on the bouldering mats where folks aren’t climbing) and stay away from anyone belaying/on rope.  I admit, I had a few moments of “Oh, no – we are bad parents. We are those parents. We shouldn’t take our kids to the gym anymore.”  I take pride in the fact that we primarily boulder when the kids are around.  And that one of us is usually crawling on the floor playing monster with them while the other one climbs.  We bring food and crayons, movies and electronic devices, we encourage them to climb, and we entertain.  What else could we do?

Stay home? Not take our kids to the gym?  Teach them to sit still and not move while we climb at the gym?

Then I remembered a Facebook post I saw the other day (left, from a friend of mine)  I’m not sure that it applies 100% to this situation, but I believe that there are some similarities.

See original post and the mom replies.

Facebook Mom of the year responses

What do you think?  Do we have a problem? Or is the problem judgmental non parents, parents of non mobile children, parents with only one child, parents with children that happen to be a little more quiet and reserved than ours?  I honestly am not sure that we can do anything differently.  We do the best we can to teach them the rules of the road for climbing, and we watch them diligently to make sure that we prevent any non-listening moments.

Am I naive to think that those judging us just haven’t been there yet?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this one as I’m almost afraid to take them to the gym in fear of being seen as “those parents” who can’t (or won’t) control their children. My kids are now ages 4 and 5 – so active, but still young. . .

Here are my initial thoughts for alternatives and improvement.  I’m not extremely excited about #2 or #5.

1.  It’s a choice between playing (physically) or self entertaining.  Should I encourage self entertainment as option 1 and option 2 to be climbing?  If yes, then they shouldn’t be running in the gym at all.  Is that realistic and/or should that be an expectation.

2.  If I am ok with electronics in the gym, an ipad/ipod would settle them down.  Is this the direction to go?

3.  Food. Food.  Food.

4. Climbing.  They should climb. . . it is after all a climbing gym.  If they don’t want to climb, see option 1 and 2.

5. Stop taking them to the gym for a while.  Get a babysitter

What would you do? Which is the lesser of two evils? Out of control kids, couch potatoes?



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About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.