|Looking at bubbles in the ice and a watery landscape underneath.|
I'm not immune to those struggles, as a parent. But because I teach, and am thinking every day about how to engage people I work with in healthy, dangerous play, I have the opportunity to keep reminding myself why it matters to let my children take risks.
I feel that this dangerous play is essential learning - it enables the kids to take risks in relative safety and to learn from them. This is not only essential for wilderness activities, but also for life in general, since so much of what we learn requires risk, and it's nice to be able to mitigate the severity of the risks from a place of personal understanding. I feel this leads to greater safety, and in my experience with teaching I have definitely seen that the more cautious risks children take, the more confident they become, and the less severe their stumbles are, when they make them.
PS: Ever hear of belly hockey? The correct rink for this is a 2-inch thick layer of ice over a couple of feet of murky creek water. Grab yourself some nice sticks and a chunk of wood for a puck... and have at it!