Healthy risk-taking and why it’s important for your child

Healthy risks and confronting challenges

This month on the Fathering Channel we are exploring the importance of resilience in our lives, how we can help our children build resilience through their different ups and downs, and why resilience is so important in difficult times – and we all have our fair share of these!

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With all the events of this year, it is understandable that many parents are feeling highly protective of their children.

However, it is still important to allow children to take healthy risks and confront challenges in order for them to develop important skills for problem solving and resilience.

We want our children to know they can take on challenges, solve problems and adapt to new or difficult situations.

A healthy risk pushes a child to have a go at something outside of their comfort zone that results in little harm if they are unsuccessful.

A healthy risk might be trying a new sport, joining in the school play or making a speech at assembly. These risks help children to learn that they are capable of learning new things and pushing through difficult or uncomfortable situations.

Some tips for encouraging healthy risk-taking

  1. Encourage your children to ‘have a go’ and try new things. Support them to try different activities and sports.
  2. Teach your children that it’s okay to fail sometimes. Help them see mistakes as part of learning. If we all feared mistakes, we would never challenge ourselves.
  3. Encourage perseverance and not giving up. When there are setbacks, help them to stay positive and not give up; ask your children to think of something they want to do and help them accomplish it.
  4. Make a bucket list for you and your kids to do together. Include new things that you could do with your child that would be new to you both.


Dr Bruce Robinson is the founder of The Fathering Project – see more from Bruce

If you or your children are struggling
Kids can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or you can contact your child’s GP. If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.


Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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