When my son was little, I had to squash down my Mommy worry and encourage him to take risks: Yes, you can go down that big slide; yes, you can try to cross the monkey bars; yes, you can swing higher.
As he gets older, the risks I encourage him to take are less physically challenging: Yes, you can go play with those children you've never met before; yes, you should try this new food; yes, you should try harder math.
It's those second types of risk that I still struggle with as an adult - seeking out friendships and trying new activities that push me out of my comfort zone. And when I try to shake myself out of my rut, I need to make sure my son is paying attention.
So, we watch a TED Talk together in the car ride line before school starts on how taking little risks increases your luck. And afterward, I talk with him about the new risks I am taking in work and in other areas of my life and how they are paying off.
It's one of my better Mommy-lead-by-example moments.
My Mom sent me a related article encouraging risk taking to combat the confidence drop that happens in young girls when they hit puberty.
What does all this tell me? That children - of both genders - need to know that their parents take risks and what those risks lead to (even if it is failure). We don't want to be the reason our children never challenge themselves.
What type of risks are you encouraging your children to take? (And good luck with any new risks you are currently taking!) Tell me in the comments.