Raising risk-taking children is important. Whether they fail or not, it will surely help them grow and learn positive risk taking skills. As parents, it’s important to be comfortable enough to allow your children to take risks. Take a peek at 10 risk-taking activities that you can encourage your child to do this year.
1. Build a fire. Yes, building a fire should be supervised, but it comes with great rewards, including teamwork, socialization and melty s’mores.
2. Play with knives. Whether your child carries a pocketknife camping or helps cut veggies in the kitchen, he’ll get a jump start on learning positive risk taking skills.
3. Take something apart. Give her some tools and let her explore the insides of an appliance or battery-operated toy. The risk? She might not be able to put it back together.
4. Make a new friend. Encourage your son to reach out to someone outside his own race, religion or clique. He risks rejection, but the result could be a new best friend.
5. Use the stove. Designate one night a week for your child to make a meal for the family, gas burner and all. If you show him how it’s done, he won’t hurt himself – even if he does burn dinner.
6. Climb a tree. Book a date for your family at The Adventure Park at West Bloomfield. Children of any age can face fear and overcome it in this aerial forest with high ropes and a zip-line course.
7. Cross the street. Fears of kidnappers and crazy drivers can make some parents wary of letting their children go anywhere by themselves. But it’s up to you to teach them how to venture into the world with confidence and common sense.
8. Stay home alone. Start with “bedroom dates” (alone time with your spouse – even just watching a movie together) to give your child space, then continue to test her ability until she’s ready not only to take care of herself but hopefully baby-sit someone else.
9. Raise a hand. Speaking up in class or expressing beliefs that may differ from another’s can be intimidating, but it will teach your child how to participate in discussions and stand up for what she feels is right.
10. Volunteer. Participating in a fundraiser or working in a soup kitchen can push kids way out of their comfort zone, yet instill a compassion they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2017.
Art by Meredith Moike.