Parenting

Tsk-tsk. Risk.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

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The first time I read that quote I got goosebumps. I thought about when my son was little and the amount of time I spent worrying. Sometimes it was legitimate. Other times, even though I wasn’t particularly over-protective, it was that unnamed, irrational fear that shows up just because….

I don’t really KNOW why it shows up. Maybe because we love our families SO much that we worry for their safety. Or maybe it’s because we worry about our own ability to respond well if something unforeseen was to happen.

How do you teach your kids about risk?

It takes guts to be a parent.

If you’ve ever done something you thought couldn’t be done, then you KNOW the feeling of exhilaration and competence that comes along accomplishment. Guiding our kids through achieving more and more difficult tasks helps them learn that they can. “They can.”

What is it they can do? Well, that’s between you and them. I just think it’s important that people learn that they can.

Here’s one of my favorite posts about that. “Mom, I’m a Waterskier!”

And a site where moms and people who love them go to change the world

Focus on the future helps us take a deep breath and remember that it is important to teach our kids to accurately evaluate risk and take the steps needed to get where they want to go.

Because they can.

3 Comments

  • Moms Opposed to Bullying

    I love that quote and it is so true. I was just speaking with a friend this evening about how hard parenting really is. People tell you before you have a chaild that it is hard but until you become a parent and they begin to venture out into the world, you never really realize it.
    I also think it is very important to allow children to reach for goals and belive they can do everything, because we can all do whatever we decide to do, and they need to have that internal feeling of empowerment and self efficacy. Sometimes we feel we want to help them but in reality we are hindering them by not allowing them to fail, and realize their own potential. Really, they just need to know they can.
    Great post!

  • Deb Coman

    Love this, Andrea. How very true that it is hard as a parent not to want to control the environment to keep our kids safe, until we realize that #1 we can’t control it all and #2 they do need to learn to trust themselves and perhaps #3 is that their confidence grows as they see us let go, even just a tiny little bit.

    Thank you for a wonderful article that got me thinking about my boys today.

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