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Risky Play

As a parent I have this crazy notion that our kids ought to be allowed to do things that may be considered dangerous. Danger can teach us things that safety cannot, and those things are important for us to know. So I was really excited to watch, and write about, 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do by Gever Tulley. Tulley gave this TED Talk in 2007 at an official TED Conference. It was listening to this talk that made me realize my philosophy definitely had some limits.

Yes, kids are going to find the most dangerous thing possible in any environment they’re in.

But does that mean that I am going to emulate my Inuit counterparts and give my toddler a knife to make snacking easier? No way!

Knives aside, risky play is associated with some really positive outcomes including increased physical activity, social skills, risk management skills, resilience, and self-confidence. I know the “risky” play I engaged in as a kid helped me with all of these things.

What are some things you did as a kid that would be considered risky today? What are the ways you help your own children develop those skills?

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