Opinion: Celebrity host Allan Wu on teaching his kids to walk

Allan Wu
Contributor
Allan Wu relishes the time when his kids were 'clumsy' walking. (PHOTO: Allan Wu)

SINGAPORE — Let’s face it… life is an adventure. Regardless of age, there’s always something new to explore, experience, and experiment, and it’s ultimately up to each of us as to how comfortable and confident we are in willing to try something new. As an adult or even teenager, we have a good foundation as to how “game” we are to assume the risks and repercussions. However, the same cannot be said for a baby just coming into their own, and essentially everything in the beginning can be classified as an adventure for them. As parents, we are all unique and possess our own respective attitudes and opinions towards how much is “too much” when it comes to pushing the little ones.

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One of the most monumental moments for parents is the time when the child is ready to walk and talk. Unfortunately, this does not happen concurrently so these tiny tots learn to crawl, stumble, waddle, and ultimately become mobile before we can effectively communicate with them. I fondly recall the period when my children were learning how to walk, and I still remember a friend of mine with older children told me there is no rush for these kids to become fully bipedal. In fact, it’s actually beneficial for the child to spend more time crawling so he or she has ample time to develop more upper body strength. I really liked that nugget of advice because it made perfect sense and also took a load off me from feeling I had to get these kids going upright and walking first.

Of course, once the toddler is on the move, that’s when the adventure really begins for everyone. I still recall constantly struggling with how much, how far, and how fast to let them walk around. Every child is different as is every parent, and we adults all have different opinions as to what is too risky for a baby just learning to master how to walk. To somewhat alleviate my own fears, I figured it would be best to baby proof the house. Electrical sockets were covered, table corners were plastered with rubber protectors, and any items that a young adventurous toddler might climb or slip on were carefully stored away. Once the home environment was more or less “baby proofed,” I did feel more confident in allowing my children to roam around.

Allan Wu with his kids. (PHOTO: Allan Wu)

Assist your child’s walking

Stand directly behind your child, place your arms around her upper arms. Lift any one of her arms forward.

Walk barefoot

When your child walks barefoot around the house, he or she has better grip. Once your baby starts wearing shoes, always check if there is skin irritation.

Dangle toys in front of her

Catch her attention/interest by showing toys in front of her, to encourage your kid to come to you.

Baby-proof your home

Once your baby starts to walk, do place safety-gates around areas of your home. Also protect sharp edges on furniture with rubber protectors.

Fun times. (PHOTO: Allan Wu)

But even before my child was able to completely master walking, I did relish taking these cute, clumsy “seemingly drunk” little beings out to the park to continue to explore. Grass, sand, and pretty much any soft surface such as the ones at playgrounds were ideal locales to let them roam. My lower back still feels the soreness like it was yesterday when I recount the period from when my children were just taking their first steps to when they finally mastered walking. I remember hovering and hunching as they were stumbling around trying to find their balance and ready to catch them should they fall down. It was certainly an exciting and stressful time so I decided it would be best for all parties involved to encourage my children to master the ability to walk as quickly as possible. But then I realised you better be careful what you wish for because soon you’ll chasing after these kids testing out their newfound skills and excited to seek out their next adventure!