The Importance of Raising Risk Takers | 019

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About this episode

Brett Campbell and Ellen Brown dive into the significance of encouraging risk-taking in children’s development. They explore various dimensions where risk is vital, including outdoor play, creative expression, social interaction, academic exploration, and personal growth. They discuss how taking risks can enhance physical activity, creativity, social skills, intellectual curiosity, and self-discovery. They also provide practical tips for parents to facilitate risk-taking in a safe and supportive environment, emphasising the balance between protection and freedom.

Key Points:

  • Outdoor Play & Exploration: Highlighting the importance of physical risks, such as climbing and exploring, for developing resilience, physical skills, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Creative Expression & Innovation: Encouraging children to express themselves and explore their interests, even if they deviate from the norm, fostering creativity and innovation.
  • Social Interaction & Communication: The role of taking risks in social settings, helping children develop confidence in interacting with others and forming relationships.
  • Academic Exploration & Learning: Encouraging intellectual risks by exploring new subjects and challenges, which can lead to discovering passions and strengths.
  • Personal Growth & Self-Discovery: Supporting children in taking risks towards personal goals and passions, promoting independence and self-confidence.
  • Risk Plan: Suggesting parents and children create a “risk plan” to intentionally engage in activities that are slightly out of their comfort zone, aiding in the development of risk intelligence.
  • The Importance of Communication: Emphasising the need for clear communication about the reasons behind encouraging or limiting certain risks.

The episode underscores the value of allowing children to experience risks under parental guidance to build a well-rounded character equipped for the complexities of the world.

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transcript

Brett Campbell (00:00.706)
Hello and welcome to another episode of Future Learners. I’m Brett Campbell, CEO and Chairman of Euka Future Learning, and I’m joined by my amazing co-host, as always, the founder and head of education, Ellen Brown. Ellen, how are you?

Ellen (00:14.481)
Really good friends.

Brett Campbell (00:17.386)
Great to hear, great to hear. We have another really exciting topic today. You sent this one on the docket and I was like, yep, we definitely need to talk about this. So let’s actually, before we do, let’s thank everyone who has been listening to the podcast and double thank those who have jumped over to Apple iTunes and Spotify and given us a five-star review. We really appreciate that. It helps us program in the show.

get heard by more people and that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to spread the joy of education and growth and development in our children. So, Ellen, introduce today’s topic. What are we gonna be talking about?

Ellen (00:58.201)
We’re going to be talking about risk and the importance of risk as far as raising our children is concerned. It’s an interesting topic and one that we all struggle with as parents. What does a good parent do when it comes to risk, Brett?

Brett Campbell (01:12.686)
It’s a risky topic too, by the way, but inception here. Awesome. Okay, so let’s kick off, Alan. Where do we start with this? You’re right. It’s a topic that as a parent, and again, the beauty is we’re sort of at different ends of the parenting spectrum. You have teenage children now, as you’re sort of youngest and I’ve got a three year old. So I’m right in the midst of

Oh no, do I, do I let this child take a risk or do I not, do I hold them back? Do I, et cetera, et cetera. So there’s lots to consider. Uh, and our intent for today’s episode, just to put that out there for you, the listener is, uh, to be able to have a bit of a discussion around, uh, the other pros and cons of risk and, uh, allowing your child to take risk, the sort of borderline of how much risk is too much risk, et cetera.

I mean, I got some stories to share there about that. But then also some practical steps that you can take as a parent to be able to consider where and how we can create our parameters around risk. And I think the most important thing for me is the awareness of this as an actual thing, because a lot of parents don’t allow their child to take risk or they’re quite fearful or they’re helicopter parent in a way where, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do this, stop, you might hurt yourself.

Um, and they’re doing it out of pure love and joy and, and protection. Uh, but they’re not thinking about the future steps of what that might entail. So where are we kicking off, Ellen?

Ellen (02:54.205)
Well, look, we’ve looked at risk and we’ve put it into five different categories of where risk is involved in our children’s development. So I suppose the very first place to start is outdoor play and exploration. I’ve got to say that a conversation like this about risk, I find very inspiring. And I’ve found that, you know, with them growing up over the years, every now and again, I needed to be reminded about being purposeful with risk. So that’s where this has come out.

you know, from as far as I’m concerned. So outdoor play, exploration, why is risk important here and how do we start to initiate opportunities for our kids to be a bit risky and why should we do that? What are your thoughts on that, Brett?

Brett Campbell (03:38.922)
Well, interestingly enough, our, our weekends consist of visiting new parks around the Gold Coast. So, so myself and Emily and Ayla, I think we’ve, I feel like we’ve visited probably 85% of all current parks, swings, slides, you name it. Um, so I’m faced with this every weekend actually. And because I am a thinker that.

I quite often think about if I say no to this now, what potential, and this, yeah, again, welcome to living in my brain. Sometimes I overthink about certain things, but I generally, whenever I make any decision, whether it’s for myself or for Ayla in this instance, she’s three years old, is I will look at, if I say no now, what’s that going to do for next week, next month, next year, et cetera? Now I don’t sit there and analyze it with a graph pad and come up with some scientific outcome.

It’s really the, if I stop her from running right now, like it, what is that going to do? Am I going to put fear in her that she can’t run because running equals, you know, hurt or am I going to look at the, the situation I got? It’s, it’s the grass. So she’s on the grass. You can run as fast as you like Ailer. And if you fall over, you’re going to probably, you know, learn a couple of lessons about running too fast and your legs aren’t keeping up for you.

