Maybe we should let kids climb trees!

Published on Monday, 7 August 2017 22:22
Written by Daniel Blanchard

Parents, do you remember when we were young? Do you remember something we loved to do as young kids? That’s right! We loved to play in the great outdoors, didn’t we? Do you remember something that we loved to do in the great outdoors? It was playing outside and out of the supervision and control of adults, wasn’t it? And isn’t it true that one of the fun and independent things we used to do in the great outdoors and out of sight of our parents was to climb trees?

Truth told, sometimes our parents did see us climbing trees through the kitchen window, but they rarely ever stopped us. Rather, they just readied the Band-Aids just in case we scraped one of our knees. I assume our parents must have been at least a little nervous watching us through the kitchen window, but they seemed to always be able to push their feelings of fear aside. They stayed in the house, and let us learn and grow outside through some well-calculated risk-taking that built resilience. Our climbing of trees sometimes did end up with a Band-Aid on our knees, but it also produced a smile on our faces. We had fun, and we overcame our fears and accomplished something worthwhile, which was climbing higher than we did the day before.

Today our kids rarely go outside, and almost never climb trees. Furthermore, seldom are they ever out of adult supervision and thus rarely are ever forced to problem-solve on their own. Sometimes, I wish one of my kids would ask me to climb a tree, or better yet, not ask, but just do it. Go ahead and climb that tree! Get some exercise in the great outdoors and get off those electronics.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Parents, maybe we should let our kids climb trees again. It could be good for them. And once again, parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Daniel Blanchard is a New Britain schoolteacher who is also an award-winning author and speaker. Learn more about Dan at:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Monday, 7 August 2017 22:22. Updated: Monday, 7 August 2017 22:24.