Monday, February 14, 2011

Risk Taking

Here’s a picture of my granddaughter, Allie, at age 10 months sledding down a very slight grade in Atlanta during the heavy snow that covered most of the country.  Is this safe or not?  We want our children to experience life, have fun, but to what degree?  What is safe and what is not?

You may have a different idea from me. 

My belief is that we as parents (and grandparents, to some degree) teach our children about risk taking from an early age.  I think this little sledding experience is a great way to teach our children to take risks in a safe environment.  Mom was in front of Allie and Dad was right behind her.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  She could fall off.  Babies fall every day.  They take risks walking; opening the cabinets in the kitchen; climbing the stairs. 

We as parents and grandparents must allow them to take risks to learn about their environment, their limitations, and their strengths.  We can only try to teach them which risks are acceptable.  My daughter was a risk taker (sky diving was an example).  I was a risk taker ( I don’t want to tell you everything I did).  And, it looks like Allie is going to be a risk taker.  I am a firm believer in living life and enjoying it; we just need to make sure that we teach our children which risks to take. 

What is your take on risk taking?

Mary Lou Wilson, RN, BSN, is director of Women's Services at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford.

1 comment:

  1. LOL! My daughter is the risk taker in our family. At just under two years old, she had figured out how to climb up and down a bunk bed without a ladder. We asked her to show us how she did it, gave her tips on how to make her process safer, and let her go at it. Taking risks and succeeding are important to gaining confidence.

    Love this picture!

    Reace Smith