Try as you might to prevent it, all toddlers get hurt. They don't necessarily understand the concept of gravity, they're painfully fearless, and they’re pint-sized scientists, (minus a solid understanding of cause and effect). So it's our job, as parents, to make sure they stay relatively safe and away from harm. There are, however, times when you should let your toddlers hurt themselves, even though it goes against every parenting bone in your body. After all, we can't protect our children from everything, and when we try to we run the risk of robbing them from a necessary, and even beneficial, experience.
I grew up with two overly-cautious parents. Helicopter parents, if you will. My mother was especially protective. In fact, I can tell you exactly how many badly-skinned knees I got growing up. Two. I never learned to ride a bike, roller skate, skateboard, or slide down a banister. I was never really allowed to get into any potential trouble, so I grew up more anxious about the possibility of danger rather than experiencing any myself. And sure, it’s cool that I never broke a bone until I turned 16, but I hate that my childhood was so sheltered.
As a mother to a toddler, I’m trying to walk the line between being safety-minded and allowing my son to be adventurous. With that in mind, I give you a list of times when I think we should all allow our toddlers to potentially hurt themselves. Of course, these moments exclude extremely dangerous situations (your child will never benefit from running in a busy parking lot, no matter how many times they fight you when you hold their hand) but when you know the damage will be minimal, sometimes a tiny bump or bruise can be a necessary lesson in disguise.