Why Parents Should Encourage Risk Taking
By: Dr. Andrea Seldomridge
I usually associate risk taking with bungee jumping or skydiving. Those are both “risks” I doubt I will ever take, no matter how many times my friends say “it’s so worth it”. While I am not a fan of heights, I do think I have taken risks in other ways. I think about the times when I have moved to a new city by myself. There were risks that I would not make friends and risks that I would regret having moved. However, I was willing to take those jumps because I knew I could find a way to handle it. As an adult, it feels easier to tell myself to take a risk. I can gauge if the risk is too big or if it might be just big enough by the amount of risks I have taken in life so far. Children can benefit from taking risks too. There are definitely times that a risk is too big (like the time I tried to jump into the pool without my floaties “like the big kids”). However, appropriate risk taking can actually be really helpful in their development. Below I have shared some of the benefits of allowing kids to take risks.
While your child might not be begging to go bungee jumping, I would encourage you to consider what appropriate risks they could take that can help them continue to increase their self-confidence. By doing so, it can help increase their sense of agency as they move towards adulthood.
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