No! Don’t do that! Watch out! (kids hammer above)
Most often, responsible parents can be heard urging safety when their little ones are playing. It is easy to blame them for not allowing their children to explore freely if one is not in their shoes. However, a current study suggests your action may be over-protective, and that it’s important you endorse risky play outdoors for your children.
Generally speaking, risky activities are stimulating and exciting play where children’s intuitive capabilities are pushed to the edge. These arrays of action include climbing trees, building forts, hide & seek, rough & tumble play with other kids, and more. A report shows that such play is associated with increased physical and mental activities, risk management skills, resilience, self-confidence, and social skills. Note that, it is not your duty even as the parent or experts to choose what you considered a risky play for a particular child. Instead, your lovely creatures need to be given the mental and physical space to manually determine the appropriate risk levels for themselves, as longs as it seems exhilarating and not blood-curdling. Nevertheless, it’s not an easy task to keep mute as you observe your kid playing around sharp instruments. It’s not your fault; that’s purely parent’s anxiety. Why don’t we observe this concept?
Parent Anxiety Towards
Parent anxiety towards children’s risky play is their concern that something bad might happen to them. Generally, these can be perceived in three broad ways: child capability, the possibility of sustaining serious injuries, and abduction.
The Child’s Capability
Extensive research purposely designed for parents in the UK shows that most of these parents recognise the importance and benefits of risky play, but can be overburdened by worry over their children’s capability and other unforeseen. These responsible parents also fear being reported to the authorities by onlookers for allowing their child to take risks. All these and other worries make it harder for them to allow such activity. Aside from that category, some parents are worried their children are easily frightened and not taking enough risks. However, they are exploring ways to help their children take more risks in play. Both approaches sound appealing but can increase the risk of injury since those parents intentionally ignore their children’s abilities and tastes. I’m definitely sure you concur with my opinion that children who were constantly enforced to abide by rules and regulations become highly dependent when they grow up.
Most of these parents also fear their babies could easily sustain serious injuries. But realistically, nowhere is safe; injuries can be sustained almost everywhere. However, the possibility of dying from an injury is a tiny ratio. The world record shows that crashes and suicides are the major causes of death, not play. And, as a matter of fact, kids are likely to sustain a serious injury that requires medical attention in organised sports than play. However, the good news is that the Injury Prevention Experts are moving to an approach that seeks to keep children as safe as possible.
Kidnapping or Abduction
Another dilemma most parents fear is the possibility or chances of their children getting kidnapped by strangers. But, a comprehensive report about children abduction reveals that most of them are taken by a family member or an acquaintance, while 15% of this population are kidnapped by strangers. Therefore, the likelihood of your child being on the radar of kidnappers is slim or impossible. Now that we have eradicated your anxiety, carefully observe why risky play is essential for your children.
Why Risky Play Is Important
Active participation in risky activities gives your child the opportunity to access risks and control unforeseen circumstances. What you don’t know is that these youngsters are taking some risk you are not aware of, which in turn leads to new learning experiences. These include running, crawling, walking, climbing trees, and riding a bike. Even though these activities involve some risks, yet, they are essential for the development of your kids, and our concept in question is no exception. Risky play is a good medium to extend your child’s limits and acquire long-term skills. The existence of “trial and error” in risky play enables your child with the motivation to try again and devise a different plan to solve their immediate problems. (Tovey, 2010, pg. 82). Stephenson (2003) suggests it is this motivation to acquire a new skill, and the excitement felt when it is finally mastered that drives children to engage in risky play. In Coster and Gleeve’s (2008) research, they also found out that the feelings associated with risky play such as the enjoyment, excitement, stimulus, and achievement were the reasons your child would like to engage in risky activities. In addition, some skills associated with risky play, such as, hanging, swinging, climbing, rolling, jumping, and crawling are not simply for fun but also important in developing children’s motor skills, coordination, and balance. However, if a child is denied all these arrays of activities; he/she is likely to be retarded, clumsy, increased sedentary behaviour, anxiety, and phobias. School teachers can also contribute to children’s development by creating a play environment where they can engage in activities that fulfil their sensory needs (Greenland, 2006, pages. 189 – 190).
What Your Decision Should Be
If you want your child to meet the standard developmental milestones, it’s essential to expose them to considerable risk play. During these plays, don’t set unnecessary limits or push them too far. Instead, prepare a heads up pertaining to each play, for example, parents of older children can gradually train their kids with some skills needed to navigate traffic safely; suppose their play involves exploring the neighbourhood with friends. Don’t get in their way. Always remember that your role is to allow them the opportunity to explore and play as they choose their path; while supporting them in controlling the uncertainty that lies ahead. If you do this, no doubt your child will develop to a strong, cute, self-reliance, and healthy adult; they will thank you for that someday.