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?

 

 

New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our ClimbingWeather.com app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

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.