Dealing with risk

Children and young people need opportunities to play in lots of different situations, experiencing adventure and challenge. Play should be free and safe.Your child will learn to manage risks and make appropriate choices about where, how and when they play.

While risks are real, they need to be kept in proportion and controlled. They shouldn’t affect the opportunities children and young people have to play outside. The goal for you as parents is not to eliminate risk in play, but to weigh up the risks and the benefits. Learning to manage risks and challenges will help your child or young person to grow and develop into a healthy, confident adult.

Some useful phrases to respond to risk-taking activities:

  • ‘Go as high as you are confident.’
  • ‘Stop where you feel safe.’
  • ‘Look at what that other boy/girl is doing.’
  • ‘What do you think?’
  • ‘Can you go a little further?’
  • ‘Remember what happened the last time? What did you do that worked?’
  • ‘That’s OK, have another go.’
  • ‘I’ll stand here, just in case you need some help.’
  • ‘Think it through.’