It is imperative that children today are raised in a climate that supports risk‐taking in thinking and in problem solving activities. The most effective learning occurs when a student is appropriately challenged beyond their level of ability.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

Ways to Enhance Risk‐taking in Your Child:
1) Ask your child open‐ended questions vs. the typical YES and NO format.
2) Be interested in your child’s answers.  Ask how they came to that conclusion.
3) Provide praise for their ‘good thinking’ involved in their answer.
4) Ask your child a question or two which exceeds their comfort or knowledge level.
5) If the child says, “I don’t know”, ask,  “If you did know, what do you think the answer would be?”  This response gives your child permission ‘to guess’ and often they will offer creative or innovative answers.
6) Build on the student’s response to create a collaborate result, thereby modeling further thinking in that direction.
7) Try to understand the response from the child’s point of view, i.e., as a 6 year old, or as a 10 year old based on their level of experience, knowledge base, and perceptions.
8) Include children in family discussions, which offer wonderful opportunities to provide guidance and to demonstrate respect for each other’s opinion.

In order to maximize all learning opportunities, students should feel comfortable in a risk‐taking environment.  For children to become confident in expressing their thoughts and ideas openly, a supportive and nurturing environment is essential.

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”   Frederick Wilcox

Linda Sweet   M.S. Ed.
Founder and Director, Glenburnie School
Providing a progressive, innovative private school education