The 4 Reasons You Should Let Your Child Take Risks – Despite Your Fears

New research shows risk-taking is associated with confidence
Cavan Images / Christopher Kimmel / Alpine Edge Photography via Getty Images

Though it is only natural to want to protect your children as a parent or carer, taking risks is actually crucial to boosting self-confidence, according to 92% of Brits.

New research from the British Exploring Society reveals that taking healthy risks earlier in life aids in developing essential life skills needed to become confident adults.

The charity is warning parents to encourage their young kids to take risks in order to benefit them in their adult life.

Reasons you should let your kids take risks

1. Taking healthy risks has a positive impact on young peoples’ personal and professional growth later in life, according to the research.

2. In fact, 44% of people felt more confident as they got older after being a healthy risk taker, 34% were more spontaneous and 30% became psychologically stronger.

The acclaimed designer and entrepreneur, Henry Holland agrees: “I’ve learnt and earned my way through taking risks, and approaching things in a way that feels right to me. You need to be confident. For every career decision that I have made and business I’ve run – I’ve learnt on the job. No specific training or education and I’ve always considered that a blessing. Why? Nobody ever told me how something should be done, and equally they have never told me how something shouldn’t be done!

“Working in creative fields you can over think things and get frozen with indecision. You have to be brave, believe in yourself, put yourself out there, and say – I think this is great - and that’s when you can achieve great things, “added Holland.

3. Healthy risk was also associated with bravery according to 49% of young people.

4. Risk-taking also meant increased physical and psychological wellbeing according to 35% and it helped 51% of people to deal with challenging situations.

All of these factors are essential skills for a happy and successful adult life, according to the charity.

However, when surveyed, young people don’t think they are learning these key skills until they are adults, with the average age being 21.

CEO of British Exploring Society Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE commented: “Since I’ve been at British Exploring Society, I’ve noticed lasting changes in resilience and risk appetite in young people and their families. We commissioned research to find out whether our experience reflected a national picture because it’s our job is to prepare young people with the confidence and self-belief to live happy adult lives.’’

Findings also revealed that those who had been given the chance to experience healthy risk at a young age understood its benefits, and actually wanted more of it.

Of this, 43% said they knew when to take risks and 35% said there are some situations where they know when it is ok to take a risk — though there are still lots of occasions when they say they don’t know whether it is wise or not.

Though healthy risks are important, for parents it comes with fear and uncertainty. For many letting go of the reins can be difficult — but with being cautious they may pass their apprehensions onto their children.

This is reflected in the research as a huge 75% of those surveyed felt that parents’/carers’ anxieties about risk taking could impact their risk-taking abilities.

So despite our hesitations, we’ve got to let our little ones live life.