Building Resilience Through Risks

Ellen Barry:

Limited risks are increasingly cast by experts as an experience essential to childhood development, useful in building resilience and grit.

Outside the Princess Diana Playground in Kensington Gardens in London, which attracts more than a million visitors a year, a placard informs parents that risks have been “intentionally provided, so that your child can develop an appreciation of risk in a controlled play environment rather than taking similar risks in an uncontrolled and unregulated wider world.”

I am guilty as charged for being over-protective. I still watch every move my toddler does when he’s at the playground. My first boy fell down from the top of the slide. Thank goodness the ground was mulch not concrete. My second boy never seemed to learn his lesson and I don’t want to spend hours in the ER room afterward, which we did several times already. Call me a sucker and a typical parent all you want, but I rather be cautious than sorry.