Scott Doxey
Scott and Annelle Doxey of Buena Vista, Va., have always encouraged their six children to take appropriate risks. Alex Doxey and his brother Brigham Doxey (in the photo) enjoy activities such as parkour, a sport that involves jumps and flips.

Youth is awesome because in "fun" activities, you have a wider margin for error ("Rebels with a cause?" Jan. 8). Thus, you can learn the normal margins of safety.

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That carries into other areas of life. It's like learning to drive in slippery conditions, where it's best to do it on a large parking lot with plenty of room. You purposely go in and out of control. By doing so, you learn where the margins of safety are. You can learn more in an hour on such a parking lot than in a year of driving on the road. You won't even think of it as a learning experience.

Another activity is group dating. If you did certain behaviors privately, you would probably crash. But in a group setting, having other people around gives you the strength to pull out of the bad situation so it doesn't go badly.

Sterling Allan