Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thrill Seekers and Bench Warmers

Mr. TheZoo and I took some of the kids to The Shindig. It's a local street fair/carnival.
A couple of the children were off doing other things, so we took the rest for a few rides.
It was interesting the choices of rides among the boys. It seems we have two that choose cautiously, and two that want rides the wilder the better!
Any guesses on which ones?
Well, the 3 yo, and the 7 yo are the thrill seekers. The 4 yo and 11 yo wanted to take it slow and easy.
It's interesting to me when our children's personality traits are played out someplace other than home, in situations that aren't the norm for us.
I pay attention to my little zoo, but we do get used to our daily routine, and to each other. It's fun when things are shaken up a little, and notice something that seems new in the kids. It isn't really new, it's just a reaction to something different.
Like the rides at The Shindig. We don't have a Crocodile roller coaster, or anything like it at home, so the risk takers don't have that particular sort of thrill or challenge. Instead, they often are in trouble for climbing on the cars and jumping off of them, or something similarly disturbing.
We have one good climbing tree, and our play structure is fun, but not breathtaking.

Our cautions boys were interested in rides that *looked* exciting, but were more tame. They didn't go around quite as fast, or they didn't launch so high up.  These ones are great with taking small risks, and increasing the odds over time, rather than jumping in with both feet.

As Mom and Dad, Mr. TheZoo and I get to encourage or cautious kiddos to take risks, to go ahead and assess the odds, but don't hang back because of fear.  And, we get to teach the risk takers to stop a moment, and take in their surroundings, and consider consequences before proceeding.
Many days, I feel like a living, walking contradiction. I often have to stop and reassess my approach with the differing personalities of my children.
Mostly, I want them to learn from one another. Not that one is more right or more wrong. Ultimately, I want them to trust one another. When a child needs to tone down his wild side, and a cautions sibling is counseling about the consequences of some heedless action, it is my desire for the thrill seeker to trust his sibling, and make a wise choice based on advice given.
When a child needs to take a little risk, I would hope that some coaxing from an adventurous sibling would win them over. We don't get far without taking risks along the way. Not just physical risks, either. There are risks that simply put us out of our comfort zones psychologically.

Regardless of whether my children are risk takers, or bench warmers, I love them all.
It's a gift to have the blessing of raising this Zoo.


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