As parents, we do everything we can to keep our kids safe. So we don’t typically want them playing with sharp objects, at great heights, in dangerous areas, or at fast speeds. But research shows that we’re doing them a disservice by not letting them participate in “risky play.” What does that mean? It’s letting them explore unstructured environments with perceived elements of danger, rough and tumble play, and such. And here’s why we should get out of the way and let them go at it.
Risky play helps kids develop social skills, creativity, and resilience- These activities help kids learn how to assess risk levels and what’s safe and what’s not. Risky outdoor play lets them figure out how the world works and teaches the to find creative solutions.
It can also help kids build self-esteem - Telling a child they can’t do something that’s considered risky might make them doubt their own abilities. Letting kids engage in risky play lets them know we trust them and that they’re capable of problem-solving on their own. Talk about a self-esteem boost!
Risky play is safer than we think it is - Research shows that injury incidence rates for risky outdoor play were lower than those for sports and active transportation. So Little League might be more dangerous than some activities we consider risky.
Girls are less likely to be exposed to the benefits of risky play - Parents of boys are more likely to encourage them to do risk-taking activities than parents of girls. So we’re teaching our daughters to be scared and they’re missing out on the social and physical benefits that come from risky play. We can do better than that!
Source: Scary Mommy