‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

MY son went overseas recently and returned with multiple broken bones from a mountain biking accident.

I’m wondering about the best way to approach this so he doesn’t continue to engage in risky activities into the future.

Josie B

Dear Josie,

Mmmn. This is a tricky one.

Whether something is a risky activity comes down to a whole range of factors including expertise, experience, preparation, and external variables that can’t always be planned for. Sometimes an accident is just that – plain bad luck.

Likelihood levels also come into it.

It could be argued that there is more risk in your son driving to work than a holiday-based biking accident.

We can’t prepare for every potential danger, but we can certainly assist with mitigating those dangers.

To start with, he is going to be feeling very sore and sorry, so now isn’t the time to dwell on the accident.

It’s certainly not the time for any ‘what were you thinking?’ conversations when you give him his evening sponge bath (no doubt more excruciating for him than the accident).

What he needs is your physical and emotional support.

He will already be upset with himself.

As he starts to feel better, you could ease into conversations about how to be better prepared in the future.
Was the track slippery?

Was he trying to ride a course above his skill level?

Was fatigue involved?

Was he wearing all the necessary safety gear to minimise injury?

Did he have delusions that he was world class rider John ‘The Tomes’ Tomac instead of Bradley from the Bay?

We can help our kids pack for exciting adventures, but there are some things that can’t be packed, including life experience.

Learning from mistakes is unfortunately one of the best, and sometimes most painful, ways to grow.

Carpe diem,

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