Navigating risk is a feature of life. Every day we make micro decisions, constantly learning and reshaping our attitude towards risk. We can't avoid it, even being risk-avoidant carries it own risks! 

When children are exposed to risk, they learn to evaluate potential dangers and make informed decisions based on how they feel. Take these opportunities away and children will quickly feel overwhelmed when faced with a new and tricky situation. It is often overprotected children who seem to go mad and appear 'feral' when they are allowed free-range in large, open spaces, their senses are simply overwhelmed. 

The great outdoors provides plentiful opportunities for children to play and explore risk from making mud pies, playing on trampolines to den building. All involve different levels of risk, where children navigate risks and grow in confidence - something you can visibly see on their faces, it is quite amazing. 

As adults we should remember to normalise mistakes so children see them as part of being human. Our mistakes don't define us, instead they enable us to grow and enhance our understanding of our physical environment. 

When I see children struggling to think of ideas for writing I gently encourage them to jot down or draw their thoughts, no matter how small or insignificant they may feel. This is a good starting point. Often these children are preoccupied thinking their ideas are not interesting or clever enough and they feel held back from a fear of making mistakes, which can sometimes take a strong grip. 

Once children learn how to express their ideas in a non-judgmental atmosphere, they begin to reap the benefits of personal satisfaction and grow in confidence. 

Posted on March 5th 2021

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