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Lesser known things about risk-taking behaviour

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:11 IST|

“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for.”

We as adults take calculated risks frequently and more often than not, we succeed. If we don’t, we learn. We often seem to understand which risk is worth taking and which isn’t. We do this by weighing the pros and cons. We take these healthy risks because we want to explore the world around us and experience something new. 

Our children wish to do the same. That’s why, we as parents need to teach them how to take risks at a young age so that they develop the confidence to take bigger, calculated risks later. Teaching children to take risks provides many benefits to children. Today, we will cover the benefits of creating risk-taking opportunities for our children so that they can practice engaging in risk-taking behaviour. 

Benefits of engaging in risk-taking behaviours for children

A book by Joanna Fortune, 15-Minute Parenting 8–12 Years: Stress-free strategies for nurturing your child’s development, mentions a few benefits of risk-taking behaviours in children. She is a clinical Psychotherapist and Attachment specialist who specializes in child and adolescent psychotherapy. The benefits are as follows:

  • Encouraging critical thinking and reflection: Children need to think about what might happen when they do something, especially engaging in risky behaviour such as climbing a tree. It requires the child to take a pause and engage in quick decision-making. The child needs to be able to pause and reflect upon the outcomes of their actions in order to take calculated risks. This will help build strategic thinking eventually and help them manage risks with bigger stakes later. 
  • Supporting physical development: Children build their gross motor skills and fine motor skills by taking risks such learning to walk, run, or jump. They also learn how to avert risk of falling along the way. Reasonable risk-taking behaviour allows children to master their developmental stages. 
  • Strengthening social skills development: As adults, one of the risks that we must take is finding and using our voice. This social risk-taking capability needs to be built at a young age. Encouraging children to express their opinions, allowing children to place their orders at a restaurant, etc are some ways of building and strengthening your child’s social risk-taking approach. 
  • Cultivating confidence and self-efficiency: Calculated or reasonable reasoning allows children to assess solutions and overcome problems. It builds resilience and increases confidence levels as they learn to preserve. 
  • Defending against unhealthy risks: Learning the difference between healthy and unhealthy risks is key to avoid taking unhealthy risks as an adult later. Calculated or reasonable risk taking helps children understand what is correct for them and what is not. 

Reasonable risk-taking behaviour allows children to make their choices, be independent, and take responsibility for their actions. It allows them to understand themselves better. In that way, reasonable risk-taking has multiple benefits for children.

As a parent, do try to get your child to take age appropriate, reasonable risks early so that they can reap the benefits later in life. As always, do show up for your child and be consistent, and you will see positive outcomes. 

Like what you are reading? Share this article with other parents and leave a comment below. 


Fortune, J. (2020). 15-Minute Parenting, 8–12 Years: Stress-free strategies for nurturing your child’s development. (n.p.): Thread.

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About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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