But if you’re running on wet tiles, I’m like, hold on a minute. Stop, stop. And it’s, I’m always about the explanation as to why. What I found quite early on was I’d be like, stop. And then it’s like, actually that’s what I’m not even giving context to why I don’t want you to do that. I was like, don’t climb over that on the park because it’s too high. Like.

I would have to explain and go, watch out as you’re walking across this, because there’s a gap here and you may fall through it. So you’ve got to hold on. You’ve got two hands here. And like, it’s almost like you become a coach to your child. And because I, I deeply love doing that and I deeply love teaching her. It comes quite natural for me. But I will say this though. And I get, if you ask Emily, because, Hey, that’s the, always the fact checker is if you go to,

Brett Campbell (06:02.39)
Does Brett naturally protect Ayla and limit her from doing things as a natural default versus being super lackadaisical? My natural default is to protect. So in the early days, I’d be like, oh, don’t climb up there or don’t do this or don’t hang off the edge of the table. Because I was potentially fearful that…

she could fall crack her head and I’m like, I don’t want to have to go take it to hospital and da da. So I’ve ran the pattern, but I’m also like, well, what is the worst that could actually happen? And it was quite funny because my mom came and visited us. She goes, do you know what you did when you were three years old? And she goes, I couldn’t find, I was walking around the house one morning and I was like, where’s Brett? And then she started getting real panicky and she was running around. She ran outside. She was like yelling my name, trying to find me. She couldn’t find me.

And then she heard a noise and she looked up and I’d somehow managed to get on the roof. Right. I was three years old. I’d climbed on the roof and I was just sitting up on the roof, having a great old time. Now, I don’t know how I got up, but you know, when you look at kids and their development and they figure things out, um, now probably not the safest place for me to be, but it brought into a bit of context going, you know, where is this coming from? Right. And actually what I do want to do, cause I did, when you brought up this topic, there’s

There’s this actually really cool study that’s recently came out on the 2nd of October. And this really talks to this. So this is quite insightful. It’s called Better Safe Than Sorry. Australian parents are among the most risk adverse in the world, which is an interesting stat. And the study, the three key points that really the study finds is that, and it was done by Deakin University. And they said, researchers have found.

Australian parents are the most risk adverse in the world. The study found four in five Australian parents, four in five, so 80% of Australian parents limited their kids’ participation in risky activities. And then it says the study lead says it’s important for kids’ development to take risks at an early age. And the article goes on and they surveyed or circa 700 people, but again,

Brett Campbell (08:22.234)
80% is a really high, really high tolerance. And when I look back at myself as a kid, I didn’t really have too many barriers of, don’t do this, don’t do that. It was almost like figuring it out yourself within reason. So it’s a very interesting one because I’m right in the middle and I’m constantly having to pull myself up from stopping to try and be Mr. Protection and go, oh, but she could fall and bang her head versus hold on, there’s a lesson to potentially be learned here.

Yeah, like I’m not going to let her walk around with scissors in the house right now. Um, of course, but it’s what are some things that I can get it at Carrie that, you know, if she did break it, it would create a break. And I’d be like, have to deal with that versus no, you could do this. You could do that. Cause a child could make a mistake at any second with anything to be fair.

Ellen (09:16.369)
Yeah, you know, it’s really interesting, even just thinking back to what a playground looked like when we were young, compared to what a playground looks like now. So for Ayla at three years old, there’s lots of risky things still in a playground. But by the time our children are eight and nine years old, there’s really not much left in the playground that provides opportunities for risk taking for kids that are a little bit older, because we have

Brett Campbell (09:24.863)
Ugh.

Brett Campbell (09:32.269)
Yeah.

Ellen (09:43.241)
safety first in every part of the playground. So I always find that interesting when I think back to how high the slippery dips were, without the sides, that you just would climb right on up there. So certainly things have changed, but one thing that you said that I think is really the key when it comes to giving a tip as far as parents, it’s so natural to say, be careful, be careful.

Brett Campbell (09:51.519)
Ugh.

Ellen (10:08.069)
when your child’s doing something or you see you can see ahead of what might happen. But I think it’s very much like if you were changing lanes in the car and you had someone sitting next to you saying, be careful, be careful, be careful. It actually doesn’t help you at all with making the decision and developing an intelligence. But like you said, if you could give that person gave you information, like there’s a truck in your blind spot here, or, or

Brett Campbell (10:24.406)
No.

Ellen (10:33.873)
you know, you’re wearing sandals and that might be slippery on this surface, or perhaps you’re better off running on the grass. Those kinds of pieces of information mean that you are like a coach to your child. So you’re not, you’re not cutting off an opportunity to take risks, but you’re giving them really helpful tips so that when they are taking risks, they’re more inclined to find themselves being successful in that risk taking opportunity.

Brett Campbell (10:59.722)
That ties back to a very important episode we did about three episodes ago, and it’s all back to communication. This is why I’m such an advocate that there’s nothing more important than communication on this planet, because you could have all the intent that you don’t want your child to hurt themselves.

But the way in which you’ve actually presented that information is potentially created hysteria around something and you’ve actually made them overcautious. And then now they’re overthinking and then they create the accident themselves by that. But something you just mentioned there was a bit of a flashback. And I think also something that has absolutely shaped the, the lens in which we as parents now look through. Um, and I remember when I went my first primary school, so I would have been six years old.

five, six years old. And they were just pulling down the old playground. Like it was being dismantled. And that playground was basically made out of like wooden power poles. And there was a big fire pole that was like three stories high that had no safety around it to your point. Like it was just, but children had been playing on that for, for years. Now, of course there was a broken arm and a leg every so often.

