Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Of Heights and Risk Taking

This is a very safe play area, so the trio will happily climb as high as they can while trying to knock the other two down.

But we have been to places when the situation is not quite the same.

Of the three, one is a real monkey who does not hesitate to scale greater heights and attempt anything that looks too thrilling to be safe.

One is overly cautious and requires a lot of nudging to attempt anything that appears slightly dangerous or uncomfortable.

And the last one who used to be fearless, is now beginning to show slight resistance. Which way will this child go, I often wonder, and how much influence do I have over the outcomes?

I like to think that I raise all three kids the same way, so for a long time, I was perplexed to how different they have become and this risk-taking vs risk-adverse trait is just one of the many differences.

I have come to conclude that while personalities and temperaments may play a role in how they turn out, we cannot underestimate the effect of birth order and how an older/younger sibling will adjust his/her reactions and be affected simply by observing how we, as parents, encourage, discipline and react to their siblings' behaviour and actions.

They are still young though, so I believe the risk-taker today may still become more risk adverse and the cautious one may one day decide to take more calculated risks. So I see it as my job, as a good parent, to watch out for teachable moments in our daily lives, as well as to show them how we can learn from others' experiences and to teach them the value of taking risks and how to be smarter about risk-taking.

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