Healthy Risk-Taking for Teens

Dan Siegel, in his book, Brainstorm, discusses the adolescent’s brains need for new, novel, exciting experiences, i.e. risk taking. Teen’s brains downplay the risk and tend to see only the reward of the risky choice.  If our teens have to push back against the norm, then we want to give them opportunities to do that with minimal damage. Here is a list healthy risks that my team and I came up with. Talk about it with your girls and see if any of these would provide the thrill/risk that they are seeking.

Healthy Risks/ Dangers

  • Rollercoasters
  • Skiing
  • Running for student council
  • Learning to use power tools
  • Endurance hiking
  • Zip lining
  • Snorkeling/scuba diving
  • Parasailing
  • Hiking without a path
  • Climbing to the top of a mountain
  • Being in a park at night to play a game
  • Allow to walk / ride bike to corner store
  • Calling for information from a business
  • Bike riding a bigger hill / longer ride
  • Snake farm / interacting with scary animals
  • Using the oven alone
  • Paddle boarding / rowing / kayaking
  • Fishing / hunting / shooting / archery
  • Rock climbing / bouldering
  • Performing on a stage
  • Public speaking
  • Independent community service
  • Drop off at mall, movies, restaurant or Starbucks
  • Staying home alone
  • Babysitting
  • Toilet Papering a house / forking someone’s yard
  • Prank calls
  • Get driver’s license
  • Dying hair / piercings
  • Flash tattoos or henna
  • Going camping
  • Sky diving
  • Hot air balloon
  • Riding a horse
  • Build a fire
  • Take a new class (exercise, art, cooking)
  • Go to an overnight camp
  • Make a friend date: initiating asking someone to do something, putting yourself out there
  • With physical activities: challenge yourself to push another 10%
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