1001 Tips for Military Families – Tip #433

Military Teen Tips: Risk Taking – Tip #433

There is definitely the false notion that all teens are risk takers by nature and that they don’t need encouragement.  But after working with teens for over 15 years, I would say it is a myth.  Teens will take risks on silly things or things that their friends pressure them into but what about getting them to take risks with things that matter, bring them happiness or get them to challenge what they thought they knew about themselves?  The benefit of being a part of a military family is that there are often more opportunities to take risks as your family is moving to new places, changing schools, experiencing absences, friends are moving and changing and there are constant opportunities to experience new things.  Unfortunately, they don’t see those always as benefits.  It will be up to you to not only point out the advantages but also encourage the ‘good’ risks.  Teach your children the difference between foolish and responsible risk taking.

One way to get them inspired is to create a weekly challenge in the house.  They will enjoy creating a list of ‘risk takers’ for you to accomplish and you will be able to do the same for them.

Sample Risks:

Bungee jump

Go on a mountain climbing course

Try out for a team

Ride a horse

Submit a sample of art, writing, etc. to a publication

Start a conversation with someone you think looks interesting

Tell someone why you love them

Go in a hot air balloon

Enter a competition

Tell the truth all day

Cook a meal from scratch

Climb a tree

Go to a scary movie

Tell someone a secret

Volunteer at a homeless centre or seniors home

Snowboard or water ski

Invite people you would like to get to know better to do something

Ask someone out on a date or tell someone how you feel about them

Learn to drive

Introduce yourself to 5 new people a day for a week

Give a speech

Be in a play

Join a club

Those are just a few examples.  Make sure you are willing and prepared to do anything off the list as well.  Once you each complete your challenge talk about what was rewarding, annoying, difficult, etc.  You’ll be amazed by what your teen learns about themselves and what they can accomplish (not to mention what you can do too!).

For more information about our books, tips or resources go to: www.whileyouwereaway.org

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