Some Risks are Good for Kids!

Posted by Jo Ann Schlicker on July 21, 2015

Before the 1960s, children were allowed much more freedom to go places and to do things than they are now in today’s protective parenting atmosphere.

I remember riding a bike eleven miles to another town to buy, sell and trade books. We climbed trees, coasted down a long hill in a little red wagon and jumped from a railroad trestle into a dry creek bed. No one cared. Kids were supposed to be outside and do kid things.

Now things are reversed. Children have been taken away from parents for playing in their own yards, walking to a playground by themselves or riding their bikes. Six children in one family were taken away because they were camping.

Mariana Brussoni, is a developmental psychologist and injury prevention researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She said "Engaging in risky play increased physical activity, it decreased sedentary behavior, and it promoted social health and behavior."   She stated that there is no increase in injuries from normal childhood play. (Live Science)

Today’s trend is to overprotect kids. According to Tim Gill, a childhood researcher, kids are physically less active and that causes higher obesity rates. Kids do not face life’s problems as easily as before.

The university study concluded that climbing trees, roughhousing and other risky behavior may actually be good for kids. Risky behavior can include the use of power or motor tools, wrestling, or play-fighting. It can involve using fire such as cooking or a campfire and a risk of getting lost, such as walking through the woods.

Michael Ungar, a psychology professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, cautions that does not allow for unrestrained activities and carefree parenting. You can no longer shoo them out the door to return when the streetlights come on. There needs to be a middle ground where kids are allowed freedom in proportion to their age and maturity levels.

Micromanaged kids become fearful of real and imagined dangers that are magnified by the mania to watch them every second.

Parents are understandably concerned about the welfare of their kids. The headlines scare them into complying with the rigid standards of today where a kid has to be watched every minute and not allowed to do anything alone. That can have a harmful effect on their physical, mental and social developments.

There is a growing trend to reject this type of obsessive protection of kids. They have to learn to cope in a complicated and scary world. We can only hope the government will relent so that kids can be kids again. We need an era of common sense in America and other countries also.