But then the new playgrounds come in and then there’s all these safety nets and there’s this and there’s that. And then safety also gets doubled down and applied into the, um, the workforce. And, you know, now you have to have two people bending your knees doing this, doing that. Now, again, I agree with a lot of the introductions of some of these things, but it’s almost like we’ve gone over, over the top with safety and we’ve created such an environment where it’s like, Oh, if you do that, you might hurt yourself. Um,

You know, like, I mean, now again, it’s probably not the greatest example, but if you’ve ever been to Bali, you can see those, the construction workers, they’re standing on bamboo building buildings. Now, of course, it’d probably be better if they had shoes on and they were, had harnesses potentially, but the regulations, that’s the point that I’m really trying to tap on here, is there’s so much more enforcement of regulation, which is naturally…

Brett Campbell (13:13.918)
I think heightened or alarmed. And especially when you look at this, like that’s eight out of 10 parents, you know, eight out of 10 parents have stopped their child doing something because they deem it to be potentially risky. Right. And, and it can vary from, from many different things. Like we had Ayla’s third, third birthday a couple of weeks ago, we had a party here and you know, we had about 10 kids and we had all the dads and the kids. We’re all in the pool and our pools, um, got an infinity edge.

And then like a three meter drop off over the other side of it. Right. And I said, like, all right, everyone sort of, you know, don’t, um, come over to the infinity edge and it definitely don’t put your kids on it or stand on it and I turn around and one of the dads, he just puts his son up like three year old son on the edge of these tiles that when wet can be very slippery. And I turn around and I’m like, what the. Like.

And I said to myself, mate, don’t you dare do that on my watch. Like get, put your son down. No one put their child up here. That to me is like over risked. Like there’s zero need for that to be even like, if you look at the risk verse reward of that, he could have easily, cause in my head, I automatically thought again, cause I’m running the scenario. I’m like, I know what it’s like when you jump on something slippery, your feet can slip out underneath you and you don’t move forward. You actually move. You go straight down and then potentially off.

you know, even backwards. And I was like, oh my gosh, like, mate. And I sat there and I was like, do you do that sort of stuff normally? Like, just cause he’s a boy, it doesn’t mean you put him under even more, you know, essential risk. But I was just, I was gobsmacked by a couple of the dads. And I was like, it made me question going, am I being too strict? Am I being, but I’m also like, no, because you can go put your child on this side of the pool where there is no.

three meter drop off and if they need a jump, they can jump. Right. Um, but even down, so, and this is the other part, then one of the dads gets up and he’s walking along these other tiles that I’m like, mate, what are you doing? Like, you know, every kid’s going to watch you and then sure enough, two, three kids follow him along. And I’m just like, my goodness, which again, comes back to we are models of risk just because you are okay, because you understand the consequences or you actually understand what may or may not happen here.

Ellen (15:10.6)
Yes.

Brett Campbell (15:37.482)
Right. So this happened with us where we had some tiles was raining and our outside tiles got wet and they actually get quite slippery. And I, I ran to get something on the tile and sure enough, right behind me, Ayla comes running. She slips up. She luckily, she didn’t bang her head, but she fell and she hurt herself. And I was like, Oh my goodness. So I had to go through a whole teaching cause I did it once. She seen me do it once. I had to teach her probably 10 times.

post that, that you do not run on the tiles. And here’s why we don’t run on the tiles. I like to show her an example. And I put water on the tile. I’m like, you know, put your foot over here. There’s none. That’s what happens when water’s on. So I spent the time so that now she doesn’t run on the tile. So again, comes back to us, teaching your child why this thing is risky and the consequences of that. Now, the only downside to that is sometimes you,

And I generally share this story of sometimes you just need to learn the lesson. So we had electric fences around our house, um, in New Zealand, where we grew up and on the back of our, on the back of the section, there was a bit of land and there was some cows and so forth. And my mom told me, never touch this wire. Don’t touch the wire because it will give you electric shock. What do you think I did? I touched the wire. Of course I was like, Oh,

And I touched the wire, I’m like, oh my God, now I know why I’ll never touch the electric fence. Yeah, so, yeah, sometimes we need to, and it’s almost to the point where, I don’t know, and I’d love to hear what you did with your children. I look for opportunities of teaching moments of lessons where I’m like, you know what? I could actually let this happen now, and it’ll teach her, it’ll give a really good lesson that she can learn it under, let’s call it safety, because I’m here.

versus if she was exploring this by herself and I wasn’t around to assist. Did you ever sort of set up or do anything in that nature so you could almost be in control of the risk in the lesson?

Ellen (17:48.629)
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big advocate for wild play. And when I say wild play, I mean, in the wild. Now, I’m not in the Amazon. But you know, like once they get past those where that playground doesn’t provide much risk or opportunities to stretch yourself, finding a river.

that you can go to with trees to climb ropes to swing on. Yes, they’ll swing on the rope and they’ll let go and they won’t be over the enough water yet. But when they’re little, they’re just tucking their legs up, all those kinds of opportunities. It’s so interesting how hardwired we are as humans to seek out risk. Little ones are.

Brett Campbell (18:18.506)
Yeah.

