Five benefits of healthy risk taking

Risky play. Healthy Risk taking is a topic that is frequently discussed on social media. It is becoming clear that as a generation we are much more wary about letting our kids take risks than our parents/grandparents were when we were young. As a parent, it can be incredibly daunting to let your child try something new and especially hard if that activity includes risk-taking. The word “risk” may fill you with panic and dread. But did you know that healthy risk-taking plays a big part in our kid’s development both physically and emotionally? This week we want to share with you five benefits of risky play.

INCREASES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

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Risky play is brilliant for increasing your kid’s physical activity. If you give your ten-year-old the choice of going on a gentle stroll down a quiet path or the option to climb a tree in the woods which one do you think she will pick? Allowing kids to get outdoors and take on a new challenge makes getting up and off their screens so much more appealing. Plus, who doesn’t love climbing a tree?

INCREASES MOTOR SKILLS

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Taking healthy risks is a great way to help build on motor skills. Movements such as climbing, swinging, and hanging are all part of risky play, and they help massively with a child’s coordination and balance. Making a rope swing from a tree and then swinging on it is an excellent example of a positive risky play that helps build on motor skills and increases physical activity.

INCREASES SOCIAL SKILLS

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Kids enjoy risky play most when they have a peer group with them. Who remembers spending hours as a child building dens in the woods with your friends? This was a typical weekend activity for us back in the day! Risky play with a peer group allows your child to find their voice, as well as practice care and compassion for their peers. Your child will need to learn to wait their turn and pull their weight to be part of the team. These social skills are frequently forgotten in favour of conversations via text messages and social media.

INCREASES EMOTIONAL CONFIDENCE

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Allowing your kids to take healthy risks can play a massive part in their emotional confidence and their sense of self-worth. Choosing a new risk may seem both thrilling and daunting to a child. Once they have had the opportunity to try this new skill, they will then learn that they are capable of doing something new and this will bring them a sense of pride and achievement. They will start to realise that they are capable of far more than they think.

PROMOTES INDEPENDENCE

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Healthy risk-taking is critical for promoting independence. Independence is something that our kids need to learn from a young age. It is a skill that they will need both as they grow up and when they enter adulthood. Allowing your kids to take part in healthy risk-taking will enable them to make decisions independently. From this, they will learn what works, and what doesn’t work. They won’t always get it right, but they will learn to solve the problem on their own. Walking to school or taking the dog for a walk are great starting points for building on independence. It can give them a great sense of achievement!

We would love to know your thoughts on healthy risk-taking. Do you let your kids take healthy risks? Are you wary of allowing them to take risks? Join the conversation in the comments below, or via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

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