Taking risks is important for children and teens – this doesn’t mean being reckless or placing themselves in danger, but having a positive attitude to stepping out of your comfort zone is a key life skill – and there are so many advantages.
As a parent you want your child to be safe – and protect them from any kind of hurt or harm. Realistically, I am afraid, this isn´t possible and it´s all too easy to be over protective. Stopping children from trying new things actually means they learn to fear taking risks – and they seek to continually stay in their comfort zone. In this way, children can become very limited in their ability to become resilient or overcome their fears. So, as always, it´s about balance. Even when things go wrong, that in itself is a valuable learning experience – no matter how bad the experience, we can always take a positive lesson from it, if we seek to.
Our comfort zones are exactly that – safe and stable. Nothing will change for the better if we insist on staying in them. Change will happen through external forces – but those who seek to only stay in the comfort zone begin to fear and resent those external forces. Those who proactively seek to change and control things on their own terms, however, are those who ultimately lead a more fulfilling and happy life. Change IS scary sometimes – however, it´s usually nowhere near as scary if we are the ones to “seize the day” and make it happen.
Benefits of taking risks
- Children learn and experience new and exiting things – they discover new things about themselves and what they do (and do not) like to do.
- They meet new people and form new friendships and relationships
- They learn how to handle it when things go wrong and this in turn can help them develop a sense of resilience and responsibility for their own actions.
- They learn to challenge themselves – to continually progress and learn more and more things – they develop a love of learning and a passion to succeed.
- They do not fear challenges – rather they embrace it and seek to continually try new things.
- Taking risks means you have greater confidence and are not afraid of failure.
- You are inspired by, rather than threatened by others, and develop a “give it a go” attitude rather than judging or criticizing others for taking a risk.
- Children who take risks learn from their mistakes, learn new life skills and inspire others.
- Risk taking fosters a love of resilience and perseverance – and children who take risks are more likely to acknowledge and celebrate their success and achievements – this boosting their self-esteem
- It´s the difference between living life and watching it go by – far better to join the party, than sit on the sidelines. Yes – children (and adults) who take risks are happier, have more fun and attract more positivity into their lives.
So go on – take a risk and let me know what you did and how you got on!