As I sit here nursing my pre birthday Jack Daniels and coke I feel the need to say thank you to my ma and pa.
What do you do when you can’t sleep…you head out at 5.30 to catch the sunrise.
And oh what a sunrise it was; the tide was low and the breeze gentle and warm. As I stood on the sand with waves breaking at my feet I was mesmerised by the changing colours of the sky.
Oh and just to creep you out, do you see the face in the clouds?
As parents our instincts are to wrap our children in cotton wool and protect them from harm. Whilst at times this is exactly what we need to do, other times we need reminding that it’s okay to allow our children to push boundaries and be a little dare devilish once in a while.
Whether it’s climbing trees, walking on walls, cycling without stabilisers, playing on a tyre swing, skateboarding, body boarding or hiking at some point all these activities, and more, will seem like a risky endeavour to both you and your child.
It’s easy to focus on the potential negatives of allowing our children to take risks rather than look towards the positives which can come about from risky activities.
Taking risks helps build confidence – when a child masters a new challenge they will undoubtedly feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, a great confidence booster.
Challenges their ability to assess a situation – tackling any risky situation requires some critical thinking, from which tree branch to balance on to whether a wall is too high to walk on, a child will need to figure out which step to take in order to stay safe.
Improves gross motor skills – most risky endeavours children will undertake will be physical to some degree, resulting in a fun way to do exercise whilst improving balance, coordination and strength,
and perhaps most importantly allows them to exercise their imagination.
So, whilst it’s tempting to make a body suit out of bubble wrap for your children before they head outside, remember how much you enjoyed climbing trees, jumping off walls and furniture and generally doing things which would make your parents gasp, hold their breath then release a sigh of relief once you landed on your feet, and let your children enjoy those same freedoms.