Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do | Teeny Manolo

Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do

By raincoaster

Nine minutes of uncommon sense from Gever Tulley, founder of The Tinkering School.

“We seem to feel that anything pointier than a golf ball is too dangerous for kids.”

    Play with fire
    Own a pocket knife
    Throw a spear
    Deconstruct appliances
    Break the DMCA

and bonus:
Drive a car

6 Responses to “Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do”

  1. Phyllis Says:

    How risky any of this migth be depends on so many factors. My brother was a kid who certainly did deconstruct plenty of appliances. He was also a smart kid, and today he’s the best electrician I know.

  2. raincoaster Says:

    I wish I’d been able to take apart appliances. I never DID get dynamos and transformers and all that stuff, despite taking physics all the way up to university.

    Mind you, I have a friend who could make anything dangerous. If you put him in a foam-padded room (which many of his teachers would have liked to have done) he would still find a way to strangle himself.

  3. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    Exactly. It depends on the child. I would trust my 10-year old nephew with a pocket knife, a newborn, my retirement portfolio or a fully stocked chem lab. (Especially the retirement portfolio — my serious, sweet, and wildly intelligent boy actually follows the stock market.) My other nephew (who is eight)? My sunshiny, wildly imaginative, big-hearted scamp? He’d probably find a way to cut off an appendage, lose the newborn somewhere, crash the entire stock market and inadvertently make an atomic bomb — not due to any malice or fault on his part, but just because he’d go nuts with the stuff to see “what might happen”.

    It’s not just kids, though. There are grown men who I wouldn’t trust with anything sharper than a ball of yarn. ­čÖé

  4. JaneC Says:

    I think I did most of those things as a child, sort of. Rather than a car, I drove a golf cart, and rather than deconstructing appliances I deconstructed mechanical toys (and with the help of my older sister’s engineer husband, put them back together again). I always felt sorry for the kids whose parents wouldn’t let them climb trees or use a hammer or help in the kitchen.

  5. raincoaster Says:

    We didn’t have enough land to drive a car on, but I did get to fly a plane. I did a barrel roll once, with my dad holding on to the other wheel.

    On the opposite end of the scale, I used to look after two kids who didn’t even have a ball. If it wasn’t a major brand that came with instructions and rules, their parents just didn’t buy it.

  6. Sarah Says:

    I know of parents who let their 4-year-olds cook dinner. The kids wanted to do it, so the parents taught them how to safely use the stove and the oven. The kids understand what is safe and what is not and are conscientous about it. They make spaghtetti and sauce, casseroles, etc.

    One of things I love about Montessori education is that it teaches kids to do grown-up things, but in a safe way because the tools are smaller. Children of three years can sweep and mop if given small brooms and mops; they can grate potatos if the grater is small enough to fit safely in their hands; they can cut vegetables with a knife that is made for them; they can pour themselves juice from a small, light pitcher. The problem isn’t their comprehension or lack of fear (usually), it’s that the tools they need to do their work are made for grown-up hands, so they slip and hurt the kids.

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