20 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

We live in a very nervous world today that seems to have little tolerance for risk, especially when it comes to keeping our children safe. There’s no more dodge ball or tag at recess. Monkey bars, slingshots, and pellet rifles have all been banned. And, of course, those scary Jungle Gyms and evil footballs must be replaced with Ipads and Xboxes, just to ensure our kids are all safe from broken bones and bruises.

Sadly, as we shelter our kids from the very activities that we enjoyed growing up, we are also depriving them of the chance to learn how to make judgments as to whether something is truly dangerous or not.

The suggestions below were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood.

AsArtofManliness.comalso explains:

23 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

“While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.”

So, here are 20 dangerous activities you should allow your kids to do in order to develop their motor skills, sense of judgment, as well as their self confidence:

1. Climb a tree

2. Shoot a gun

3. Stand on a roof

4. Shoot a slingshot

5. Use a Pocket Knife

6. Play with tools

7. Cook a meal

8. Build a fire

9. Wrestle (“rough house”)

10. Jump off a cliff

11. Tear an appliance apart

12. Play in a creek

13. Go barefoot

14. Spar with sticks

15. Sleep outside

16. Stand on chairs

17. Throw rocks

18. Go sled riding

19. Drive a car

20. Climb a rope

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