Parenting is a risky business—being in charge of another little human is no joke.
Finding ways to allow your kids to take a few risks, however, is an infinitely more daunting challenge. And yet, it might just be one of the best ways to spark your child’s development.
Last winter, we took our boys sledding in a nearby national park. The setting was lovely and there was an area specially designed for sledding. However, it is still a national park so there were a few trees nearby (mostly off to the side of the sledding area).
My 4-year-old son is at the age where he wants to do everything himself, especially any activities his 8-year-old brother does. He’s pretty coordinated so after he begged and demanded we decided to let him try sledding by himself on the sled that has handles for steering and slowing down.
We explained how the handles worked and he was excited to try this new, exciting endeavor on his own. We, of course, explained to steer away from the trees.
His first time out, he slid off the course slightly and between two trees (a gap of only about 3 feet!) and landed in a ditch. Not bad, but it made my heart race a bit. We reiterated our instructions about steering away from the trees and let him try one more time.
This time, he ran right into a tree! Luckily, he was not injured but the sled was cracked. I, on the other hand, had a series of small heart-attacks as I watched this unfold.
We rushed over to make sure our son was not hurt and the first thing he said was, “I want to do it again!”