Think about when you were a kid. How did you play? Were your parents telling you, “Get down from there,” or “Don’t do that”?
While kids love to climb, hang, throw and jump, parents are infatuated with protecting their kids from every danger that they may come across.
Risk doesn’t always have a negative outcome—positives can come from taking risks, too. Kidsafe NSW says when considering the benefits, rewards or outcomes of the activity may include the following:
- Development of self-confidence and well-being
- Engagement with the natural environment and natural elements
- Learning through experience
- Mixing between different age ranges
The key is to distinguish between hazards—something not obvious to the child that often results in injury—and reasonable risks—a challenge to the child where he/she can determine ability.
Norwegian early childhood researcher, Ellen Sandseter, says, “It’s about trusting their own instincts more, peeling away those layers of other people’s expectations and guilt and letting kids be kids.”