Should kids be allowed to take on dangerous challenges?
Many kids like to participate in high-energy activities like skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing. These activities involve some safety risks, and kids who wear helmets and padding are taking smart measures to protect themselves. But are some activities and challenges just too risky for kids to attempt?
A few years ago, teenager Laura Dekker sailed around the world by herself. This month, Jayden Larson, a 10 year old boy from Minnesota, won a big racing event, driving at fast speeds around a track.
Tyler Armstrong, 11, recently announced plans to become the youngest mountaineer to climb Mount Everest, in the Himalayas. His larger goal is to climb the so-called seven summits, some of the tallest mountains in the world. Everest is challenging for the most experienced climbers, and a number of fatal accidents have happened there. Many adults in the climbing community have criticized Tyler’s goal.
In an interview, Jon Krakauer, a well known climber and journalist, told Tyler to think twice about attempting this challenge. “It’s a serious choice,” Krakauer said. “Things can go bad quickly up there.”
But Tyler says he feels confident. “I like pushing myself and I like to be different from other kids”, he recently told Outside magazine.
What do you think? Should kids such as Tyler Armstrong be allowed to take on dangerous challenges? Or should adults stop them from taking part in activities that could pose risks for them?
Laura Dekker was born in Holland in 1995. In 2009, when she was just 14, she announced her plan to become the youngest person to circle the globe single-handed on a yacht. A Dutch court stepped in, due to the objections of the local authorities, and prevented Dekker from departing while under shared custody of both her parents. In July 2010, a Dutch family court ended this custody arrangement, and the record breaking attempt finally began on 21 August 2010. Dekker successfully completed the solo circumnavigation, arriving in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten, on 21 January 2012.
take smart measures
under shared custody
record breaking attempt
proof of experience and knowledge
Pros and Cons
Help someone achieve their dream, accomplish their goals and have a meaningful experiences.
With proof of knowledge and with proper training- a kid can be fit and capable just as an adult.
We have to trust and support kids and give them freedom of choice, because this develops important qualities and skills in a child such as learning to take risks learning to evaluate one’s own strengths and weaknesses, decision making, confidence and self reliance.
The child may learn a lot about cultures and languages and the particular skill that is related to the challenge.
Risks: physical and mental. Physical risks may include injuries, health issues and even death. Mental: stress under harsh conditions such as being alone for a long time, or facing sudden danger or exhaustion.
Dangerous situations may be unforeseen and not dependent on the individual.
Kids tend to take risks without thinking about the consequences.
Kids don’t have fully developed mental powers and physical strength. They don’t have the capacity to make quick decisions. They have less experience.
The child might miss school and a normal childhood, normal maturation and normal family life.