As young children, our parents do their best to protect us from harm. We’re taught not to play in the road or speak with strangers. As we grow and our environment changes, these foundational lessons guide us even when we are old enough to know better than to touch a hot stove.
When my wife and I had our first daughter, we had a very low Risk tolerance. We child-proofed every corner of the house, sanitized every surface, and never fed her candy. At that moment, our Risk radar was solid red. It was hard to see areas where there wasn’t danger around every corner. Over the years we relaxed, and by the time we had our third child, we stopped sanitizing surfaces that likely would never be touched and even allowed the youngest to eat that piece of candy Grandma was always trying to give the kids. Our Risk tolerance level raised significantly as we gained context on parenthood.