My 13 month old, who is a new walker but fairly steady on his feet, loves pens and markers. I want to encourage his writing and exploring, but I am worried about him walking around with these objects. I recognize the danger of him falling, and implore him to keep the pens out of his mouth, especially while walking. I feel like taking the objects away while he is walking confuses him, because I permit his use of them often. I see pictures and discussions of very young children in other cultures using things like knives, and I would very much like to be able to allow my son this freedom with his markers, the same freedom he enjoys with his other toys. I try to explain to him the dangers, but I'm not quite sure he fully understands.
By allowing my son to walk around with markers, am I being a bad parent? Even under close supervision, I may be unable to stop the hazardous fall. How can I teach such a young child to be aware and safe with the tools he is holding?