Ellen (18:29.837)
wanting to hold the knife and wanting to run with the scissors and wanting to jump up or climb up something tall. It’s something that’s innately in us because by doing, by risking and stretching ourselves we’re going to improve our physical health and our problem solving and our resilience. All those sorts of decision making are enhanced when we, but only when we stretch ourselves.

So when it comes to, and I’ll wrap up the outdoor play, because that’s what we all immediately come to when we think of risk taking with our kids, is that outdoor play. But I’d wrap that up by saying, it’s really obvious that there’s lots and lots of benefits when it comes to allowing our kids to take risks. And like you said, giving information rather than direction is a really good way of being able to minimize.

you know, a negative outcome because the positive outcomes, even when there is a negative, even if someone does hurt their foot or scratch their knee or need to be pulled out of a tree because they’ve gone a bit too high or whatever it is, there’s such learning moments and the things you remember. Isn’t it always the things that you remember are those crazy things where you’ve pushed yourself out of your limits. So don’t think that by doing that, that you’re being a bad parent, you know? So let’s get to the next one. The next one is create. Oh.

Brett Campbell (19:50.194)
Oh, just before we do, before we do, I just want to wrap this one. Like there’s something here in this article that I think will be great just to wrap that point up is, um, and this is really, really important. Um, because a lot of the study was situated around risky behavior, such as, you know, riding your bike, fast climbing trees, et cetera, et cetera. So, but really in. Tales to the outdoors. It says here in the article, we found that kids whose parents were risk adverse were less physically active.

Ellen (19:51.885)
Sure. Okay.

still.

Brett Campbell (20:19.49)
and they played less adventurously. She also said these children were three times less physically active and less likely to meet the Australian physical activity guidelines. While there was no difference between male and female parents, tolerance for risky play, the study found mothers were more concerned about injuries. And they said that this concern,

that this concern that their children would get hurt resulted in less physical activity in outdoor play. So they talk about the concept we mentioned, risky play leads to risk intelligence. And what it really does is it’s important for kids to start taking risks at a very early age, because it helps them find out what they can and cannot do. So wanted to, because there’s always layer two, three effects of something by

And the way I interpret that is, if you’re not letting your child be a little bit more risky, they’re gonna be far more sedentary, they’re not gonna be fit and active, and they’re just gonna end up with health issues, let’s call it, right, if we go to the end of the spectrum. So there’s always those effects that come into play. But Alan, please jump into the second one.

Ellen (21:27.281)
All right, get us on to the second one. So this is one way where it makes sense when you think of risk taking, you wouldn’t have jumped to it, but it actually makes sense. It’s an area where we do need to be risk takers. And that’s creative expression and innovation. So you know, helping our kids to feel as though that it’s okay to be creative. And it’s okay that you’re drawing a picture that looks a bit different to the person that’s next to them, or, or it doesn’t look exactly the way the picture in the, in the program.

you know, allowing them to feel as though it’s okay to take risks in their creative expression.

Brett Campbell (22:04.066)
Yeah, it’s an interesting one that topic can. I mean, we could go down a open a big can of worms with that. Cause where does critics, creative expressions stop, right? Is it, is it letting them just, Hey, I want to have pink hair or I want to. So there’s that physical component of it, or I want these big hoop earrings. I want to stretch my ears and, and all of those things, they’re all, they’re all factors of credit expression, right? And, and, uh, again, I would always revert to.

what’s the reason as to why someone’s wanting to do that? Like, what is the reason why someone wants purple hair? Is it because they just love purple and it’d be cool? Okay, great. Is it because that they are trying to be something totally different than everyone else for a specific reason? And then that’s more of a conversation around where’s that coming from? Like what’s the desire to be so different? So there’s lots of avenues there from a creative expression when it comes to thyself. But if we’re looking at it again through that lens of

fostering the critical thinking and innovation of thought, absolutely. You know, encourage your child to take risks. And again, I think it’s really important to almost redefine the perception of risk.

Because the word risk itself, and when you hear it, it creates alarm bells. It’s, you see a big sign that says stop, right? You see a bridge that might fall apart if you drive over it type thing. So it’s really your perception around the word risk. And I think being a risk taker is such a valuable asset to have as a human being because it’ll allow you to speak up. It’ll allow you to, to your point, creatively express yourself and…

and not have to wear the same shoes that every kid in school was wearing because they have them and you might not like them, but you’re doing it just to sort of fit in. So there’s lots of variables around that, but I really think there’s an important distinction to be made with risk itself and creating the environment within your household that not only is risk okay, but risk is mandatory in this household.

Brett Campbell (24:25.822)
we do take risks. And again, it’s the concept of calculated risks and knowing what the, the risk reward ratio is. You know, I always talk about risk reward. It’s like, if we do this, what’s the upside of this versus the effort that’s required. Yeah. If you’re going to go and climb that massive tree there, and there’s not many branches like, well, what’s really the upside of you going that high versus, you know, the, the reward. And so it’s, it’s taking the word risk and

molding it into a positive because I think the word risk has a negative connotation already attached to it.

Ellen (25:02.385)
Absolutely. I guess I would like to add there that if you’re going to be fostering risk taking as far as you know, helping your kids to be creative and innovative in what they’re doing in their learning, that during that process, they’ll also learn to embrace failure, and they won’t see failure as a negative thing that they’ll see that as part of a journey, they’ll learn to persist when things don’t particularly go their way. So this is more in a learning context that

You know, I think that’s probably one of the biggest irks about being in a mainstream school system where, you know, the teacher says, all right, everybody, we’re gonna paint this, or, you know, we’re gonna make something. And here’s the example at the front. You walk into the classroom and you see, you know, 20 bumblebees and they’re all exactly the same. And you think that’s probably one of the things that I think is really sad when that young child who has just…

Brett Campbell (25:52.462)
Hmm.

