5 Dangerous Things Children Should Do – Let Go of Your Overprotective Mom Habits

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I recently read some exerts from the book “50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do” by Gever Tulley. As I recognized most of my childhood experiences in there, I also realized that I have become such an overprotective mom. I know times have changed and the world is more dangerous nowadays, but maybe I should let my son experience some of those thrill seeking adventures that I lived when I was young. Those are the most fun and exciting memories of my childhood and I am basically depriving my son from them. All because I’m terrified he might get hurt. Well, I’m not sure about 50, but for sure I can share at least 5 dangerous things children should do.

5 DANGEROUS THINGS CHILDREN SHOULD DO

I remember riding my bike in the street with no supervision, no helmet, no pads. I also used to play in the mud, climb trees and fences, play in the woods, explore construction sites and walking to school by myself. It was so much fun!
I do believe these experiences helped me become more aware of danger and learn how to deal with it. I understood what my body was able to do and its limits. Plus, I developed great self help skills. Honestly, I scraped my knees on a daily basis and I even broke my leg once, but other than that, I never got myself into any real danger. Through these experiences, I learned what I could handle. However, if I think about my son jumping off ramps with his bike without wearing a helmet, my stomach sinks. So I decided to let go a little and let my son “play with danger”.

Here are 5 dangerous things children should do. Obviously adults need to supervise some of these experiences.

  1. WALK TO SCHOOL. I let my son walk back home from school some days. It’s a very short walk on a wide sidewalk away from the main street, so it’s pretty safe. Still, I couldn’t just wait in the house and I peeked and looked for him around the corner. Small progress!
  2. PLAY IN THE WOODS. Over this Christmas break we went on a trip to see family in Alabama and they just happened to live near deep woods. Well, I let my overprotective self go and I gave in, letting Lucas venture with his cousin in the wild, playing with sticks. I almost died when he said he crossed a small, shallow creek walking on a tree trunk. He had so much fun though. His smile was worth all my worries.
  3. PLAY WITH FIRE. My husband showed and taught my son how to safely use a lighter and light some fireworks. They did it the first time over the 4th of July and they will do it again on New Years’ Eve.
  4. USE KNIVES. I became a little more relaxed in letting Lucas use sharp utensils. I used to cut the meat in his plate until not too long ago because I was afraid he would poke his eyes or cut his fingers. Well, now he is aware of them and knows how to manipulate them without getting hurt.
  5. CLIMB TREES & FENCES.  I encouraged my son to climb both and I have to admit he wasn’t very good at it. But he got better. This experience helped him develop coordination and balance of his body.
Of course, before I allowed him to do these things, I explained to him how to be careful and understand the risks. At the end though, I needed to let him try, fail, get hurt and make mistakes so that he could later succeed and have fun.
FINAL THOUGHTS…
We live in a time now where everything is child proof and warnings are on just about anything. I believe that keeping our kids in a safety bubble is hurting them, more than helping them. Believe me when I say I’m the most overprotective mom out there, therefore I completely understand the struggle of letting our children experience something even remotely dangerous.

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What do you think? Do you agree with the 5 dangerous things children should do? I would love to hear your feed back!
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If you liked this, you may enjoy reading Teach Your Children Ten Life Skills Before They are Twelve

15 Comments

  1. Jenn

    January 2, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    I’m one of those really nervous types. I don’t know if I could do these things without having some major anxiety!

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 3, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      I’m there with you!

  2. Maryal

    January 2, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I love your perspective and your explanation for why we need to stop keeping kids in that insane safety bubble. You’re right that explaining the risks of these activities and allowing them to do them is so much more valuable. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 3, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you Maryal! I still have a hard time not been nervous about some things I should let my son do.

  3. Candy

    January 3, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I understand this post. I too have done some of these things as a child. I just can’t come to terms to neither agree nor disagree in regards to my own children. I know society in general has gone haywire with baby-proofing and child boundaries. However, I’d also like to point out all of the advances in education and statical research that’s been documented since we were children 30 years ago. It would be hard not to consider.

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 3, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      I share your feelings, when it comes to our children everything becomes much more complicated and letting go is nearly impossible. Time has changed so many aspects of our life, and the advances in education are amazing.

  4. Amber Battishill

    January 3, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Loved this post and I agree that letting go of their reigns and giving children a little more space can be so beneficial (within reason). So many of the things that I did during my childhood would be so frowned upon now!

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 3, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      I know.. the things we did when we were little were crazy!

  5. Ashley

    January 3, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    My oldest is 5, just turned 5 in November, so he missed the deadline for kindergarten until August 2018 but I’m sure he will be more than happy to ride his bike home from school and I will be okay with it. It’s fairly close and we walk there often so he already knows the route. Wonderful ideas, I will implement them & experiment 🙂

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