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.


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.
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!
If you liked this, you may enjoy reading Teach Your Children Ten Life Skills Before They are Twelve


  1. Jen @ Jenron-Designs

    January 4, 2018 at 11:35 am

    This is a really great post, I feel like kids today are overly sheltered. They seen to spend more time inside in front technology instead out experiencing the world. I agree that the world is a much scarier place now but we can not raise bubble children that have no worldly experience or point of reference to go out into society.

  2. Tayler

    January 4, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I feel that I’m not an overprotective mom. I believe in freedom within boundaries. I have the philosophy that if my 3.5 year old gets hurt, he’s learned his lesson. Of course, there are limitations…if he falls off a rock, that’s ok, but I don’t want him jumping off the highest point of a playground! Some bandaids and home car is ok, but I don’ want to take a trip to the ER.

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      I love your philosophy! Freedom within boundaries is what I think is the perfect middle line.

  3. Mollie

    January 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    This is a great post! I’m not a momma yet, but I know I’m going to have to pray away the fear and anxiety and just remember to let go and not be too protective. Thank you for the tips! 🙂

    1. Jessica Reed

      January 6, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you Molly! You will do your best to protect your kids when you become a mom. It is hard to find a balance between being overprotective and permissive.

  4. Misty Nelson

    January 6, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Love this post and all your advice. So true and so important to let your kids find their independence and not stifle their sense of curiousity and adventure by being too watchful and protective.

  5. Candice

    January 19, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Your first two aren’t a reality in south Africa, but since my boys were was like 2 they’ve been doing the others. Btw my youngest is 7 now with two older brother’s aged 28 and 27 all have been raised the same and they turned out just fine.

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