Ellen (25:58.437)
such a crazy wild huge imagination is kind of I guess molded into a place where risk taking is not necessarily encouraged because it’s very difficult as a teacher and you’ve got 25 children in the class you can’t have 25 risk takers you can’t have kids just doing you know they’re all their own thing it just it doesn’t work well and so it’s not an environment for that but like you said if you’re at home with your kids and you have the opportunity to say you know

you’re going to you’re going to make something you’re going to create something you’re going to come up with an entrepreneurial idea you know let’s take the risk you want to you want to make a cupcake stand or you want to put it out the front why not you know let’s take the risk and it may not work people may not come and that might make your child think to themselves well I may have to think about where are the people where’s the traffic you know and they’re wonderful learning experiences and if you’re allowed to

Brett Campbell (26:39.734)
Hmm.

Brett Campbell (26:48.566)
Hmm.

Ellen (26:51.645)
take the test and it means you don’t go, Oh, I’m defeated. It didn’t work out. It means you develop the ability to bounce off that and go, Okay, how can I improve that? And that’s a wonderful attribute for your kids to have.

Brett Campbell (27:06.034)
Yes, it’s the creative, um, freedom to seek a new way of doing something. And pattern recognition is, is very, very important. Um, you know, and you talked about entrepreneur being, being an entrepreneur in that, that mindset. Well, in that example, it’s if you want the fastest way to learn how to take risk and learn a lot of lessons.

Ellen (27:15.421)
Mm.

Brett Campbell (27:33.738)
you know, it is that core group of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs don’t make up a large segment of the society. But one thing, you know, being one myself personally and always having that, um, ingrained in me, but I never grew up in an environment that was entrepreneurial either. And I think this is a really valuable lesson here is if you have a child and actually I’d love to do an episode, Alan, on just, you know, entrepreneurship for children. I’d love to do that one. Um, but

Ellen (27:58.138)
Mm. Yeah.

Brett Campbell (28:02.59)
It’s important to, because naturally some children are going to be far more risk adverse than others, right? They’re, they’re happy to just be the first. We had a, we had a friend in our friends group when we’re about 10, 11, 12. He was the most risk, risky person you would ever meet to the point where we’d be climbing up trees and we’d jump out into the river and we, we

couldn’t see the bottom of the river. So we made him jump first to see how deep it was. So he was like, yeah, I’ve got it. I’ve got like, he would just do it all the time. Safe to say he had a lot more injuries than us over his time. Goodness, that was a flashback. But so naturally, you might have a child that’s super risk averse and they want to do all these crazy things. You’re gonna have to sort of tone that down a little bit or harness that energy.

Ellen (28:38.562)
Oh, my God.

Brett Campbell (28:59.646)
And then on the flip side, you’re going to have some children who don’t want to do anything because they’re just fearful of everything. Right. And, and so there’s no one shoe fits all here in this example. Um, but just to wrap that point up around the expression of creativity and, and. Yeah. If your child wants to go and do something for commerce, for award, let them, let them do it, you know, like foster that, um, because it is the, the learning that anyone gets from anything. So when I was young.

I was 11 years old. My first job, well, I say my first business, it wasn’t a Pty Ltd. I didn’t have a limited company, but was I door knock up and down my street to ask for jobs because my, you know, my, I wasn’t allowed any pocket money. Um, if I wanted some money, I’d go and work for it. Um, and I literally knocked on every single person’s door and asked them if they had jobs. I’m like, do you have any jobs? Do you have any jobs? It was like, no, no.

it in that moment though, I didn’t get discouraged by it because my goal of what I was working towards was so powerful, um, that I could have been told no a thousand times. Um, and little did I know that was a strength at the time and in some ways, um, although a lot of neighbors told me to piss off cause I just keep going back to the house the next day and ask if they have any jobs. Um, but the point there as well is. That.

it came natural to me, but there’ll be some children who would do it and they might do it two, three times and they’re discouraged by it. And instead of sitting down with your child and go, Hey, let’s talk about this. Like, do you still want the outcome? Like, do you still want to try and do that? Um, and they might go, you know what? No, I don’t anymore because of X, Y, Z, or is it just because they’ve had a setback or they’ve failed a couple of times that, cause that is the defining moments of, of those things there that you can either set your child up for. You know,

for success moving forward in life and going, you know what, let’s embed this risk taking mentality into you, put some safety guard rails around it. Um, or if you just go, okay, that’s cool. Let’s do something else. You know, again, this is that coaching modality of, let’s say you set up your lemonade stand outside and no one buys you lemonade. The kid could all of a sudden feel like this absolute failure because of whatever, you know, whatever reason.

Brett Campbell (31:20.322)
but then you sit down and you talk to them about it and you go, okay, how can we do it better? What other changes can we do? You know, et cetera, et cetera. Let’s do a leaflet drop around the neighborhood and let them know that I’ve got a lemonade stand this Saturday, right? But anyway, I digress, but the point there is, is we really need to foster why someone’s wanting to take risks and why they’re no longer wanting to take risks potentially. So there’s always, the clues are always wrapped up with them.

