I am a bit of a risk taker – in both my business and personal life. I like to throw caution to the wind when it comes to new situations, not knowing what is going to come back to me. Being safe – (knowing what is what) is not for me ALL the time.
Some children are like me and are happy to delve into the unknown and others like to be safe and be within their comfort zone 100% of the time (well as near to 100% as they can get!). I believe that life is about taking risks and I do not know one person who has not had to undertake a leap of faith at some point.
Children need to take risks. Not necessarily every day but from time to time.
The consequences of playing it safe
- Children will never make new friends (or any friends) at all
- They will never try anything new for fear of failure
- They will never learn about other people or anything about themselves (such as, what they are good at, not so good at etc.)
- They will never move forward with developing themselves. Good risk taking breeds confidence, competence and the ability to get on in life.
What can we do as a parent to help our child take risks?
- We can hold their hand going into new situations if it is possibly
- We can encourage
- We can share the benefits of the risk – what may it bring, what will they learn?
- Make them feel safe and secure whilst risk taking so they know we are there for them
- Get them to take small risks so they feel slightly uncomfortable and see that they can do it before making bigger ones
- We can practice good risk taking with our children at home. Perhaps they don’t want to take the risk of speaking out loud in class so you could role play it with them.
- We can assess the outcome of the risk with them. Even if they did not achieve what they wanted they are still learning important life lessons.
How do you get your children to take risks?