How to deal with a risk-taking child

Pastor Jimmy Bartz shares advice for parents on the best methods for dealing with a child who takes lots of risk behavior
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How to deal with a risk-taking child

Dealing with a child who takes too much risk is a challenge in parenting. But each virtue has a balancing virtue. So sometimes we look at risky children as formerly courageous children, but that courage has turned into something that is rash or careless. So we want to look toward the balancing virtue there which is prudence or temperance. We want to find some way to cultivate a more thoughtful, careful attitude in life, because when we're raising spiritual children, whole-hearted children, we really want them to have a sense of balance. So having conversations about risk, having conversations about the difference between courage, facing our fear in a reasonable way, and rash behavior, doing things that are careless or thoughtless. Courage is a very thoughtful action, but rash behavior is not thoughtful. So what I would do is have that conversation with a child, and engage them in a thought process. And maybe even give them some tools when they're engaging in behavior where they have been formerly risky. Like, what would you do before that happened? What were the circumstances that came up that led to your rash behavior? What was your thinking then? How could we create some ways where you could think your way into this scenario the next time so that it would be courageous behavior or prudent, temperate behavior?

Pastor Jimmy Bartz shares advice for parents on the best methods for dealing with a child who takes lots of risk behavior


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Jimmy Bartz


Jimmy is the founder and convener of Thad’s—a spiritual community meeting on Sunday mornings in The Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica. An ordained Episcopal priest, Jimmy has spent most of his professional life leading communities in the work of making a love-spreading difference in the world that surrounds them.

His recent work includes studying the relationship between the outdoors and positive, psycho-spiritual health. When not in the office, he can be found in the ocean or in the mountains, usually with his wife, Cindy, or his two children, Jas and Jade.

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