Young girls and facing fear

Our eldest daughter was just 18 months old when my husband Dave introduced her to rock climbing.

He fashioned a tiny harness for her and used the stairs in our living room as her climbing wall.

Climbing
Dave’s childhood memories are full to the brim with rock climbing adventures and from word go he has been keen to share his love of climbing with our two girls.

Little by little with a firm yet encouraging approach, Dave has helped both of our girls to progress from climbing the stairs in our living room and up and down the side of our house to scaling rocky terrain at a nearby climbing spot.

isla-climbing-kp2-a

Rock climbing with kids

Rock climbing with kids

Rock climbing with kids
Looking at our girls, you wouldn’t expect them to be the outdoorsy type. One is tall and thin with delicate features and a penchant for princess dresses, while the other awkwardly waltzes around the house in heels and a tiara with a magic wand in hand.

When it comes to daddy and daughter time though, they scramble to ditch their dresses and heels for shorts and trainers, keen to trek off to their favourite Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

While they come home from their climbing adventures happy, dirty and full of tall tales, the outings are not always sunshine and lollipops.

Dave can sometimes have a battle on his hands with tears, resistance and fear. They are only five and three after all, so they do get scared and upset when they lose a footing and fall or scrape themselves. It’s only natural for them to feel that way.

I used to panic when Dave first took the girls to the cliffs, worrying that he was pushing them too far out of their comfort zones, but now I see how good it has been for them. I can see how this climbing tradition has become so much more than Dave sharing his love of climbing.

Through climbing, the girls have come to realise how strong and capable their bodies are. They’ve been able to face their fears, and with the guidance of their ever-patient dad, they’ve been able to work through those fears. They’ve learnt that when faced with a roadblock/challenge/rock hold that they can’t quite reach, they need to survey the situation and find another way to achieve their goal. They’ve learnt if they slip and fall, the rope is there to support them and all they need to do is to dust themselves off and try again.

isla-climbing-kp
Climbing has been particularly beneficial for our eldest who errs on the side of caution in everything she does. A little more sensitive and wary than her younger sister, climbing has helped Miss Five be more open to challenges and to step out of her comfort zone.

I’m grateful for the relationship Dave has with our daughters and the effort he puts into helping them to grow into strong and confident girls with a never give up attitude.

We can only hope that the lessons we’re teaching them now will help prepare them for their tween and teen years and beyond.

Do you ever push your kids out of their comfort zone? How do they react? Were you ever pushed out of your comfort zone as a kid and encouraged to face your fears?

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

46 comments on Young girls and facing fear

  1. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    July 12, 2016 at 6:40 am (11 months ago)

    This is so cool!
    What little adventurers …
    BTW, I’m loving your stairs.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:00 am (10 months ago)

      Thanks Leanne. Designed and built by Dave 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    July 12, 2016 at 6:45 am (11 months ago)

    This is so awesome. Who knew climbing was so much fun and that it could teach so much, not just in terms of physical but in real life life lessons! I never did anything like this as a kid, but kind of wish I did because maybe then I’d be a little keener to venture out of my comfort zone and face my fears. However, I am a mega wimp of the highest order, I get antsy about climbing stairs, never mind about rocks! Have you ever tried rock climbing and made it a whole family event?!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:01 am (10 months ago)

      Yes, I’ve gone along a few times and am trying to get braver with it. Slowly but surely I’ll get there. I’d like to set a good example for my girls, but at the moment they’re the ones setting the example for me 🙂

      Reply
  3. Bec Senyard
    July 12, 2016 at 7:35 am (11 months ago)

    Love this post Renee. I just love how Dave encourages the girls to get out of their comfort zone. I did rock climbing once and didn’t like the feeling of being on the edge. I should try it again some time. Do you go climbing with them? x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm (10 months ago)

      I don’t like that feeling either, Bec. I have gone a few times and would like to be able to get past my fear. It’s a slow process 🙂 x

      Reply
  4. Seana Smith
    July 12, 2016 at 7:42 am (11 months ago)

    This is a joy to read and I’ll share it on my Facebook page later. How fantastic for the girls to bond with Dad this way and to be taken to the edge of competence physically and thus to extend beyond. I had a more adventurous childhood than my own kids do and I wish we’d done more adventures with them.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 12, 2016 at 9:46 am (11 months ago)

      That would be wonderful thanks, Seana. They definitely have a lot of fun with it and the benefits are wide reaching 🙂

      Reply
  5. Vanessa
    July 12, 2016 at 8:12 am (11 months ago)

    What a great idea. I had no idea that you could start so young 🙂

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm (10 months ago)

      There’s no age limit 🙂

      Reply
  6. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    July 12, 2016 at 8:14 am (11 months ago)

    Wow. I’m so impressed and what a great bonding experience too. I have a boy who is scared of heights so I don’t think I could get him near it but my other two would be going for it before I could stop them. Adventure and being active is so good for them isn’t it? xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm (10 months ago)

      It really is. Nothing like fresh air to get the blood flowing 🙂 x

      Reply
  7. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    July 12, 2016 at 8:15 am (11 months ago)

    Love this. It’s great to see a dad teaching his girls the sport he loves without worrying about gender stereotypes. He’s passing on what he loves to those he loves and it obviously is very beneficial for them.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm (10 months ago)

      That’s what I love about it too, Amy.

