Canadians Want to Make Their Playgrounds More Dangerous

I was listening to a story on our public radio station, KQED, the other day about how Canadians want to make playgrounds more risky. They’ve been working for years to eliminate risk and now they have playgrounds that are ‘boring, barren spaces that children just don’t want to play on’. Now there’s a movement to design playgrounds that balance risk with safety. Child development research is showing that a little bit of risk is beneficial to children. It helps with the development of strength, resiliency, problem solving, conflict management, and leadership skills. And it makes kids healthier and happier. The real issue, however, is getting overprotective parents to buy in. Parents, who are not fans of broken arms and bruised shins, are now being asked to see that the coddling they are doing isn’t good for their child either. As a ‘karate for kids’ school and as a serious martial art program this is an interesting development. Do you consider yourself to be an overprotective parent? How much risk do you think is appropriate for your child? Where’s the boundary between safety and risk? What’s the best way to teach your child about risk? How much risk should we, a school that teaches ‘karate for kids’, be letting your child take? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you. You can reply on our Facebook page at Shotokan Karate Leadership School® or email me at or stop in. Sincerely, Marty Callahan SKLS, Chief Instructor