Smlwoman\’s Weblog

“Waiting for that golden moment when fear and desire die, and only the unspeakable reality of love remains. “

Is a Fear of Heights Inherited, or Learned? February 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — smlwoman @ 7:53 pm

I know it’s been a while, but I wanted something fun to write about. And I think I have it.

I signed my nephew up for ski lessons starting the end of February. He will get five lessons. After signing the form I started getting nervous. Very nervous about the ski lift! Also about how many kids there are and hoping that he won’t get lost.

As a preschool teacher and Nanny, I am surprised at how much anxiety comes with dropping off my nephew into someone elses care. I know the drill, and I know kids do fine once the parents leave. And I think Seany will do fine no matter what because I think he really is ready for preschool. We just can’t afford it.

I am the first to tell you that if your child cries when you drop them off at school, the best thing is to say goodbye once, give one kiss, one hug and go out the door, not looking back. Your child will calm down within a few minutes. I guarentee it. However, now the table is turned, and it is me dropping off and oh my goodness is it hard to let someone else care for your child!

As for the chair lift,
My family has a history with a fear of heights. My mom is really bad, my brother is almost as bad, and mine is minimal. Now I would have said mine is nonexistant, but that was before this past Saturday. We have no idea if this fear has been passed on to my nephew. Can it be passed on to my nephew or is it something he would learn from us? I was very curious. So I wrote on his ski card that he may have a fear of heights and even though we have not mentioned it to him, we want someone who is willing and able to deal with this fear if it occurs on the way up the mountain.

I took my nephew to Scheels Saturday after a party. My first time there. We were looking for goggles. We found them. But we also found the farris wheel! Seany asked if we could go on it, and being the cool aunt, I said, “Absolutely!”

We climb on, buckle up, and begin the climb up. We were the second couple on. That meant we had to stop every other seat to load more people on. This is a big farris wheel. I am curious how Seany will do. I say nothing. I point out the sights. He does great! I on the other hand am getting more and more nervouse as we load up.

It is the last three stops that does me in. Almost to the top, on top, and one past the top. I am white knuckling the bar in front of us, and the seat back behind us. I am barely moving. My heart is racing. I dont’ want Seany to notice. Seany rocks the seat a tiny bit. Calmly, “don’t rock the seat Sean, it’s not safe.”
And I catch the big print on the back of the chair in front of us. “DANGER! DON’T ROCK THE CHAIRS!” So I just point out the sign that says we can’t do it. He accepted that as truth and that was the end. Praise God.

Once we started going on a smooth rotation around and around, I was fine. my fingers relaxed, and circulation was allowed to flow through them once again. It is a nice ride. Sean loves it. He says his mommy doesn’t like it up here. I say some folks don’t like it, how about you? He says he loves seeing the whole world from up there. I agree. I just don’t want to stop and smell the roses along the way. I must keep moving.

The ride comes to an end and I have two stops before I can unclench my fingers again. halfway down, I was fine again and could relax. So now I know he is fine with heights. It is just me that still has a hard time with being high and going slow.

Give me a rollercoaster any day!! I love the speed, and don’t mind the drops. Although they are the scariest part for me. But I love, love, love coasters. I hope my nephew will like them too. He screams as he goes down a slide with his arms high in the air, so I think he is already training for them. And I hope he really loves skiing. I will let you all know and post pictures from the first day!

Pray he is safe the whole time, and we have great fair weather for skiing. No snowstorms on Fridays please. At least for five weeks!

As for the question posed in the title, I still am not sure. I have always believed it was something learned. Something that was passed on by the parents obvious fears. Children can sense when you are afraid, and since you are the adult and the protecter, if you are afraid, then it must be really scary. When Seany was really not much more then 6 months there were times that I thought for sure he displayed a fear of heights. Espcially on the swings. As a toddler when he first went on the swings, he did not want to go high. He was not secure. Now, he is four and he flies on the swings. He pushes it as high as he can get it to go. So if he was afraid, he has since outgrown it.


One Response to “Is a Fear of Heights Inherited, or Learned?”

  1. Glen Says:

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