Overcome /
May 21, 2024

How Safety Prepares Us for Success

Taking risks is a part of life. We don’t grow without overcoming obstacles, and getting hurt happens, but how we approach safety helps us navigate challenging situations and create positive outcomes. 


One of the most rewarding parts of parenthood is to watch your children experience achievement. It can be as simple as riding their first slide solo or as helpful as your 6-year old making his own breakfast, but the joy and pride it brings to them and you is immeasurable. These moments also build confidence. They inspire the desire for more. Could something bad happen? Of course, but when you reduce risk, you increase the odds of success.

Safety is about preparing for a positive outcome. Having safeguards allows us to feel more secure in the risks we take. That sense of security fosters fearlessness. Whether you’re riding a 20 ft wave or a 20 ft. slide, it’s critical to feel like ‘you’ve got this’.


Here are a few safety strategies that Adam and I use to help our children reach new heights and that also help us feel greater peace of mind about this sometimes intimidating growth process. 


Respect the size and nature of the challenge.

Growth happens in stages. As much as he loves surfing, my 8 year old wouldn’t surf the same size waves that I do. We all have limits. It’s part of being human, and humility is important to safety. Know your limits, but don’t use them as excuses. Use them as stepping stones to get you to the next stage. As parents, we also have to recognize the limits of our children because they’ll really test them! You’ll often hear me say to one of my sons, “that looks sketchy”, which is my way of signaling to step back and scale down. We’re all on different levels. Understand your level and help your children understand theirs too. Then help push them onto the next!


Have a plan and trust your instincts. 

When you’re taking risks, which for my 6 year old may be biking down a big hill for the first time, success comes from preparation. When it comes to the physical, being successful means staying safe as well. I trust my son will be OK, and he’s confident enough to bike the hill because he’s practiced and trained enough to know he can. He’s planned for success and has mapped his route and way down as well. But he also has to use his instincts for when to break if he’s going too fast. You can’t plan for everything, but the right safeguards and preparation make you ready to act. 


Use tools to bolster confidence and reduce risk.

We use helmets and lights for riding bikes and skateboards, seat belts for cars, and keep life jackets on boats. The feeling of confidence and security that safety tools offer us provides both mental and physical benefits. Some things are just common sense and really helpful tools to prevent harm when it may be commonplace, like falling off a skateboard and wearing a helmet to protect your head. Others, like life jackets on a boat, are for worst-case scenarios, but you use them because they could save your life.

One of the ocean safety tools my family and I have recently started using is Sharkbanz. Their proven shark deterrent technology is simple, effective, and it brings me a greater sense of calm as a professional surfer and a parent. They have a product specifically for surfers and also a wearable, my Signature Edition band, that anyone who spends time in the ocean can easily use. It’s awesome this type of common sense technology now exists! Check them out at Sharkbanz.com.  

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