Why a Dose Of Danger May Actually Keep Kids Safe
If we raise a generation of children accustomed to overprotection, then we also create a group of rule-followers without any leaders. As parents, we need to build strength of character and strength of muscle at the same time. This means we need to let our kids play without us hovering too nearby.
Personally, I believe that the most important risk to take is the act of taking a risk in the first place, and this is different for everyone. I will never relinquish my safety-guru status, so sorry to any of you 8-year-olds out there who think you can talk me out of making you ride in a booster seat in my car. But I do practice what I preach. After school every day, my kids come home, have their snack, do their homework and then go play without any adult telling them what to do or watching their every move. This minimal mayhem—albeit on a safe cul-de-sac in Los Angeles, where I am privileged to be free of worries about street traffic and violence—usually involves running, sweating, negotiating, bonding, a little bit of fighting and a lot of creating. These are the key ingredients to my kids' development. This will make them healthier in mind and in body, and this is a teeny tiny bit of danger that will keep them safe.