I worry – really worry – about the kids I take care of at school falling out of trees, and breaking their arms. I don’t let them run with sticks because I don’t want them gouging out any eyeballs. Not even one.
I happily let them fall in puddles, and get hit in the face with soccer balls because it teaches them so much (when to, ahem, duck; the importance of paying attention; why a good pair of boots is invaluable; how/why to stop a game and make sure your friend and/or classmate who drives you nuts isn’t hurt) but I would never not-in-a-million-years let them hang out of a train like this.
But the girl in this photo looks like she knows how not to fall out of that train, and there are probably a world of things things that have prepared her for that. I don’t think I’m too strict with the kids. I don’t think I hover. But thank goodness they do things – at home, far away from me, and sometimes under my care – that push their limits. They’re learning real risks and rewards while they’re young and their bones (though probably not their eyeballs) mend quickly.