Growing Independent Children

What does a child need from their grown ups to find the balance between doing a new task herself--which she longs for--with the guidance that could help from an experienced grown up?  How much is enough and when is it too much independence?  How, through mentoring and coaching, do we encourage learning from mistakes while setting them up to be safe and to succeed?   

Rock climbing walls provide a nice metaphor The child climbs with their own strength, coordination and judgement (where to put their hands).  It's hard work and a wonderful feeling when they reach the top.  It feels scary but they cannot hurt themselves--it's a gentle,  free fall, attached to a soft landing with a rope.  And when the child is feeling more confident climbing, she can use the free climbing wall--and fall on the soft ground.

I will put the children in places where they can fall gently and where the satisfaction of reaching the top, exhausted with their own muscles is in reach.   Children then feel the power that comes with stuggle, belief in themselves and new heights reached!