      Reply
  8. Emily
    July 12, 2016 at 9:25 am (11 months ago)

    That’s wonderful! I can see this benefiting our eldest too! But we’ll have to think of something else – neither my husband nor I climb. (I’m waaaaaaay too unco to try!!) #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 2:02 pm (10 months ago)

      Lol!! Maybe a spot of indoor climbing instead then … or not 🙂

      Reply
  9. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    July 12, 2016 at 10:36 am (11 months ago)

    What a great bonding experience and very cool for your girls. My eldest is also quite fearful but she will try anything if she can do it with her Dad, the youngest is completely fearless!!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm (10 months ago)

      What is it with the youngest being fearless??? Ours is the exact same 🙂

      Reply
  10. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    July 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm (11 months ago)

    What a great experience. Kids don’t really have fears until we place them there. My fear of flying is something I have tried not to let my kids know because as a logical thinking adult, I know it is one of the safest forms of travel. So why should I alter my kids perspective of flying.
    The girls looked like they had an amazing time.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 2:04 pm (10 months ago)

      That’s a great attitude, Natalie. I’ve tried to keep quiet in front of the girls about me not liking heights 🙂

      Reply
  11. Melinda @unitedstatesofmama
    July 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm (11 months ago)

    This is awesome! It’s a very fine line between pushing your children to try something new and destroying their confidence forever. My husband has been taking our two (of similar ages) surfing with similar results: sometimes tears and tantrums but then you get those magical smiles when they stand up on the boards. So cool!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:02 am (10 months ago)

      That sounds like awesome fun, Melinda! I’d love to try that with the girls some time. We just have to get them to stop being scared of waves first lol.

      Reply
  12. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    July 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm (11 months ago)

    This is such a wonderful thing for your daughters and hubby. Something that they will benefit from in so many ways, now and in years to come with wonderful memories. Our girls used to love getting dirty with Dad on building sites or out in the garden, it’s such a great bond for them, which reminds me to look past the stained clothing! lol

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:03 am (10 months ago)

      Haha yes! Helping out on the building sites sounds like great fun. I bet your hubby would have loved showing them how everything works 🙂

      Reply
  13. Denise
    July 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm (11 months ago)

    What an awesome dad! I think it’s such a great thing to do when the kids are little. We all need to face our fears sooner or later, may as well be sooner 🙂 Makes me wish I could do something similar but my climbing skills are limited and that’s an understatement.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:04 am (10 months ago)

      Yes, well I share your poor climbing skills 🙂 Perhaps something on ground level would be better 🙂

      Reply
  14. Mandy @ Barbie Bieber and Beyond
    July 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm (11 months ago)

    Wow, what a great Dad you have there. Never underestimate the importance of a father who wants to be there for his girls and spend quality time with them. I believe everyone including kids needs to jump out of their comfort zone every now and then, it’s good for the character.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:05 am (10 months ago)

      It sure is good for the character, Mandy. I wish I had more of this stuff when I was younger 🙂

      Reply
  15. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    July 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm (11 months ago)

    What a gorgeous idea for the toddler! I have never tried rock climbing though I think I would love it – kids too!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:05 am (10 months ago)

      I’m sure you would, Jody. Maybe you guys could start off with some indoor climbing 🙂

      Reply
  16. Kit@lifethroughthehaze
    July 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm (11 months ago)

    Wow that is fantastic. I used to be fearless in my late teens up to mid 20s I would rock climb, abseil you name it I would give it a go. Somehow I lost my fearless nature and grew more and more fearful overtime.
    I want my hubby to take my kids climbing and abseiling to teach them a little bit about taking risks and finding alternatives and different ways to tackle a problem. He used to go abseiling all the time before i came along. He says it is my fault lol, I say he should take them anyway.
    xoxo

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:06 am (10 months ago)

      Lol. Yes, he should definitely take them. He can rekindle his love for it and teach the kids a thing or two while he’s at it xx

      Reply
  17. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    July 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm (11 months ago)

    What a legend dad he is, she will have the BEST stories to tell her friends as she grows! We push our kiddies, then again they don’t need much prompting! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:06 am (10 months ago)

      Yours definitely sound like the adventurous type, Em 🙂 x

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:06 am (10 months ago)

      Yours definitely sound like the adventurous type, Em 🙂 x

      Reply
  18. Janet
    July 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm (11 months ago)

    What a great experience for your girls!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:07 am (10 months ago)

      They’ve had loads of fun with it 🙂

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:07 am (10 months ago)

      They’ve had loads of fun with it 🙂

      Reply
  19. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    July 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm (11 months ago)

    Wow! That is so cool. What a great thing to introduce your girls too. Will be fantastic school chats about Dad taking the girls rock climbing.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:07 am (10 months ago)

      Yes, they could tell a good story or two 🙂

      Reply
  20. Robyna | The Mummy & The Minx
    July 12, 2016 at 9:37 pm (11 months ago)

    What wonderful adventurers! I think they are braver than I am. It’s such a great thing that your husband is sharing with them.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:08 am (10 months ago)

      Yes, he’s a good man (when he’s not telling me how to stack the dishwasher 😉 )

      Reply
  21. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    July 13, 2016 at 8:54 am (10 months ago)

    I do not have enough words to describe how awesome I think this is. Absolutely the best parenting I have seen in a long time. Congratulations to you both!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 13, 2016 at 9:08 am (10 months ago)

      Thanks so much, Nicole. That means a lot x

      Reply
  22. Tegan
    July 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm (10 months ago)

    Wow what an awesome experience for your girls!

    Reply
  23. EssentiallyJess
    July 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm (10 months ago)

    That is such a great experience for the girls Renee. So many wonderful life lessons being taught there, plus, fun! I would have loved to do something like that as a kid.

    Reply

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