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.

7 comments:

trudi@maudeandme said...

I saw this video recently and totally agreed with it. My son will also get a pocket knife this birthday!

Michelle said...

Awesome talk Lexi! Thanks for sharing. Recently Hugo's favourite thing is to go to the tip shop and buy an old electrical item to bring home and take apart. Old fan heaters with a motor are his favourite. You can pick them up for a dollar or two.

But yes, I do like the idea of a pocket knife.

Tania said...

Is it the 5 Dangerous Things to Let Your Kids Do talk? Er, yes. We know it well. Love it. Have also restocked the first aid kit...

fast times in m√ľnchen. said...

This is so so good Lexi. I also wanted Oli to have a similar childhood to mine so I try not to bubble wrap too much! As soon as Oli finishes his homework he can play outside on the street with the neighbouring kids until dinner time. He is also allowed to skateboard on the road around the block. He has started to ask me if he is allowed to cross the road by himself without waiting for me and if it's a quiet enough street then I let him. We're working our way up to letting him get the bus by himself to school. But maybe next year. xx

Dave gave him a pocket knife a few months ago. And maybe a crossbow...ahem.

Anna said...

Thanks for this, I'm feeling inspired now too! I especially like the idea of pulling apart some of the household items we take for granted and trying to figure out how they work. Fascinating!

Sarah said...

YEa I saw this video as well...

I like it - though when he said he did not have children I started to wonder.

I feel I do all of these but having said that I do have boys so they do tend to do these things

Though at times when I try to parent like this sometimes I feel like I free range them to much...

Mel @ Skye Rocket Sews said...

I agree Sarah...it's hard to get a balance.
With the exception of having real swiss army knives(with have realistic looking toy ones)my kids experience all of these things thanks to their Dad and my Dad.
I do tend to freak a little...esp with knives....I should learn to chill-lax!