Preschooler scared to climb #125418 - Ask Extension


Preschooler scared to climb #125418

Asked May 05, 2013, 6:57 PM EDT

What steps would you take to encourage a preschooler who is scared to climb certain playground apparatuses?  Is there a guideline as to how high they should be climbing and at what age?

Shelby County Tennessee

Expert Response

I'd recommend being patient with the child and letting him/her be the guide of how high to climb. You can encourage the child to try something he/she has not done yet with simple statements such as, "Are you ready to reach for the next bar? It's just a little above your hand." What you should not do is help the child climb higher than he/she is willing to do independently, or pressure the child to do something that he/she is not ready to do. This tends to encourage children to take risks that they are not developmentally ready to handle or makes them feel embarrassed or discouraged at what they cannot do. Focus on what they do well, and gently encourage them to take the next step when they are ready.

I hope this helps. With time and patience, and gentle encouragement from you, he/she will be willing to continue trying new things.
Diane Bales Replied May 30, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT

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