Mark G and his son Ethan met Maxfield and I at a playground. Max, who was only two and half at the time, wanted to climb up these weird metal spiral steps or something. I kept pulling Max off the steps and directing him to a more safer area of play. Max, who inherited his stubbornness from not his father's side of the family, kept coming back to the spiral metal steps. Max was insistent that he climb the steps.
Mark, sensing my frustration said to me "Bill, you would be better off teaching him how to climb that safely and teach him how to get back down, than trying to stop him from doing it all. He eventually is going to find a way to climb it. You may as well teach him to be safe. "
It took me a couple of minutes to take in what he said. I then taught Max how to climb the spiral ladder step thing. I felt better.
The other day I took Max and Wyatt to the theater to do a set strike. My friend Josh had his little boy there and three boys played well together. At one point my kids were jumping from the stage, climbing back up and then jumping again. Josh's kid wanted to do the same thing, but since he is slightly younger than my boys and Josh is more of an attentive father, Josh stopped him from jumping. His son insisted he would jump and I watched struggle.
I don't like to give parenting advice, but I felt Mark G's advice to me would serve Josh well. I told him that his son is going to find a way to do it and that it would be better if Josh taught him how to jump in a safe way.
Josh took in what I said.
I tried to make it more clear for him. "Think of it like the condom theory. They are going to do it. They are going to find a way to do it. We just need to make sure they do it safely."