Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Dangerous Kids VS Bubble Wrapped Cloistered Kids
Do you let your kids do dangerous things? Me? Nope. Not really. Which is a shame really. It is. They live this cloistered life where they don't get to experience life's heady ups and it's way down downs.
While my kids don't live a dangerous life, I do try and invest in them a sense of independence. I think independence in children is an absolutely positive thing. It's what you want. Well it's what I want anyhow.
I lived a childhood where we tore up the streets riding our bikes 'round and 'round, through church yards, up and down gravel roads. We walked to the local BP station for mixed lollies. We walked bare foot through grass. We got sunburnt. I jumped into the pool. Mum had to fish me out. We lit fire crackers. We made bonfires. We made teepees out of sticks. I jumped into the pool. Mum had to fish a blue-faced me out. We drove through my grandparent's paddocks, me sitting on Gramps' knee steering. I got rose thorns in my fingers. I trod on bindis. I trod on prickles. I trod on bees. I trod on a nail. Yes. I trod on a lot. That's what happens when you have big feet like me.
We had cats, dogs, rabbits, lambs, birds, fish and chickens for pets. Life was good. Life was full. And Mum and Dad cast out a net for us to catch our own experiences.
And then I look at my children's experiences. They don't really play out on the street with the other kids. Society has in a way wrapped them up in bubble-wrap and cloistered our kids. We're raising a generation of kids that are bubble-wrapped. Heck, all the playgrounds these days are safety-conscious they've removed the fun from it. Where's the sense of adventure?
One of my friends posted this TED Talk on their Facebook page (thanks to whoever that was) and I became inspired.
I'm inspired to let my children experience more. I want them to play with fire - but with boundaries. I want them to pull things apart. I'm going to let my kids use knives. I'm going to give my kids tools to experience life to a fuller capacity. They can throw spears too - just not sure where we're going to do that.
If for one thing alone, watching this has added a new dimension to my parenting. I want my kids to live a colourful and rich childhood. A pocket-knife is now on my shopping list for the Doctor's birthday.