Risk taking is important to humans physical and mental development. We naturally seek them and when doing so by own choice we feel free, alive and capable.
I'm always fascinated by how children naturally are capable in seeking (for them) appropriate challenges and communicating their desire and needs. This they are able to communicate as young as only a couple of months. What they need is adults that is willing to and tries to understand them.
Unfortunately there is a tendency to prevent children from trying and from taking risks. There is also a growing blaming culture where parents or caretakers feel or place guilt when children hurt themselves while exploring.
The message from us to our children when doing so is: "I don't believe in your abilities." The other message is "If you fail, I am to blame and I don't want that."
That is not a healthy path - children need to explore to learn and adults need to take responsibility of their own fears.
There is no doubt that children need us adults to keep them as safe as possible. But we need to understand the duality of risks, there are negative and positive risks.
We have to respect children's belief in their abilities, their curiosity and willingness to interact with the environment and learn about life.
Gunnar Breivik, Professor emeritus of social sciences says; "Let children take risks, it's their right as human beings. It effects their learning and wellbeing."
I think this is a refreshing approach and I can see how important it is and how it benefits both children and adults.
What are your thoughts?