ClickCease What Happened When Hover Mom Took the Day Off? – Wilder Child
What Happened When Hover Mom Took the Day Off?

What Happened When Hover Mom Took the Day Off?

On a recent trip to visit my husband's family in Colorado, I brought along Angela Hanscom's new book, "Balanced and Barefoot, How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident and Capable Children." Her life-altering words and insights played out in a real, physical way on our family vacation.

One of the days we spent some time by The South Platte River where my husband grew up exploring. My three year old immediately started scaling the side of the bank while her eleven month old sister struggled to reach her.

My husband and I watched The Wild Flower fighting to find her footing.

This is normally when hover mom would have swooped in and given her a little boost. Luckily, I had Angela's words fresh on my brain,

"Playing outdoors is essential for a growing baby. It is through large, full-body movements that children start to develop motor and sensory maps, leading to effective spatial awareness."

Letting babies explore nature

Baby whimpered a little, and we almost caved again! But again Angela helped deescalate and contain hover mom,

"The more babies move, the more they fall, the more sensations they experience, and the more they are able to master new motor skills and further integrate and organize senses. The result is a strong and skilled child."

Instead we took her jacket, shoes and socks off and she went right back at it. At this point we were holding our breath a little while my oldest was repeatedly cheering her baby sister on from the top of the embankment.

After about half an hour, The Wild Flower finally made her way to the top - it was incredible.

Yes, it was a full HALF AN HOUR of climbing, slipping, negotiating, recalibrating, grasping and moving up a hill in the hot sun. I stress this because if you would have asked me ahead of time how long she would have stayed at it, I would have severely underestimated.

Babies in natureAnd that's one of the huge takeaways for me. My daughter needed the opportunity and the perfect amount of time. The thing is, that "perfect amount" comes from a very internal, complex set of conditions. Conditions that couldn't possibly be determined by anyone or anything other than the brain, mind, and heart of the child that is deep at play.

Eventually she came over to me red faced and smiling. She internalized everything she needed to out of that experience, and now she wanted mom.


I'm not sure we would have had this amazing moment if I hadn't been reading "Balanced and Barefoot" at the time. I love this book so much, I want to give a copy away.


The Day I learned how to stop hovering and give my child room to grow. | Wilder ChildYour Woman Gone Wild,

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  • I also am teary-eyed remembering a similar experience with my daughter right at 11 months. Her climbing a pine-needle covered embankment in our local arboretum, figuring out the footing and handholds with me cheering her. It was magical to watch and her pride was beyond measure. And yes, it took time! Now that she’s walking, I marvel at how she’s working out how to run downhill and over slippery peoples. She’ll slip and be right back up without even a glance at me. I have the book on order from the library – can’t wait to read!

  • I would love that copy your giving away!

  • What a wonderful story! It nearly brought me to tears remembering my own son at this age running around in the woods exploring, and climbing just like your little wild flower. I’m so glad I found your blog!

    Saludos from Texas!


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