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Q&A: My Son's Risk-Taking Actions Worry Me

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman offers advice to a mom who is concerned about her son's risk-taking behavior.

By Rosalind Wiseman

Q. My 7-year-old has become a risk taker, touching hot pans on the stove when I've told him not to and even lodging a small eraser in his ear a few weeks ago. Friends and family tell me not to worry, but could there be more to it?

A. Most children do crazy, dangerous things like climbing on the roof, lighting things on fire or riding their bike with their eyes closed. All these activities can result in their getting hurt while doing something "fun." In this case, what concerns me is that your son's actions focus on directly harming his body and he's repeating the behavior. Do him, and yourself, a favor and go to the doctor to make sure he isn't having a more severe problem with sensory processing. You don't want him continuing to "test" himself until he is seriously injured.

Originally published in the June 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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