Protecting your kid is a good thing...

But sometimes you just have to get out of their way

"Be careful!" "Not so high!" "Stop that!" Concerned parents can often be heard urging safety when children are at play. Recent research suggests this may be over-protective and that kids need more opportunities for risky play outdoors.

They're more capable than we think

Risky play is thrilling and exciting play where children test their boundaries and flirt with uncertainty. They climb trees, build forts, roam the neighbourhood with friends or play capture the flag. Research shows such play is associated with increased physical activity, social skills, risk management skills, resilience, and self-confidence. These findings make intuitive sense when you watch children at play.

Importantly, it's not up to parents or experts to decide what is risky play for a particular child.

Rather, 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.

3 Conclusions

  1. Risky play — play that allows kids to test their boundaries — is associated with increased social skills, resilience, and confidence.

  2. Children have the ability to manage risks and figure out their own limits.

  3. Parents should practice giving kids the freedom to explore and choose how they play.

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This article has originally been published in: Business Insider by Mariana Brussoni. To read the full article click here: Business Insider: Protecting your kid is a good thing...

The pictures are from: Getty Images