Training a risk-taker

I’m not a mom who goes faint hearted when I see my girl climbing or doing stuff that seems a little “dangerous”. I believe learning how to take thoughtful risks is beneficial for my child’s well being, be it emotionally, mentally and socially. Learning to take risks also helps her to learn to think independently.

Thoughtful risk-taking is best learnt within the parent-child relationship, as we are the main conduit to teach our children about themselves and the world around them.

During the first period of a man’s life, the greatest danger is not to take the risk. – Soren Kierkegaard

Dot has a cautious temperment.  She is afraid of attempting new and unfamiliar activities and we will always encourage her to try or do it together with her. With practice and experience, she becomes more confident. Now she learns to attempt new challenges she has never tried before on her own, but of course under watchful eyes. Most of the time we will try not to interfere unless it’s really dangerous. Getting a few scratches and dirt are part and parcel of playing.

Don’t be surprised if you see her monkeying around by hanging herself out on the bar with her feet hanging loose about one metre above the ground for a few seconds. When she’s tired, she will swing her body back to find her footing at the edge of the elevated playground. She will try this several times until she is tired.


Today, she reaches out for a pole and slide down the pole like a fireman. She even climbs up the pole and then slides down.

Hubby and I have been teaching Dot how to swim every week. Finally last week, she could swim with a swimming board on her own, with either her dad or myself beside her.

It took her a while to learn to get the feel of floating with the board. Initially she was fearful when we let go of her or the board. I have to gradually let go of her and assure her many times that I will hold her if she loses balance or falls into the water.

“Dot, you have to trust mommy. I will hold you if you fall into the water. Just listen to my instructions and always hold on to the board.”

When a young child learns to take risk in a “safe” environment, she also learns to trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

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