As time passes by, I realize more and more that I am extremely protective over my son. That is a good thing, but also a bad thing. As a father, I need to let him do risky things. He needs to be able to participate in dangerous activities that allow him to explore the world around him. At 15 months old, it may be as simple as climbing the stairs (with a spotter of course), at 6 years old it may be riding a bike. At 8, it may be climbing a tree. Yes there is a potential for injury.
We cannot protect our children from the world around us. Instead, teach them how to interact with it and make it their own. We should be teaching them how long it takes the massive oak to grow so huge, or how majestic the 12 point stag is in the wild. Personally, I am not against harvesting our natural resources, but as humans, we nee to understand how our natural resources work and interact with our world.
I want my son to be the mighty hunter, adventurer and explorer. I want him to experience the adrenaline rush of taking down a 2000 lb moose, and enjoy the energy and resources that the animal provides. Being by his side on the boat pulling rockfish out of the Chesapeake bay would thrill my heart. I want to lift him up and let him experience the things this world has to offer.
We cannot shelter our kids all of their lives. Rather than sheltering them, we need to teach them how to interact with the world to protect them. I believe that an educated decision is better than an uneducated decision. This does not mean that we should let our kids run a muck and drink underage. Instead have an open communication with them, so that when questions arise, they feel comfortable coming to you.
What do I know? My son is still very young. Thus far, I am trying to let him explore and experience the amazing world around him. It is hard to not be a helicopter parent and swat down everything that tries to do him harm. He will learn over time.