What I learned climbing with my daughter

I am amazed by the thought and effort she puts into things.

I recently decided to spend more one-on-one time with my daughter. The kids are great together and I love that we do things as a family, but I’ve always found that I get to know people best when I’m alone with them.

Over the past few months, I had heard my neighbor talk about rock climbing with his kids and the fun they had. I was a climber in my youth, many years before having children. My youngest was actually too young to do it and it ended up making it the perfect activity for me to pick up as bonding time with my daughter.

Even from the first ride to the gym it was a pleasure. I could see my 7 year old son happy and content in the back of the car, asking questions about where we were going and what it would be like. She was calm, excited, and a little nervous about the new activity.

One of the first things I learned was that she knows how to listen!

It’s not often enough that I take pride in passing on knowledge to my children and that they actually integrate it. One of the first things I told her was to keep her hips close to the wall and above her feet. I continued to watch her do this for the rest of the day and every time since, uninvited, with complete pride and admiration.

Another example of something I told her that I can see her actively trying to do is to keep her feet high, so she uses her feet as much as possible instead of her arms all the time. It was more of a work in progress.

She didn’t know left from right.

I would call her things to try for a few sessions, like lift her left foot and she would sometimes do it and sometimes not. I then realized that she did not yet know the left from the right. I always assume they learn things like that in class, but not in this case, and we worked on it together. Even his little brother is super eager to learn, so he can figure out what to do when he starts climbing next year when he’s old enough.

I am amazed by the thought and effort she puts into things.

Watching her climb is like watching her mind work. I can literally see some of the thoughts in the hesitations and movements of her body or the frustrated pushing against the wall when she can’t nail a move…yep, that’s definitely my kid.

She has an intense focus when we learn something new.

We did a belay course together and she was all ears the whole time. I was very impressed and she learned to bond and my boyfriend checked me in within an hour. We still practice each time and she still makes mistakes sometimes, but there is great progress in the right direction and she is catching up more often than I have identified a mistake.

The head to head and climbing was a great experience for both of us.

And one last thing I learned, she doesn’t care to watch me climb. After I completed a particularly difficult move, I looked down to see my daughter’s adoring face staring in amazement at what I had done and she was staring at her toe rather than looking at my beautiful move (it was! ). Well, I will continue to watch her and all of her amazing moves, all the time.

I can’t wait to bring the rest of the family to our fun, but I suspect there will still be someone for me and my eldest to go climb on our own and have our own little adventures where we all are both learn, grow and get to know each other better.

Cat back:

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