IDEA: How do we let children experience danger without wrapping them in cotton wool?

I came across this TEDtalk by chance whilst looking for videos on acquiring social skills and feel that it is very relevant in today’s society where children are not getting the experiences that we had as children, to learn about danger and calculate risks involved.

How often do children get to climb a tree nowadays?Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.20.14 PM

In fact, the University of Florida has found that climbing a tree and balancing on a beam can actually dramatically improve cognitive skills.

As a young child I remember sneaking into a neighbouring barn and climbing all through the hay bails that were constructed into a wonderful fortress (my parents were made aware of this when I used to come home with hay all through my hair and clothes – but they didn’t stop me). I worked out to be careful and look for holes between them. It was only years later that my dad admitted that he had done the same thing as a child and in his situation, one exploration had led to a broken arm. That didn’t stop him having another go though.

As educators (and parents) how can we best protect our children? 

In this TEDtalk, Gever Tulley, author of 50 dangerous things (you should let your child do)  and Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.12.40 PM

, debunks some classic myths about childhood safety. Fear mongering has meant that children are over-protected. He believes that the most effective way of keeping our children safe is to give them a little taste of danger.


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