Ellen (31:46.769)
All right, so this third one, this one is definitely one that we talked about a little bit when we talked about raising brave and courageous girls. And it certainly doesn’t matter whether you’re, you know, whoever you are, this is going to make a big difference. So it’s actually risk taking when it comes to social interaction and communication. So allowing your kids and teaching your kids about taking risks. I don’t know about you, I bet you’re the same. When they’re little,

they don’t weigh up the risks of talking to somebody who’s standing right beside them. They can be standing in a line. I know I remember standing in a line and my little one turning around and going, oh, you know, this is my best friend. What’s your best friend’s name? Oh, I don’t know. What’s your name? You know, and I think it’s so amazing how kids just have this complete lack of fear when it comes to the ability to be able to talk to other people. And I suppose it’s one of the things that

Brett Campbell (32:32.542)
Yeah, hilarious.

Ellen (32:43.405)
drew me to homeschooling when I met teenagers who had homeschooled all the way up. They’d never had those situations that made them feel like they shouldn’t be talking comfortably with adults like kids can sometimes have when they move into a school system with the teachers and things like that. And so the way their ability to be able to express themselves and talk freely and comfortably in any setting was something that really drew me.

Brett Campbell (32:55.278)
you

Ellen (33:07.677)
to the homeschooling teenagers and something that I’m very proud of with my own teenagers, that they’re quite comfortable to look somebody in the eye and comfortable to talk about different topics. So helping our kids to feel comfortable in those sort of social interactions is really important.

Brett Campbell (33:26.55)
Yeah, that’s a massive one because you got to look at who you’re raising and what is the outcome of lack of socialization with other human beings. We live in an area now where, or an era now where most people don’t even know their neighbors, they walk past or they drive past and they don’t even know their names or even last names or anything about them where when I grew up, I knew every neighbor in our street, the doors were open. We can run into everyone’s houses. It was, it was, it was very, very different now.

I also understand that times have changed and safety is obviously a paramount. However, in the same token, I think it’s really more about awareness of the safety and this concept, like I mentioned a little bit earlier around, you have to have a harness, you have to be double bounded to this for security and that. And that like we’ve almost gone so far off the spectrum where it’s like, don’t talk to strangers where Ayla and it sometimes it, it breaks my heart, but she doesn’t really know, but.

we’ll be walking around, we’ll worse. And she’s like, hello, waving to people. It’s because I want her, like I walk past people and say hello to people. Cause I think it’s just a really nice, kind thing to do. If we’re going to share space, right? Now, of course there’s the other end of the spectrum where it’s like, well, that person could have been a mass murderer, but that’s very, very far and few between the many cases, right? You’re also not, you’re only saying hello. You’re not saying hello, let’s go and hang out and play together, right?

There’s that, that sort of instilling manners, I believe like manners. And because I know the, the ability to be able to communicate with another human being, if you just had that as a skill, you’ll get so far in life because it plays into every aspect. Like if you’re afraid to say hello to strangers or just talk to someone on the bus or on the train or in the airport or anywhere, like some of the best people I’ve ever met have just been random people that have just been like,

Hey, how you doing? Like, you know, on a flight and when you probably this, most people will be able to recognize this as you sit next to someone on an airplane and then you don’t say a word, the whole flight, you’re going into land. You’re, Oh, hey, so where are you going? Oh, and then you’re talking for five, 10 minutes. You’re, Oh my God, I wish I had to talk to you a lot earlier. Right. Also the opposite is true sometimes, but the ability to be able to openly communicate and acknowledge.

Brett Campbell (35:52.138)
So I think the other part is, is acknowledging that there is another human being sharing this environment with you is very important. Like the amount of people that walk around with their head down, don’t even acknowledge, don’t even like not even an eye, an eyelid lift, you know, it’s hilarious. Sometimes I’ll be walked past people and they don’t say a thing. I’m like, have a good day. Like, you know, I’m just like, wow. Like, but that is sort of the environment. Like we’ve moved, we’ve moved into an environment like that. And I think it’s a very, um,

If you’re telling your child, don’t talk to these people. Don’t talk to that. Now, again, there’s nuance to this. I always want to make sure I wrapped this up with nuance, but generally speaking, like when any of our friends come over or anyone comes over. Part of what Ayla does is she’ll just at one out of keen interest as well, but she will always come and say hello and, and share something that she’s just done because we want her to be actively involved, um, and we want her to.

to learn different communication with different people. There’s so much nuance to it all that you don’t really look at it in the moment as impactful, but their ability to talk to an adult, a different adult, or this person or that person, they’re just gaining skills. You can see their software’s just being downloaded in real time. You can see it when they’re communicating and the ability to be able to do that because there’s so many people who don’t wanna communicate with other people.

because of a poor communication that they’ve had with someone else and now they’re wrapping everyone else up in this, subconsciously by most standards, like most people are like, yeah, I just don’t like doing it. So the ultimate test is you go to a networking event, right? There’s so many people that I know in business that just cannot stand networking events. I’m like.

Why would you not want to be able to communicate with someone else in a very similar boat as you and potentially understand and learn? Like it’s again, it’s the approach to the situation in which you’re entering, right? But I know a lot of it is because, oh, because I’ve had a, I’ve been to a networking event before and it was just this one dude trying to sell me his MLM thing. I’m like.

