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Your Life: Black Friday can prove risky for novices

Charlotte Lankard: Becoming Black Friday veterans for two teens was a healthy exercise in risk-taking.
CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: November 26, 2012

What makes any endeavor risky is the possibility of failure. Contrary to popular belief, not all risk-taking is bad. Risk-taking can promote healthy neurological development.

Since adolescents are hard-wired to take risks, the challenge for parents is to help them find healthy opportunities to do so.

Positive and healthy risk-taking includes playing team sports, volunteer activities and making new friends. Sometimes they will win and sometimes lose, but they may find they are more self-confident, which can help prevent negative risk-taking behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol/drugs or unsafe sex.

Learning how to win and lose as well as how to take risks to help others are important social milestones every teen must learn to conquer.

Did Sarah and Erin choose to do Black Friday this year? No.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at


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