The world is a dangerous place where every rooftop is swarming with vampires and every dark corner occupied by werewolves; or so the teens are constantly reminded by their parents. There are many reasons why parents are so paranoid about the safety of their offspring. The daddies and mummies of today should not discourage their teens from taking risks and instead should genuinely teach them to take calculated risks.
From insulation to isolation
Surfing through news channels makes you realize how horribly twisted the world has become, how dicey the situation is, and how unprotected teenagers are ‘out there’. Stop insulating your children from dangers parents! You’re only destroying their sense of self-esteem. A research team at the University of Sheffield (UK) published their findings in the flowing words: “Children of risk-averse parents have lower test scores and are slightly less likely to attend college than offspring of parents with more tolerant attitudes toward risk.”
Letting teens roll the dice
Ask a young person about anything technological/virtual and you might have to grab large bags of chips and popcorn to get you through the long hours of tech talk. Ask them about real life skills and you will be the one doing most of the talking. Parents resolve their kids’ problems before he/she could even make try. This ‘everything taken care of’ attitude, according to most experts, is a lowly form of child abuse. Over-indulgence on the part of parents can cause dents in the intellectual and emotional well-being of youth. Consequently, teens stop caring about the consequences of their actions, knowing full well that someone will come to rescue them no matter how harsh their actions might have been.
Win some, lose some
Parents whom praise their teens just to make them feel better should know that they are doing a great disservice to their children. Teens beaming with a fake sense of achievement will almost always end up lying and cheating to accumulate additional praise. They never learn the wisdom that comes with losing and the joy of win after a loss, and that my friends, is a great injustice to the emotional well-being of kids. Teens who understand the working of the world in their own way can understand the place better. Consider it a rite of passage and let them pass through the risk-taking in adolescence phase.
The world outside the comfort zone
Parents should share their own risky experiences with teenagers. Narrate the incidents to them and talk about the consequences that followed afterwards. To ensure that you are not raising snobs you have to stop giving away material rewards to kids. Instead let them experience the joy of motivation and sharing on their own. Motivate the teens to choose from a set of positive risk taking options e.g., sports or minor jobs to help them develop their social skills and confidence. In addition, help the children to step out of their comfort zones in order to reap the real benefits of a world that spreads beyond the small bubble that they reside in.
Psychologists believe that suppressing teenage risk-taking behavior can lead to a confusing syndrome developing among kids, and is characterized by extremely arrogant behavior but low self-esteem. They might seem strong on the outside but on the inside they are as hollow as a termite consumed tree.
Teens are apt to take more risks than any other age group. Remember, that bruised knees and elbows are far better than broken spirits. It’s a fragile matter and should be handled with care.