Loading... Please wait...

Our Newsletter


When Your Child is Braver than You Are! Role Reversal with a 9 Year Old

Posted by

I used to love swinging from ropes and taking part in abseiling at school. Nothing phased me at all, in fact the higher the better. I never understood why some people worried about the danger when there was always a safety harness to ensure lives remained intact.

So when my daughter asked if we could start treetop surfing together, I agreed. I was keen to show her how fearless I was and how adept I was at swinging through trees. We'd been looking for an activity for just the two of us for a while and this seemed to be ideal.

On our first day we were kitted out with our equipment and given instructions on how to connect. We were asked if we'd like to try the beginner's course first but my daughter insisted it was for babies while I shrugged wondering just how high we could actually go.

I wasn't nervous at all, in fact, I was really looking forward to it. I laughed when my husband said he wouldn't do it for being afraid of heights.

Then we got to the top and were given a tiny branch to wobble on. The security of the ropes never entered my mind, and all of a sudden I just wanted to get down. My daughter, at 8 years old, meanwhile, was loving it, waving to our family safely on the ground, she couldn't wait to swing like a monkey!

I realised that I had a lot more to lose if I came to a sticky end than I did twenty years ago. Even breaking an arm would compromise our finances at home. I'd also seen and heard plenty of horror stories in that twenty years and I knew exactly what could go wrong.

With every shaking step I envisaged ropes snapping as our sport turned into a scene from 'Final Destination 26'.This wasn't all that bothered me though, here was my daughter without a care in the world and without a thought for her safety swinging from post to post. If I was on the ground I'd be worried but here I felt as if I wanted to bundle her up and take her home.

We made it round the course, with my daughter becoming an absolute natural. She actually led me as I followed behind. I tried to hide my nerves but I couldn't hide my embarrassment when I fell off a treetop skateboard and was left dangling in the air for quite a while.

Dalby Forest, located on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park, is close to our home so my daughter and I have an extreme adventure on our doorstep. We join the Go Ape team once a month now. Although I'm still very nervous every single time we go, I've yet to reveal my fear to my daughter as she really, really loves it.