Safer Isn’t Always Better

Lots of people (schools very much included) think safer is better so they stop their child doing anything that has a clear risk, no matter how small. But if safer was better we wouldn’t take our children in cars. If safer was better, we wouldn’t take holidays. If safer was better, we wouldn’t fall in love. However, we do these things because we feel that the benefit is greater than the risk. 

For children, safer is not always better. By engaging in experiences that have elements of risk we give them the opportunity to develop skills to assess risk rather than rely on someone else, they experience trust and know that on some level they are responsible for keeping themself safe. We need to accept that our children will experience pain and hurt, so at times we need to give them space to try and fail - when the consequences are not significant. Of course, as their guardian we will constantly be assessing risk for them and ready to jump in if the risk becomes too great big but they need a chance, even when young, to know that they are responsible for their own bodies. 

Finding this balance is hard. It is something for you to work out over time but these experiences cannot be underestimated when wanting to develop responsible and independent children. Where can you offer a little more trust to your child as they explore their world?

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