The risks we take (and the ones we don't)

"Watch me, Mommy!"

This is usually the phrase that precedes my son jumping off something. I smile when I hear this; I look at him dutifully; I suppress every instinct I have to tell him the thing he is jumping from is too high or dangerous or risky. That urge, I've determined, has to do with being his Mommy. Because the thing he is about to leap off is usually not a terrible risk for him to take. But the instinct is still there.

I notice that my son doesn't direct this phrase as often to his Daddy. I believe this is because my husband is very good at letting my son take normal physical risks and so my son doesn't feel the need to point out when he is doing them.

But, there are risks, and then there are risks.

Physical risks are something that all children experiment with (and sometimes that is carried through to adulthood), but there are lots of other types of risks - like financial and ethical.

Researchers now believe that adults who take more financial and ethical risks had low positive or even negative interactions with their parents when they were younger. (Whereas social risks are usually associated with peer influences.)

It's hard for me to see exactly how these behaviors were all linked and other factors were completely excluded from the study, but I think this just supports the importance of parents' influences over their children's lives long-term.

What's your first reaction when you hear, "Watch this!"? Tell me in the comments.

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