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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 20

Good parenting is calculated risk taking

When I was a teenager, my younger brother – aged about 8 – decided to climb a tall tree in the garden. He had reached approximately the height of the roof of the house when the branch he was standing on snapped. He grabbed onto the branch above with both hands and was left swinging about 25 feet above the ground (if you think only in metric, that’s a long way). Not surprisingly, he yelled extremely loudly.

My mother came out to the garden to see what the trouble was. Her stomach must have lurched when she saw him so high up and so precarious, but she didn’t show it. She simply talked him down reassuringly: ‘It’s OK, there’s a small stump about three inches from your left foot. That’s it. Now ...

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