Experience = Knowledge

A good analysis of the child approach to climbing from our team manager Paolo Cattaneo.

Directly from birth, every child is accompanied to live a daily exploration of a new world.

In every new experience they discover limits, boundaries and differences, as well as starting to face their fears and their first difficulties.

A small child explores the world around them that they hardly know and is conscious of the dangers.

Adults often intervene and put a stop to the game to avoid the child from getting hurt and taking serious risks.

The problem is exactly that, the adult intervening removes the natural space in which the child can try to explore, experience and learn about everything that is new that surrounds them.

What is certain is that giving the child too much freedom to the latter could result in them being exposed to objective dangers with much more serious consequences.

Therefore, with so many restrictions, the adult is sort of holding them back that then limits the experiences of the child and often inhibits the child’s instinct to explore and therefore this leaves room for the fear of something that in reality they have never experienced.

Let’s just think about how many children and young people say they are afraid of heights. Many of them have never experienced the emotions they feel in those situations (such as to climb a ladder, go climbing at the park, walking on an exposed path, etc.), so therefore they feel a sense of fear without ever having even done it in reality.

This is a good example for us to understand that growing up with overprotected and limited new experiences, will lead to children, teenagers and adults always finding themselves in difficulty every time that they come up against a new experience.

It can be said that the real “hard work” for parents is allowing for just the right amount of limitations, leaving a good amount of space for the child to discover the world in the most spontaneous and natural way.

It is also necessary to offer children a variety of opportunities, materials and experiences that while provoking their curiosity can stimulate their concentration and the ability to express their own personality.

In fact, the starting point is the curiosity. Driven by curiosity the child observes, analyzes reality, takes it apart and tries to understand the rules … and then they put it back in order with their own eyes and their intelligence, and only in this way can they become an active and creative being.

Direct contact with nature helps children to develop a good awareness of the value of the natural environment, but it is also capable of provoking intense cognitive and affective activity in the child, because the sensory relationship with the environment represents the living source of the life of the mind.

You can try to educate as they grow finding a good balance, or rather by giving full attention to the real dangers (exposed falls, steep slopes, etc.) and placing more trust in many of those situations where the dangers are contained and limited.

In doing so the children will experience the opportunity to make mistakes and from it, they will definitely learn something.

Thanks to some simple precautions, even a very young child can deal with and experience their first steps into the woods, their first climb on the rocks and their first time they traverse a small stream, sometimes falling down and getting their hands dirty and other times finding their balance and their own solutions.

For children these are just some of the many ways to experiment everyday on little adventures full of experiences, those experiences that will make their lives always more lively and interesting.

Paolo Cattaneo

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