Brett Campbell (38:13.422)
You know, that’s that example that it doesn’t mean every person at every event does this, right? So knowing that not every circumstance is going to play out the exact same way as a very important distinction to share because your child might go and say hello to someone, um, and they get ignored or they get pushed over. And it’s like, Oh, that right there. If I don’t, if I’m not taught, or I can’t self-regulate that myself.

Some children can, they can very well self-regulate and go, okay, that was weird, I’m gonna go do it again. But many children will be like, anytime I say hello to someone, I get hurt. And they bring that pattern through with them and they’re less likely to say hello to someone because they’re fearful or it’s gonna take a lot of energy for them to be able to step up next time and say that. So there’s so many things that if we don’t get it right or we don’t pay attention to it, it’s…

It can lead us down a very difficult path as adults.

Ellen (39:16.369)
Yeah, absolutely. I guess I would, I would looking at my own kids, I would say, you know, there is definitely a difference in the ability of one, you know, to take risks versus another there’s a, there is a natural, you know, ease when it comes to social interaction with one, whereas the other one, I had to be quite directed in learning some skills. And for him, it was looking at someone. And I saw it from a very young age that

that he would very like, you know, free already, you know, he would start to look down when somebody was there because he was naturally shy. So right from that age, getting him to, to look at somebody and quietly talking about that, even, you know, in the moment, if I needed to, to be quite purposeful, to give him the, he needed to be told, oh, this is a key or, or something as simple as always ask somebody a question about themselves. Like he laughs now because he’s a teenager, but he gets

I remember that you always just say just ask someone a question about themselves. That’s the key. Because as soon as you do that, it breaks down the wall. So even as a teenager, he remembers that and he laughed the other day, he was telling me he’d met somebody, he’s like, you know what I did, Mum? Ask them a question about themselves. So, you know, for him, he just needed that tool to be able to say, okay, that’s going to break the ice. I mean, there’s no one who doesn’t love sharing about themselves, is there? So some kids need some real help with taking risks in the social interaction.

Brett Campbell (40:36.564)
Mmm.

Ellen (40:42.689)
and some kids just find it quite natural and always will. So, all right, I know we’re gonna speed along here. So academic exploration and learning, risk taking in this area, it’ll look like things like tackling subjects that you wouldn’t normally tackle. I think that’s probably an exciting thing when you’re not having to do your schooling amongst other people and you have got a bit of freedom to make choices.

Brett Campbell (40:43.694)
Mm.

Ellen (41:07.497)
Who’s you know, you don’t have to say anymore, I’m dumb at maths, like who’s to say you’re dumb at maths, you obviously weren’t taught the basics or you didn’t manage to catch on to them. So here’s your chance to say, well, you know, let’s take some risks in subjects, you know, let’s take some risks in what actually can I learn about because it’s crazy when you realise that there’s no boundaries to what you can learn if you’re interested.

Brett Campbell (41:22.568)
Yeah.

Brett Campbell (41:30.786)
Mm.

Ellen (41:32.121)
So risk taking and academic exploration and learning is a really exciting area to help your kids.

Brett Campbell (41:33.357)
Yeah.

Brett Campbell (41:40.99)
And the beauty of that now we live in a world where there is nothing that you cannot learn. So we, we have commoditized education in many ways, like you could go and do a degree on YouTube by just going, you know what, I want to learn about this. And I, and I often do this. So I go through cycles where I’m like, you know what, I want to learn about World War II history and I’m going to consume the next month, the books and the YouTube videos and everything I watch and read is going to be about this.

Ellen (41:46.824)
Yes.

Brett Campbell (42:10.606)
Okay, this month I want to learn about conflict resolution. So I was like, I want to go and learn as much as I can in this and the beauty is you don’t need to do your 10,000 hours of mastery and you don’t need to become an expert in everything, but what you might find is on your endeavor through that all of a sudden, you’re like, oh my God, I’m absolutely intrigued and borderline obsessed about this information because it touches something within side of you. And that’s that recognition. This is why I get so passionate about communication as a topic, because

I’ve seen how communication has helped shape me when I didn’t understand what it was. And then I started to understand what it was, and then I learned business, and then I learned marketing, and then I learned psychology. And I’m like, oh my God, the more and more and more I realized that communication is just the most top of the spear thing that we could be focused on that has the most trickle-on effect out of anything, from my perspective, is…

I’ll just go deep and deep and deep on it. And the beautiful part is, you know, with, if we tie it back to even like what we provide with you, because even in our grade nine and grade 10, um, we have over 120 different electives, right? So is you can try photography. Oh, you don’t like it. Cool. Don’t do it. Go and try another thing. Like that’s the beauty of the world in which we live in. You don’t need to, you know, I saw, I went to university only lasted a year.

Um, because I got to the end of the first year I was, Oh my gosh, I can not do another three years of this. Like I can go and learn this way quicker, way faster. And I ended up going and barking on a different journey. And I got that outcome that I was looking for three years quicker, but it was also the ability to take the risk of saying, you know what, I don’t like this subject and I’m really not enjoying it. Um, now you understand that. Am I not enjoying it because you’re just finding it hard and you’re

you’re not enjoying the struggle that you’re having versus the subject. Cause that’s another very important distinction. But if you find that the subject matter is the thing that you just don’t enjoy. Great. Stop it. Go and choose another subject. Go and learn something different. It’s, it’s a, my YouTube content that I consume, I’d literally consume hours and hours a month of YouTube.

