The What and Who of Meandering About

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Narrative - Positive Risk Taking

Part of being a teenager is taking risks.
Risk taking gives an adrenaline rush.
Risk taking is a way of testing limits.
Risk taking can help teens discover who they are.

Often the risks are rather innocuous...
Trying a new food or learning a new instrument.
Signing up to participate in the local talent show.
Asking out that guy/girl to whom you always thought you would never have the courage to speak.

Other times, the risks are indeed "risky" behavior that can prove to be very dangerous and perhaps even life altering...
Taking your hands off of the wheel while driving at a high rate of speed.
Putting the pair of socks in your backpack without paying for them.
Saying yes "just this once" to that which you had always turned down.

Part of being a teenager is taking risks. Young people may believe that risk taking is a necessary part of growing up.  They may feel as though risk taking is the only way to really feel alive.

As parents and mentors, we can provide the opportunity for our children to take "positive risks" that can feed the desire, the felt need, to take risks. These truly can be alternatives to the negative and potentially life altering risks that young people often are tempted take.

Positive Risk Taking -
Take a mystery trip...
Allow your children to plan a family vacation (within given parameters - budget, distance, time, etc.)...
Go to a high ropes challenge course or fly on a zipline together (there are several of both in the state)...
Volunteer at the zoo or a local animal shelter...
Read stories or the newspaper to nursing home residents...
Serve lunch at Wheeler or Lighthouse Mission...
Become regulars at an after school program for at risk children...
Plan a family mission trip (you don't have to go far or spend a lot of money - call us; we have plenty of ideas)...

These may not completely eliminate the pull toward truly risky behavior. However, these positive risks can provide a healthy alternative and most definitely will create lasting family memories.

Have fun taking risks together.

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