Do you have a tree climber, a roof hanger? A fearless one? Good luck preventing trips to the emergency room.
Risk taking comes naturally to some kids. The risks they will take will only increase during the teen years. What can a parent do?
PARENT ADVICE FOR REDUCING RISK TAKING BEHAVIORS
As the law prevents you from handcuffing your child to a pipe in your basement, your best bet is going for damage control. Here are some tips that have worked for other parents.
Tip one: Hopefully, as your child has been growing up you have been teaching my Number One Live the Good Life Rule – Safety. Teaching seat belt safety, helmet safety, and all other staying alive rules is easiest when taught as the child starts walking. Safety becomes a habit.
Tip two: Control your flashing yellow lights. By that I mean issue as few warnings as possible. If you are an Nervous Nelly or a Jittery Jim, think about buying my book Parents Are People Too or follow my Emotional Fitness Training Blog, and start practicing the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness.
Tip three: Channel energy and risk taking into both competitive and individual sports.
Tip four: Use professional trainers for individual sports and insist the trainers emphasize safety.
Tip five: Risk taking can be addictive as it releases a variety of feel good chemicals. As with all addictions the line between use and abuse is fuzzy, but be alert to an ever increasing need to pursue more and more dangers, an increase in accidents, and increased protest and anger when anyone interfers with their pursuit of risk. If you suspect a growing and dangerous love affair with risk taking, seek professional help.
From the moment we bring a new born home from the hospital, parents worry about keeping their child safe and well; it is a worry that never goes away. The worse tragedy that can befall a parent, is to bury a child. At the same time, worrying does not change the future.
Remember what matters, as the Dali Lama notes: “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
In one way or another the wise have advised the same. Do the best to do all you can to keep a child safe, but do not let worrying about the future destroy the present and the joys it holds.
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This topic is explored more in my Parenting Survival Guide, When Good Kids Take Risks.
DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.