Life is full of risk.
Early childhood programs have a responsibility to help prepare children for life. Part of that responsibility is to provide opportunities for children to see risk, determine just how risky said risk is, and solve the problem of dealing with the risk (aka: recognizing risk, assessing risk and managing risk)
Too many programs are shying away from this responsibility.
Too many parents are shying away from this responsibility as well.
- Children who don't have the "gut feeling".
- Children who get blind sided by risk, and don't win.
- Children who get used to hearing an adult yell "STOP!! THAT'S DANGEROUS! YOU CAN'T DO IT!" When that adult isn't there, the child has no idea how to recognize risk as they have always depended on the yelling adult.
I'd like to share this moment-o-risk that just happened last week in my play school. As you look at the photos and read the captions, I encourage you to dissect all the IMPORTANT STUFF that the children in this situation are learning. At the end, we will review.
|While standing on this tire, Bennett's body is learning a lot about balance and support. Notice how he is bracing himself on the lattice?|
|Bennett is PROUD to have accomplished his self-chosen task with a technique he chose as well.|
|After Bennett got into position, I simply said "Oliver? Do you feel safe now?" His response: "YES! Yes I do!"|