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 Article published in Avery Magazine online, 14 March 2016

http://www.averymagazine.com.au/a-guide-to-choosing-a-school/



Taking risks and exposing children to certain risky activities is essential to childhood

by Rohan Feegrade on 11 May 2016


Recent studies and a parliamentary report recently released in the UK have given rise to some important considerations regarding how we as parents and a society should expose children to risks. The report centerson a fit and healthy childhood, and acknowledges that diligent parents everywhere are wondering how much risk they should introduce into their children's lives. The report stated that: "Risky play, involving perhaps rough and tumble, height, speed, playing near potentially dangerous elements such as water, cliffs and exploring alone with the possibility of getting lost, gives children a feeling of thrill and excitement." While this may all sound extreme, there is great merit to be had in exposing children to such risks, but with control mechanisms in place.

Risk is such an important component of a balanced and wholesome childhood. Exposing children to risks, particularly physical, can allow them to experience fear, and learn the strengths and limitations of their own body.

The parliamentary report focuses on society's risk-averse attitude to young people's lives affects everything from school-based activities to the design of play areas, where eliminating any potential danger or cause for future litigation is the highest priority. Children can only learn to assess risk once they have been exposed to it and have had the opportunity to learn what can or will happen, if they engage in a particular activity.

Parents, schools and society in general need to work together to give our children real childhoods where scrapes and grazes, falls and panic are normal. Once we are confident our children's risk awareness and good decision-making skills are working, we can allow them to explore further and hopefully learn more about our world and themselves.



 

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