HEALTHY RISK TAKING = HEALTHY KIDS
August 21, 2018
For most parents, the saying “don’t mess with mama bear” (or papa bear of course), rings true as we try to protect our kids from harm. While it’s good to want to keep our children safe, not allowing them to take healthy risks can actually have a negative impact as they won’t learn how to face challenges or deal with daily life experiences.
It’s natural to be apprehensive about encouraging our kids to take reasonable risks as we worry about the bad things that could happen, but if we want them to become strong, capable individuals, it’s important that we look at the benefits to taking healthy physical, emotional, and social risks.
TEACHES PROBLEM SOLVING
Assessing risk levels allows kids to determine what’s safe – and what’s not – and how to make quick decisions. This independent thinking will help them be strong and capable and find viable solutions to problems.
PROMOTES PHYSICAL HEALTH
Risky play promotes a healthy active lifestyle and fosters motor skills and sensory awareness. Kids who don’t take reasonable risks tend to spend more time engaged in sedentary activities such as video games and watching television.
BOOSTS SELF CONFIDENCE
Kids who never attempt anything can feel less self confident resulting in increased anxiety and phobias. Children who take healthy risks are more likely to feel pride in their abilities and confident that adults trust them to problem solve.
DEVELOPS SOCIAL SKILLS AND CREATIVITY
Activities requiring healthy risk taking often mean interaction with others. In these settings, kids will learn how to develop crucial social skills such as respect, compassion, and team work, as well as finding their own assertiveness as they voice ideas with peers. Taking risks also fosters creative thinking as children think of different ways to accomplish things.
FOSTERS COPING SKILLS
Kids who don’t take risks will never learn how to deal with failure and frustration. It’s important to take reasonable risks in childhood in order to develop coping skills that will ensure confidence in decision making later in life. Healthy risk taking also encourages perseverance and the ability to handle mistakes.
LOWERS THE RISK OF UNHEALTHY RISKY BEHAVIOUR
Often kids who have never been encouraged to engage in healthy risk taking are more tempted to attempt unhealthy risky behaviours. Too much inactive time can also lead to health issues as well as sensory and motor skill delays.
At Kids Inc. we encourage campers to embrace challenges and take healthy physical, emotional, and social risks through a variety of age appropriate programming including:
- nature activities
- arts and crafts
- playground games
- fitness / yoga
- group challenges
- drama / music / puppetry