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What kind of risks do you encourage your children to take?

Posted by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 5:09 AM
  • 8 Replies

Brave Girl's Ski Jump Shows Why Kids Should Be Encouraged to Push Themselves

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans on March 20, 2012 

4th grade skieerI've said before that I'll never be a 'Free Range' kind of mom. The world is just filled with too many sickos and perverts to make me let my son go into the men's room alone and things like that. When it comes to encouraging my kids to take worthwhile risks, however, to push their own physical limits and face their fears, I think it's one of the most important things we can do as parents. The fourth grade skier in this video, Zia Terry, is a perfect example of why.

There she is at the top of huge ski jump in Park City Utah. She's clearly terrified, but wants to do it. “I’ll be fine. I’ll do it,” she tells herself. So with a camera strapped to her helmet to record the feat, she musters up her courage, and offers up final, "Here goes something, I guess."

Then she goes.

It's exhilarating just watching her go down the steep slope, but her reaction at the bottom is priceless. She throws her arms up in victory, and can barely contain her excitement. Apparently she'd already mastered a 20-foot jump, but this was her first attempt at the 40-foot version. I love how at the end she says, "Sixty seems like nothing now, woo hoo!"

You can't find a better way to build self esteem as far I'm concerned. Go Zia, I hope to see you in the Olympics someday telling your story of how your bravery that one day led to so many other great things.

What kind of risks do you encourage your children to take?

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 5:09 AM
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by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Oh wow, she is awesome!! I'd be scared to death, doing it, and as a mom! Lol! I've been trying to get better at having Julia challenge and push herself - and not saying "no" when she wants to do something. Trying to let her learn and experience on her own, and it's hard!
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by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM
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 What kind of risks do you encourage your children to take?


by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM

 To make mistakes!

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

HA! Deb, good one!

Now that my kids are older, 11 and 14, my husband and I are pretty aware of what they are capable of. My husband is pretty daring and outgoing. Me, not so much, but I do want my kids to know how to do things that I never would or could do. So, we are not so much "encouragers" as we are persistent enforcers,lol. We provide great opportunities for our boys to be daring and step out of their comfort zone very regularly. We insist they make an attempt before saying they can't. Not trying is not an option most of the time.

Now, I am not talking about things that would put them in  harms way. An example would be my oldest, who is a competitive swimmer. His coach signed him up to do a 500 meter free style swim in a competition. He was terrified and said he did not want to do it. He swims waaaay more than that at practice 5 days a week and I knew he was well prepared. So, we told him he had to do it. After the race he came to us feeling very tired, but with a smile on his face as he said, " That was way easier than I thought it would be!"

Yes, pushing and encouraging them to step out of their's or OUR comfort zone is a good thing and can foster many positive feelings in them that they will use the rest of their life.

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I tend to let my kids try things, and let them fall on their faces and fail then find a way to pick themselves back up.  I was not raised in a bubble and I do not want to raise my kids in one either. We live in a small town so my 5 year old can go to the public restrooms by himself, he can go get something out of the car by himself, and play outside. All of those things might change if we lived somewhere more crowded but I can't even think about that because the fact is we don't. We have a very small town lifestyle, don't lock doors, don't lock cars, kids play outside.

The world today is not any worse than a few decades ago, everything is just more publicized and internet has made everything easily accessable.

by Jinx on Mar. 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I havea lot of free range tendencies. My oldest, now 14, takes himself all over town on his bike.

We also do Boy Scouts so they he done rock climbing, horsebak riding, all types of skating, kayaking, etc.

DS1 is working his way up the ranks in karate and wil lbe doing tournaments as soon as there is one in the area and he just learned about Parkour and wants to start training in gymnastics to try that! YIKES!

Ds2 and DD both train in gymnastics and liked the thought of Parkour (aka free running) as well.

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I wish i had something. I usually have to hold them back on some of the rist they take on their own. My son tells me "I do it my self i do it my self'.  when i try to slow him down because he scares me sometimes. He is only 2 years old. Is that wrong?

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM

 I wish my son would take more risks! He's very introverted. Drives me crazy! I am the same way, but I don't want him to miss out on things. He's also stubborn so I can't really push him into it. A couple of years ago they had pics with Santa and you got to sit on a bull (We live in the country). He wouldn't do it and his younger brothers (dad's side) had already been on them. We drove home and I told him if he didnt get on it so I could have a pic (free pics!!!) then no tv, no nds. He finally got on it and realized it wasn't bad. :D I threaten with taking away iPod, TV, games, etc if I think there is a remote possiblity that he will enjoy whatever it is. A majority of the time it works.


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