Brett Campbell (44:34.146)
videos on a range of different topics. Like now that’s just, you know, let’s call it, um, curiosity learning. But if I’m really, again, wanting to focus in on something, um, there’s multiple ways on how you can learn it as well. So very like English as an example, right? You’re studying one topic. It’s like, you might be doing some history on a specific topic. So I will choose a different element of history that you might connect with more that you can go through and still do the learning of.

Right. Because it’s not that specific thing that you necessarily have to have information on. It’s the have you gone through and learnt about a specific process and how it sort of arrived at. So I think that’s really, really important to take risks and know that because this is the other part. Take the risk of choosing said topic that you want to learn about.

And then also take the risk to, okay, I don’t like it anymore because of these reasons and then move on. So lots of flexibility and, and intellectual freedom that lies within that.

Ellen (45:43.961)
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with you on that. If you can help kids to realize that they’re quite that the risk of trying new things, learning new things, once they’ve actually overcome that barrier to entry and realize, wait, you know, it’s the same like, it’s the same skills that you’re using no matter what topic, this huge world opens up to them. And that intellectual

Ellen (46:13.955)
your child. So it’s about empowering them to feel as though you know there’s no boundaries there. You can risk trying something new and not liking it or risk continuing on with something that you thought you couldn’t do. So all right last one and we kind of touched on it before so risking in your personal growth and self-discovery. So how do we help our kids with things like

Ellen (46:43.021)
risking things like following their passions, you know, and not having to worry about what other people think if you know they’re into stamp collecting. Not that not into stamp collecting, but there’s lots of different things that they might be interested in that their peers may not be interested in. So that can feel risky. So learning how to balance it up and say, you know, it’s actually okay to be who I am and to be independent at the same time as, you know, feeling confident in that.

Brett Campbell (47:14.574)
Hmm. And with all things personal growth, again, a massive advocate on that within itself, but where you’re going to get the gains out of this and you can really let the rubber hit the road is what I’d encourage. I’m going to put it out there as a bit of a request to every parent out here and for yourself as well, but also for your children is to put together a risk plan. Meaning

And it could be something as basic as, you know what, sitting down on a Sunday, you go, what is one thing that you are going to take a risk with this week as it relates to communication, right? Or as we talked about social interaction. And it might be, you know what, when we go to the supermarket, when we’re pushing the trolley down the aisle, you need to say hello to a stranger.

Now, not just a random stranger, select the stranger. It might be a nice old lady pushing a trolley and she’s watching you and you’re like, hello, something small where you can go amazing, tick the box. All right, next week, we’re gonna do two risks, right? And you could apply this into your, the physical ailment as well. And it’s like, you know what? We need to climb a tree. That’s a little bit scary. Or we need to go down the biggest slide this week. Or, you know, you’re gonna try and do a wheel stand on your.

bike, whatever the situation is for your child, right? But sit down and go, okay, what would you deem to be risky? Let’s look at this. And what are we looking to get from it? Right, because I’ll tell you what, the achievement of succeeding on something as simple as saying hello at a shopping mall or saying hello to, you know, a stranger. And again, you can be selective with it. Just because there’s so many tale effects to this is one,

you’ve actually been a little bit more risky. Two, you’re aware that you’re being risky and you’ve accomplished it. And three, you’re creating momentum because you’re proving to yourself that you can do things that you generally thought was risky and it’s just gonna snowball and your risk tolerance will be far greater, right? So that’s what I would say to the personal growth component of it is, growth is something that you can measure and you wanna be able to go, you know, have I grown? Am I getting better in this area?

Brett Campbell (49:36.958)
Or am I staying stagnant or am I getting worse? And that’s a really good telltale to see, because if you’re getting worse, then you need to look at the parameters that are potentially causing this and work on them and don’t let it hijack you moving forward, right? And the upside of this is great. When I look at risk reward, the risk reward ratio as I like to call it is,

The reward of taking this risk of what I’m suggesting, of setting a plan and go, okay, let’s pick one thing a day that we can be, that we would deem risky, put it on your list. At the end of the day, we’ve done it. We sit back down and we go, cool, what did you learn from taking that risk? Well, I actually found out that it was actually really easy to say hello to the lady at Woolworths. And now, I, it, and here’s another one, I’ll finish on this, because then you say hello to the lady at Woolworths, it’s,

That could be the easiest option to say hello because she could be very bubbly and you can, you know, you can see those people, the real, when, if you want to take a bit more of a risk and you go, how can we make that a bit harder? Say hello to someone that’s given you a vibe that is not so friendly. And your quest is to say hello to them and see if you can get them to smile. And you’ll be so surprised because I do this constantly just as a, I just love to do it, to see, you know, just the test of psychology of people. And for some people,

What you don’t realize is they might just be having a really bad day and they look like they don’t want to talk to you and they don’t like you, et cetera. But by you saying hello, you might’ve just given them a little bit more, um, hope and humanity, right? So there’s so many, so many, um, beneficial effects of taking these small risks. But Ellen on that, we’ve, uh, we’ve, we’ve packed in a lot for this episode. Um, what else is there to wrap us up with?

as it pertains to raising risk takers. What’s your final words?

Brett Campbell (51:37.259)
There you go.

Brett Campbell (52:38.818)
Well, there we have it. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please head over to iTunes, Spotify, leave us a five-star review. And of course, if you’ve gotten value, please share this with someone else that you believe will get value as well. And until next time, have an amazing rest of your morning, midday, evening, or even very late at night, depending on when you’re listening to this. But thank you for tuning in and we’ll catch you on the next one.