When you become a parent, it is an experience like no other. You love this child that you have just met like no other, and you want to do anything in your power to keep them safe and protect them from harm and discomfort. It is completely normal to feel that way, as it is your basic instincts kicking in. The only thing is that if children don’t experience any challenges, then how can they learn to overcome them and deal with them themselves? Some controlled risks can be good for our children, as they can set them up for later in life where there are daily challenges.
If you want to raise strong and capable children, then taking risks is what is needed. It is time to start asking yourself ‘what is the worst that could happen’ or even better ‘what will be the benefits.’ The important note is that they should be circumstances with reasonable risk. You don’t want to get them to cross the road all alone when they’re not ready, for example. That is not a reasonable risk. But getting them to try something new, like looking at the reviews on Kids Ride Wild to try dirt biking, climbing trees and jumping from a height, or for a clingy child to go and try out at a new sports club, for instance. These all provide an opportunity for our children to take reasonable risks.
Still not convinced? Here are some of the ways that reasonable risk-taking can actually be a benefit to our children.
Independent Thinking and Self-Reflection
When there is a risky decision to make, or at least a perceived risk decision, like jumping off a log, there is a decision-making process that happens. It can be rather quick, but it still happens. After the thought process and the action, it can be a time for them to assess what happened; did it go as planned? When they assess how things went, it can lead to things being done better. Using the jumping example, it could be that it would be better to bend knees more when landing next time, for example. This will go on and on in life.
When our children have had experiences that have been able to help them develop confidence, then it is going to stand them in such good stead for the rest of their life. After all, being confident isn’t about being the loudest or most talkative in the room. It is about being happy within themselves and confident in their ability to do things. They need to have been put in situations to practice this, otherwise, they will never know.
If our children are taking part in regular and reasonable risk-taking, then they are less likely to take part in real risky behavior later down the line. They will have the thinking and reflection experience to know that some things just aren’t worth doing. So helping them to lead an active life, including taking risks, can be a massive benefit.
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