Sunday, January 20, 2008

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

What do you think of this? Do kids need to do dangerous things? Does it help them feel a stronger sense of themselves? Does it ultimately make them safer and more capable?

Both of my kids use power tools with their Dad. I wouldn't do that for them, but I make custard with them and my husband doesn't do that. It takes two, baby.

My son has a pocket knife. He can not wait to show his friends, and we've explained that it's not a toy, it's a tool and you have to be especially careful with it and treat it with respect. He is proud to have it, proud to be trusted by his parents about this and has a special place where he keeps the knife. He has used the tiny scissors around the house and has felt proud to be so helpful.

As an industrial designer, my husband is fully aware of the lengths that companies go to to warn people off of their own stupidity. If you take off a safety feature for a product, you might get hurt by it. If you use a product for something it was not intended for, you might get hurt by it. If you use a baby saucer/play chair/console thing as a flotation device, your child may not be safe. If a kid uses a knife correctly, will they automatically get hurt? If they get a greater facility at using the knife, will there be even less of a chance of them getting hurt?

I've posted a poll about what dangerous things you think are OK for a kid to do. Please vote, and we'll see the results next Sunday.

Be careful out there! If it's cold, be sure to put on a coat! Look both ways before you cross the street! Chew your food slowly! Measure twice cut once (I actually like that one)!

Oh. I'm sorry. You guys are adults, right? Oh. OK then. Right. You can figure out for yourselves how to negotiate your own way through the world.

Never mind...

3 comments:

Blessed Wife and Mother said...

I know Im over protective, and I know most of the things I worry about are never going to really happen. But then again, Im raising a sensory seeking and impulsive child who does things that even she doesn't know why she does them.
I said that cooking was okay and using a drill but honestly she is such a nut that it scares me to even let her use scissors. I have to let hubby do it with her, or let her do it at her Occupational Therapy.

~L~ said...

I like that your poll addresses 7 and over. That widened the spectrum for me. my dd I would let do any and all of those things, but my impulsive 5 yo, while he does saw down trees, isn't getting my drill quite yet.

I blogged about this video too! It surely hit a nerve, didn't it?

Laura said...

Yeah I thought 7 and up would get more freedom to try to do these things. 5 years old...maybe with a lot of hands on guidance.

Yes, I've seen mention of this video on all sorts of unschooling sites. It has struck a nerve.

If we want our kids to understand freedom, I think sometimes we need to let them be free!

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