Playgrounds offer a fun space where children can stretch their own personal fears and overcoming fears is a part of kindergarten readiness and a life-skill. Some children are pretty much dare devils and it’s the parents and caregivers who are scared, but most children will have their own ideas about what is scary and what is okay.
Fears are unique to each child. In a group of children, some might be afraid to go down the pole but not to climb the rope ladder. Others may be the opposite, quite eager to zoom down the pole but do not like the rope ladder. Some children will go up and down the slide, but not up and down on the riding equipment. And with kids, something that is fine one day may be too scary the next.
It is quite a balancing act for adults to encourage children without being pushy and putting pressure on them. Children will usually want to do something more than they are currently doing, especially when they see other kids. Often, kids will ask for help, until they feel confident that they can do it on their own, such as catching them at the bottom of the slide, or standing close when they climb up the monkey bars.
Of course, safety is always a concern and requires that parents and caregivers are watchful but to support your child in trying to grow beyond fears and doubts, a visit to a playground may be helpful. Is your child working through some fear issues on the playground?