Assessing danger


I was with my 11-year-old son who loves parkour and was doing rock climbing at the shore (on a sort-of cliff / rocky outcropping). I became very anxious as I told myself stories about the possibilities of him falling, hitting his head on the rocks, falling into the sea, drowning, etc. Eventually, I started to cry and asked him to stop climbing. He stopped climbing. Even in the midst of it, I could see that it was my thoughts and not his climbing that was causing my distress. That said, I am struggling with how to assess the actual danger associated with what he was doing, his skill level, his sure-footedness, etc. It is important to me to strike the “right” balance between not permitting him to do something obviously dangerous and not being overprotective. He was loving what he was doing, and I want him to be able to experience that kind of joy. I realize that there is no objectively “right” balance. I know that Brooke says there are no wrong decisions — just make a decision where you like your reasons and then have your own back. That said, if I let him do this and the worst case scenario played out and he fell, hit his head, and drowned, I suspect it would take some powerful mind management to have my own back on that decision. I’m not confident that I’m up to that task. This location is near us and this is going to come up again. I notice that I’m thinking I need some outside authority that doesn’t really exist (someone who knows my kid well, can look at this physical location, and tell me whether they think it’s too dangerous) to advise me what to do. And in this moment, it occurred to me: maybe that’s why I’m posting here. I want a coach to tell me what to do. Sheesh! That said, I would be grateful for any feedback.