It was El’s friend’s 4th birthday party. It was held at Amazonia, an indoor playground at Great World City. He was a little uncertain about going up, so I went along with him. There was a giant slide, about two to three storeys high, and we climbed up together. When he reached the top, he froze, and did not want to go down the slide. He refused to play. When he saw his classmates, he called out to them softly and told them that it was dangerous. However, they ignored him and simply went down the slide.
I tried to get him to climb the other places, but certain areas were just nettings, and he must have been paralysed by his fear of heights, and he simply did not want to play. He spent most of his time in the ball pit area, and playing with his brother at the area for 3 years and below.
I tried to go down the slide with him. It was actually quite dangerous to go down the slide together, as I had read before that more accidents happen when an adult went down the slide together with the child. However, he had to be persuaded a few times before he did that.
Two months later, I brought him to the same place. This time round, he refused to explore the place, and he spent most of his time at the young children area. For more than 1.5 hours, he did not play at other places. Finally, we accompanied him again on the slide. This time round, I asked him to go down first, while I held back. He managed to slide down a little. I quickly went to the slide beside him, and slid down, waving at him. When he realised that he had actually slid down on his own, it was as if he was being released from a cage. He continued down on his own. It helped that we were wearing jeans, so the friction slowed us down, and it was not that scary. When we reviewed a video of them going down the slide, I noticed that El engaged in dangerous behaviour by switching lanes midway.
Subsequently, he kept going down the slide. Even Gar wanted to go on the big slide, and his father accompanied Gar. From totally unwilling to can’t wait to have more fun, it was time to go. He had to be persuaded to leave.
We really need to expose our children more, and get them to take chances more often instead of being scared of everything.