I was in church when I heard a quote that resonated so deeply within me. I immediately pulled out my phone and jotted down the quote and source.
“If you are going to make your kids tough, which they better be if they are going to survive in the world, you can’t interfere when they’re doing dangerous things carefully.” Jordan Peterson
I want this hanging on my wall – it is a motto for parenthood and beyond.
Do I want my kids to get hurt? No.
But I also know they can’t learn without trying (and consequently failing), and more importantly learning to set their own boundaries.
I’m pretty sure if I stopped my kids from doing anything that could potentially harm them, they would sit inside and read a book. I think in today’s world, parents are quick to rescue and shelter and protect – and there is so much good that comes from this. But there’s a part of me that just wants them to experience life – albeit carefully. Climb the tree. Build the fire (which then of course means playing in the fire.) Throw the axe. Use the table saw. Light fireworks. Cliff jump.
Risk is good and imperative to learning and experience. Yes, all of those things could be construed as dangerous. But if they’re taught proper use, technique, skill – Its the best way to learn.
We have a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon and he shared how an experienced surgeon knows just how much you can bend and twist a bone before it breaks. The other side is – they have to learn how much they can bend and twist a bone before it breaks – and that only comes after breaking a few bones! Experience is key!