When should you start allowing your child to take risks?

One of the major responsibilities you have as a father is to help your child learn to make choices. Whether it is what trousers to wear today, or when to cross the road, or how much effort he makes with his school work. Life is full of choices, and some of those involve risks. The question is when and if you voluntarily allow your child to take some risks.

Every day you take calculated risks, whether it is driving a car, or coming down the stairs with your hands full, all of which your children are witness to. They then will at some point, take their own decisions in risky situations. By encouraging your child to take responsibility for her actions and her life, it will help her to understand the potential dangers that it can hold. So when and how can you start doing this?

You could start when they are 5 or 6 years old, when you go swimming together. So long as she knows how to swim, you could let her swim a few feet away from you, without armbands. Your child will love the independence it gives her from you and start to understand that she is in control of what happens to her. You can do this even if she is a little unsure of herself. It will make her appreciate the risk she is taking. If you go for a walk, and pass a tree, maybe you can let your child climb it a little, with you underneath of course.

If you encourage your child to try lots of things, through his choices and experience he will learn that some things are more dangerous than others. Let your child take calculated risks, but always make sure he understands the dangers and consequences.