"Many of the parents I’ve spoken to through my research recognize the importance of risky play, but can be overwhelmed by worry about the possibility of serious injury or abduction," writes Mariana Brussoni of the University of British Columbia, in an online article. "They also worry that someone is going to report them to the authorities for letting their child take risks. These worries make it hard for them to let go and can result in over-protection.
More recently, I’ve noticed an opposite trend: parents who are worried their child is too timid and not taking enough risks. They want to know how they can help their child take more risks in play.
This concerns me as much as over-protection. Both approaches can increase the risk of injury and harm since they ignore children’s capabilities and preferences. How will children learn about themselves and how the world works if an adult is constantly telling them what to do and how to do it?"
The author believes the best approach is to respect that "children need to be given the mental and physical space to figure out appropriate risk levels for themselves: far enough that it feels exhilarating, but not so far that it becomes too scary."
Source: “Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play,” by Mariana Brussoni, Innerself.com, August 1, 2017
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