Taking Risks With Our Children Isn’t Easy


The other night I was speaking to a group of parents about the necessity of risk taking on behalf of our children’s futures, and really us learning to take more risks ourselves.

What I realized when I returned home was that I had missed sharing a couple of key points in the discussion, and none of it came home faster than when I opened my computer the next morning to an article on how dramatically we may see the economic landscape change for our children, and why we need to arm them with skill sets that will outlive what ever changes the world is going to throw their way.

I missed telling them that even having the knowledge of what the “right” thing to do is, can sometimes not be enough to convince us to give up the bunny slippers and put our students in the middle of trials and experiments.  Like when I had to decide two weeks ago if I should enroll my  youngest in an inquiry program for grade 8 vs main stream learning, despite the fact that I know it’s exactly what he’ll need to succeed moving forward.

But you know nagging thoughts about his writing skills and shyness had me holding back, just that little bit, would he succeed, thrive, in a series of other big changes?

Thankfully I was able to do the mental math on how important gaining these skills are vs. the short term pain or possible failures, but how many of us, even myself might have decided to go the safe route and not risk possible failure?  Based on lots of conversations I’ve had recently, I think many of us faced with the degree of uncertainty in the world today are looking to connect with elements we recognize and which might give us at least a small sense of comfort.

Here’s the thing, every time we make that safe decision, I really believe we are robbing our children of the opportunity to not only experience new things, but gain new skills, including the ability to be more resilient in the face of adversity.  The research is saying that resiliency or the ability to learn from our failures, bounce back and keep moving forward, is the strongest predictor of long term success.  I think this note is as much of a reminder for me as it is for other parents, because when I think about all of things we do to try to ensure that our children are happy, healthy, safe and ready for the world, I have to step back and keep asking myself, am I’m creating enough space around them to experience both the failures and successes they’ll need in order to tackle what’s going to come their way?

Hopefully we’re going to choose bravery on our part, and if you’re waffling, try bouncing your decision off of other people to get their feedback. The truth is no one said we had to do it on our own, you’d be amazed at how collaborating with a few others makes you realize you’re not in this alone, and helps in creating better solutions and bigger wins for both you and your children.  If you know me, you know I like the “Bill Gates to Batman” no one does it alone phrasing, there’s always an Alfred somewhere along the way.

Believe me when I say your children are going to give you a big hug in a few years, when they feel confident and capable of tackling any shifts which come their way.


  1. Maggie says:

    I went to tons of links before this, what was I thignikn?

  2. Its amazing the connection you can make without ever even seeing someone isn’t it! Btw, I didn’t even know you were on facebook :p You’re gonna have to add me now!Things in Aussie are still great, I’m travelling around Queensland now, only about 5 weeks left before I go home :/ Time flies!Take care,

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