Spider Man Golf
On a recent family vacation Boss, Aunt & Uncle played a few rounds of the Spider Man game according to the rules, but then created their own rules -- even a new game: Spider Man Golf similar to Frisbee Golf! It looked like a lot of fun, but also included a bit of chaos as the little toy pieces were flying across the room. While I was watching them - laughing and goading each other to greater launches - I thought of how children are always creating new ways to test out their own physical limits, as well as the limits of their social interactions.
Sometimes testing things out is not so bad. Trying a new food, skipping rather than walking for your exercise or listening to different music -- these are all worthy, low-risk endeavors. Even testing Little Guy's Spider Man game to see how far grown-ups can launch the little Spidey piece is a worthwhile leisure activity. Especially when it's part of a vacation-theme to see how many different ways you can play a game -- have you ever played Go Fish with a SET pack of cards?
And sometimes testing things out includes a greater level of risk-taking. Climbing a tree is a good example of testing limits -- which is worthwhile -- but still comes with a risk of falling.
An inherent part of childhood is testing limits which is a natural and healthy part of developing confidence and independence, as well as resilience. And children are quite adept at testing physical and social limits in unique, unexpected risky ways.
Preparing for the Inevitable
How do parents prepare for the unexpected risks their children will inevitably make? I'm not sure we can prepare for everything, but there are simple ways to purposefully, consciously teach your child about risk-taking. Here are three tried-and-true practices for your parenting toolkit:
It's the risk of falling makes climbing the tree worthwhile,