I remember saying to another parent at the playground when I first landed in my expat posting in Asia that we have tried to teach our child how to fall. To me it was just another milestone, learning how to fall safely then get back up again.
The look on her face said it all, not sure if she thought I was joking or just plan cruel. So I went on to explain that children need to learn how to break a fall so they don’t get seriously injured in sport or general play, let them just pick them selves up.
If a baby falls they haven’t learnt to stop their head from hitting the ground first which usually results in a bruise and a small tantrum as they get older teaching a child to fall safely is what each parents needs to do.
When you are at the park, beach, playground you see many children fall on the soft sand or soft rubber floor the question is ‘How many pick themselves up and keep going without a big fuss?’.
As parents we want to make sure nothing happens to our children however there is a chance they will fall, maybe even make a few mistakes in their life.
If you are interested in teaching your child to fall safely. Lets look at the basic steps how you teach a child fall, well its simple in a controlled environment (not dangerous). As a parent you know when your child is really hurt, just had a freight or even gaining attention.
However during sport or even just playing with friends it is inevitable they will fall.
It may seem counter-intuitive to teach your child how to fall when the point of most sports it to remain upright. But falls do happen, especially when trying to learn a new sport, so your kids should be prepared for them. Help your child practice falling techniques that may reduce the chances of serious injury. Here are some tips:
- Crouch down if you feel yourself losing your balance, so you won’t have as far to fall.
- Avoid the reflex to catch yourself with your hands when you fall. Instead, try to land on the fleshy parts of the body and roll.
- Relax your body rather than stiffening up.
Allow them to fall on the soft sand, try not to make a fuss just ask if there ok and ready to continue with an activity.
If you have any tips please let me know, remember as a parent you need to evaluate whether it is a safe learning environment to learn. Take care of your little ones when playing however teach them to look after themselves as this is a lifelong skill!