“You’re braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem”. – Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh
These words are not just syllables woven into a quote, in fact, a mantra that can help your “risk-averse” kid to taste the exposure of freedom. Recently, the US government’s new policies on Children’s Plan and all the hype surrounding on do’s and don’ts of raising your kid to be an active individual sparked a lot of headlines. There is a gigantic discrepancy between being self-cautious and being scared.
One kid might be a fearless chap, petrified of no new summons. On the other hand, your child would be self-assertive kid disliking every other outdoor activity that could have the minutest of possibility to get hurt. The parents need to understand that their child does not simply hate the physical activities but is a risk-averse kid who would never dare to take up any stumbling block in his or her life.
In order to tackle the situation, you must know that why your child is risk-averse. Here are some possible reasons:
Wrapped balls of fear
It is not just the kid’s perspective of life but also the quality of raising a child that the parents have to offer. As Ed Balls, the Former Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom puts in his words, “We mustn’t wrap our children up in cotton wool, but allow them to play outside so as to better understand the opportunities and challenges in the world around them, and how to be safe.”
The nature of upbringing a child three decades back, as put in by many researchers, was indeed transcendent. Then, the children were given in more opportunities to take up risks voluntarily and given the luxury of liberty to explore life their own way.
The society in recent times has adopted the approach of taking a little too extra care of the kids. Mostly if the bubble enclosing the child burst without the assistance of their guardians, then he/she may get afraid to take even one step alone. For instance, if you leave your child all alone to take a dip in a swimming pool without any assistance, he/she would be terrified and might run away or have an anxiety attack. For this purpose, the support of parents is considered valuable.
Although, many children are though self-sufficient and are able to tackle the defiance from life in a carefree fashion, some kids are not able to look at the problems in their life in a motivated spirit. Instead, they try to run away from them. Even if you try to trigger them into facing their fears, some kids just don’t want to do that. It’s natural, though.
From birth, our bodies have been transpired into seeing things in our own way and introspecting them through our own inner conscience. Every kid sees certain situations with their own adrenaline like fluids. Some like that adrenaline rush whereas some loathe it and turn out to be a risk-averse kid.
The Societal Pressure
Does your kid watch too much news filled with all but positivity? Or did something in your neighborhood disturbed them so much that they think they are in trouble at all times? The society as one matters a lot in the mental psyche of your child. Maybe he wants to take the risk but is so afraid of the society and the people. And this really disturbs him no matter how hard you persuade.
The society has been a non-dormant group of people who change their livelihoods with time. And in times where homicides, self-annihilation, sodomizing, molestation, violence, and other offenses often terrorize a kid, who has been living with these being as an everyday affair. So, the society as a whole is also responsible for raising risk-averse children.
Dearth of Opportunities
Many neighborhoods have the paucity of possibilities to play or explore their lengths of fear. In many States, there is a scarcity of the opportunities to pursue a physical activity. This, in turn, affects the thinking of the kid and he sets up his mind like, ‘ok, this is how it is supposed to be’. There’s no play time offered to youngsters and teens at school that restricts the growth and in turn create a child into a risk-averse adult.
What can you do?
Let the risk-averse child explore the world through his own eyes and open the doors to emancipation. You cannot force but support him in his endeavors. Take a step by step approach during the crucial stages.
Encourage them for physical activities:
Like, if your child is not a part of any physical activity in school (like summer camps) or community activity in your society then you must take up a slow commencement.
You can register your kid in one of the activities in either the school or the neighborhood. Likewise, you can take the example of swimming. Your kid would be afraid of going even near the pool. Take the help of an empathetic instructor or yourself assist your kid to make him trust that the activity is safe.
Constant reassurance and appraisals on his or her little efforts can also do wonders for your kid. Make him believe that no problem is bigger than his confidence and strength.
Don’t be overprotective:
For the over-protective parents; you just ought to break the bubble wrap surrounding around your kid. It would not help your risk-averse kid to try out new things in life that are compulsory for an all-round development. So don’t be overprotective.
As you know very well “Too much of anything is Bad”.
Take help of others:
Does the child have an elder sibling (who is not a risk-averse kid), nanny, a friend or a cousin that he confides in more than you? Take help of them. Ask them to take your child to outdoor activities with them. Make your child believe in little fairytales that life has to offer if they go out and explore their surroundings.
Take them on outings:
Take your child on regular dates. You can go to a fun park, adventure theme parks, picnic spot or just a restaurant. Outings would enhance their understanding of life and instill a wider standpoint that why things work a certain way. A risk-averse child is not to be taken up as a burden because this is not a chronic ailment which is untreatable.
It is our responsibility to make them have faith on their fortitude, with just a little bit of love, attention, care, and support. You just need to know that what situation your child fears to be in and walk the road of fear with him to reach down the end of victory tunnel together.
The risk-averse kids should consider the mantra of ‘No Fear’. The difference between fear and sense of security has to be conceived by the young kids. Because a stranger might be a friend or a danger but running away from the unknown should not be an option. Make them watch movies, take them to new adventures and inspire to make new friends. The road might be a bit bumpy, but as a parent, you are the only person to make a positive mark in your child’s life.