If your child is already showing signs of being an adrenaline junkie, there are two things you can do: (1) Discourage all risk-taking behaviour and actively prevent them from partaking in any ‘dangerous’ sports and activities; or (2) Accept that your child is going to be the type of person who lives on the edge and allow them to participate in supervised extreme sports.
Though this might be counter-intuitive to some people, the healthier option in this case is (2). Keeping your child from following their passions and pursuing activities they enjoy can damage them emotionally and stunt their personal development.
So the question now is: which sport? If you yourself are involved in any extreme sports, the choice is typically an easy one. But if the thrill-seeking scene isn’t your thing, have a look at our list below for three options available to you.
Mountain Bike Riding
Cross-country, uphill, downhill… If, like most children, your kid is comfortable with regular cycling, mountain bike riding should strike you as an ideal extreme weekend sport for them to try out. With obstacles, rough terrain, slopes, ramps, and tough turns, mountain biking should provide your child with the thrills and challenges they crave. However, your typical pedestrian bicycle isn’t going to cut it, so head into a store like 99 Bikes to buy the right bike and important safety equipment.
Skateboarding & Roller-skating
Though not as intense as mountain bike riding, skateboarding and/or roller-skating are sports that can be exhilarating and fun for younger children who love excitement. The feeling of air rushing past, combined with the range of tricks you can learn, make this a popular choice. As an additional bonus, skateboarding and roller-skating are relatively safe extreme sports compared to others, so you can spend less time stressing! Just make sure to remind your child to be cautious if they are skating near any roads.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Living in Australia, this option isn’t available to a lot of us. However, if you do live somewhere (or close to somewhere) that gets snow during winter, this is an ideal choice for your fun-loving child. As well as being enjoyable and fast-paced sports, skiing and snowboarding will improve your young one’s strength and balance. Plus, if your child loves some variety or gets bored easily, they can swap between the two. If they’re also interested in mountain biking, this works out very well too, because many skiing slopes transform during non-winter months into excellent cycling tracks. This means your child’s desire for extreme sports can be satisfied throughout the year.
There’s no denying the element of danger involved in extreme sports. However, if your child simply needs some extra excitement during their weekends, these are three of the best options. It’s often best if you can participate in your child’s chosen pursuit along with them. But, if their thrill-seeking gene definitely didn’t come from you, the basic act of supporting them in their interests and activities is great for boosting their confidence and sense of adventure. Take as many safety precautions as you need to, but – at the end of the day – you need to let your child be true to themselves.