How extreme is too extreme when it comes to kids’ sports?

Spend five minutes at any playground and you’re guaranteed to see kids perched atop the monkey bars or leaping over the side of the twisty slide. Well, if you’re at the playground with my son, anyway.

Most kids are natural thrill seekers. Some manipulate their average surroundings to give them the excitement and risk that they are so hungry for. Others take it to the next level.

In the 1990s, she says, a program introduced Norwegian teenagers with drug problems to sky diving and other extreme activities. After that, they committed fewer drug offenses, fared better in school and reported being happier. In a later study of 360 high schoolers, Sandseter and a colleague found that those who said their parents encouraged things like rock climbing and kayaking were less prone to criminal and antisocial behaviors like speeding, stealing and vandalism. “If you’ve grown up with a lot of experiences with risky play, this teenage period will be more manageable, you’ll be more realistic in your risk assessment,” Sandseter says.

But, how risky is too risky?

Read the full article at The New York Times: Is It Wrong to Let Children Do Extreme Sports? – NYTimes.com