“Risk” isn’t a word we commonly associate with childhood. In fact, risk-averse might be a phrase we use more often. So why does Washington Post contributor Lauren Knight recommend introducing more risk into your child’s day?
First, risky behavior during play helps children learn to regulate emotions like fear and anger, according to professor Peter Gray. Gray has authored a book on the subject called Free to Learn if you’d like to read more.
Second, activities like climbing trees, jumping off high objects, and using real tools help a child understand the capabilities of their growing bodies. In other words, a child who often explores and pushes the limits of their physicality can handle themselves in riskier situations.
Lastly, risky play is fun! One doesn’t fondly reminisce about a childhood spent playing on soft recycled rubber or padded monkey bars. Riding your bicycle at a breakneck pace down a gravel road in high summer is an example of a cherished childhood memory.
Read more of Lauren Knight’s anecdotes and research in the original article here from the Washington Post.
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