Taking risks is a part of growing up. Infants take risks to roll over, babies take a risk to stand up and toddlers take a risk at running – all without thinking of the outcome of falling. Learning something new always entails some amount of risk. Challenging themselves into doing something they haven’t done before is something teens do pretty often. Every time they pass the challenge, teens master a new skill and gain confidence. This pushes them to take on more risks.
However, there are risks that are healthy and others that are unhealthy. Danger, that gives rise to a feeling of excitement, attracts risk taking in some teens. Parents need to guide their teens on what is healthy and what is unhealthy for them.
As a part of learning new things, it is essential to take risk. But it is also important to recognize the difference in taking a risk in a safe environment and taking risks in situations that could endanger your life or that of other people. Some examples of healthy risks include playing a new sport, introducing themselves to someone they don’t know, trying new food, going to a talent contest, etc.
Some positive aspects of taking healthy risks are:
- It helps children understand their strenghts and weaknesses.
- It teaches them to cope up with failure, and to move on with the contentment of having tried something new rather than thinking of success alone.
- It helps them develop problem-solving skills and gain self-confidence.
- It helps them grow into independent and capable adults
Teenagers need guidance from parents to weigh dangers before taking a risk. Things like trying to smoke, using drugs, drinking alcohol, playing with fire or knives, racing cars, jumping off high places are risky and dangerous. Teenagers sometimes take these risks because they are over-confident about their abilities. They may also take such risks in order to impress their peers.
But teenagers should realize that unhealthy risks could cause them physical impairment or even death. Sometimes, these may not affect them physically, but will have bigger impacts like being expelled from school, emotional instability, or even getting into trouble with the police.
Teenagers are at a phase where they feel that life is colourful and they have to explore new things. As a result, they start taking up risks. Taking risk is an important part of growing up, but they should be taught to measure the consequences too. Every risk has its own advantages and disadvantages, but teenagers should know how to assess which risks are worth taking and should take up only those risks that are healthy for them.