Children gain knowledge and experience by any means. Including extreme activities. The arsenal of dangerous amusements of schoolchildren is huge. And adults are continually warned about the new deadly games of schoolchildren, invented by the younger generation or taken from their predecessors. How to protect children and save nerves for parents? Learned from a professor of child psychology.

A few years ago, the parent community was shocked by “death groups” on teenagers’ social networks, then dangerous games appeared on the roads, when you need to cross the roadway as close as possible to the car, disappear from the family for 24 hours, while mom and dad are twitching in hysterics.

Someone prefers to get into a dangerous object in the old fashioned way, walk on the roof of a house, ride on the roof of an electric train or subway, etc. There are even games that involve choking and holding your breath. Choking techniques (at first, the teenager breathes quickly, then they press down on the carotid artery or press on the solar plexus) are used to obtain unusual sensations, allegedly even comparable to drugs.

Why do children play with death and how to save them? asked about this Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology M State Psychological and Pedagogical University Natalia Avdeeva.

Brain teenager needs extreme?

Julia Borta, : — Natalya Nikolaevna, why are children more prone to risk than adults?

Natalia Avdeeva: — As for adolescents, there are interesting facts related to neuropsychological and neurobiological research. The fact is that in adolescence there is a large release of, as it were, unnecessary nerve cells. Such a large number of neurons are produced that require, let’s say, application. And this is associated with the craving of adolescents for extreme experiences. During this period they are very open to any undertakings. This is true from the point of view of evolution and biologically justified: children are just entering life, and their strength and energy may be required for future generations in new areas of activity.

Another thing is that if during this period adolescents are not occupied with anything useful and positive, then they are looking for adventure on their own. They are very prone to extreme experiences at this time. There’s nothing you can do about it. This is a problem of age, not education and culture.

Remember all kinds of initiations in teenagers. They were associated with quite strong experiences that the child had to overcome. And the tests were not at all safe.

Therefore, in our culture it is necessary to imagine some positive forms in which craving for extreme can be localized. At one time, the children went hiking, played Zarnitsa. Now instead offered quests. But here you need to be careful, because they can also be unsafe. There are other options. For example, search activities, ecological, volunteering, some forms of sports activities that require overcoming, efforts, testing oneself, etc.

It must be taken into account that now the development of children is proceeding at a faster pace, and all these phenomena begin at an earlier age. That is, the age of puberty is decreasing. In girls, it begins at about 10 years old, in boys from 11-12 years old. Therefore, it is necessary to provide for some forms of activity that would take into account this age-related feature, but at the same time direct it in a positive direction. Because, indeed, this is a very important period when children set goals for the future. And a lot depends on what they choose for themselves. For example, in the past, many dreamed of being astronauts. Now there are attractions where you can feel weightlessness. In general, society creates some kind of controlled activities in which you can show motivation associated with the demand for extreme sports. Experimenting to the limit of my abilities – what I can. Feelings are also connected with this when addictions are formed. This is also a way out on the verge of reality, also a test of oneself, a search for the extreme.

Parents do not need to be afraid of this, but they need to take into account and think about what they can provide for their child to release extreme energy. The same kayaking trip, classes at the flying club, etc. This is especially true for boys. They are more prone to risk and extreme sports. And if children are offered such activities, maybe then they will not ride on the roof of electric trains, jump in the subway, etc.

Why dangerous just ban?

What are the dangers of strict prohibitions in such situations?? How to proceedso as not to stifle the desire to try new things, to take risks, but not to ruin yourself?

– The art of parents is that they must, on the one hand, leave the child the opportunity to show their creative activity. On the other hand, to set boundaries related to safety – the physical safety of the child himself and those around him, whom he can harm. This should be done much earlier than adolescence, literally from an early age. So that the safety rules were learned long before that risky age, so that there would be no thought of experimenting with life and death.

It is believed that children have a reduced sense of danger, they are less afraid of death than adults.

— Yes, there are children who are poorly brought up in this sense. Because in general, the understanding of death appears somewhere by the age of 7. The child begins to realize the finiteness of life, he begins to think about it. The death of a loved one for him already becomes a fact and the impossibility of meeting later. He begins to understand that this is a loss forever.

If a child only plays computer games, thinking that he has “ten lives”, then this, of course, is a poorly educated child who left his parents for a more interesting virtual reality for him. Parents are to blame, because they did not make human reality interesting and important for him. So such representations are possible only in these cases.

Indifference of parents pushes to risk

It turns out, Does the indifference of parents often become the impetus for the fact that the child rushes into life-threatening adventures?

– Yes, of course, he is looking for thrills on the side. Parents should remain for the child the main person with whom he communicates – both a teacher of life and an expert in life. If they will, of course, perform all these parental functions.

What to do, eif the parents suddenly found out that the child is participating in dangerous games? ToHow not to make mistakes so as not to push him to even greater risk?

– It is necessary to explain to the child clearly and specifically what happens when he risks his life, how the body works, what can and cannot be done with it. They already explain to kids that you don’t have to put anything in your nose and ears, you can’t try poisonous mushrooms or berries that you don’t know anything about. These are the basics of life safety, which are taught starting from kindergarten. Maybe the child passed by or the parents did not pay attention to it. Then you have to start from the beginning. Explain that in general a person is a very fragile creature. And he can hurt himself. But since in this case we are talking about school-age children, it’s not bad to introduce anatomy: how the human body works, how you can break your arms and legs, as a result, how to take care of your eyes. Just have that conversation. Maybe find videos and videos on the Internet on this topic.

It is very effective when a child is brought to the hospital department and they show how children lie with broken arms and legs, how they suffer. I mean, that’s what they got it for. Everything should be visual, with visualization.

You can say to the child like this: “You think that you are immortal and nothing will ever happen to you if you jump from an impossible height, use your hands in the wrong place. Then try this experience. Tie one leg to yourself as if you broke it and see what happens, how to live with it. Will remember for a lifetime. This experience will be like a line beyond which it is not necessary to go.