July 12, 2012 2 Comments
We’ve had a lot of discussion around here lately about risk taking behaviour and kids. It reminded me of a story from when my kids were younger. Back in the old days we used to actually get snow in the winter time. In fact, we would get quite a bit of it and it would stay all winter long. This meant great big snow piles for kids to play with. You can slide down them and build snow forts; in fact, we built an actual igloo once. Of course, that wasn’t all quite good enough for my kids. Oh no! They had to find more exciting ways to enjoy their winter.
My back deck is elevated off the ground because my house is split level. So the main level is 4 to 5 feet off ground level. It’s not what you would call an open concept house but you can see from the front door straight through to the back patio door. In fact, off the back patio door is a deck and so if you wanted to, you can see right through to the backyard. The deck has a seat built into it that wraps around the frame of the deck. This is important. Also, under the seat was an open area so the kids could shovel all the snow that had gathered on the deck and make one big pile in the back yard by pushing the snow through the opening underneath the seat.
Somewhere along the way, the kids realized that if they opened the back patio door and started running from the front door right straight through they could run full tilt through the house, gain some really good speed, run up the seat and launch themselves off the railing – off the back deck – into the snow bank that they created when they shoveled the deck. Apparently it was a lot of fun. I haven’t told them but it is definitely something I would have done in my childhood days.
And those of you that know me (which is almost everyone that reads this blog) are thinking the whole apple = tree thing.
They stopped doing that when oldest girl-child tripped once off the railing and went flying. She’s probably lucky she didn’t break her neck. It did stop that game cold. I found out about it after they were no longer doing it.
For the record, risk taking behaviour is typically highest when your kid is hitting a stage called middle adolescence. Some kids in general are more likely to engage in risk taking behaviours than others (typically last born children, different personality types and so on). In my case, risk taking behaviour was at it’s highest when oldest girl-child was hitting her adolescent years since she convinced the younger kids to try all of her wonderful ideas with her!