Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

by beagooddad on January 7, 2008

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How many dangerous things do you let your kids do? Can exposing our kids to dangerous activity actually be good for them?

For those of you that don’t want to spend about 10 minutes watching the video, here’s the bullet points along with my comments:

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

Play With Fire – I remember when I was in about 2nd grade running off with a friend of mine and his mom’s lighter and trying to set things on fire. We would gather branches, grass, bark and paper and see what happened when we applied flame. We learned quite a bit about shading the fire and which barks ignited and which didn’t. We probably would have been better off practicing with the relative safety of having other grown ups around but really how many grown ups are going to encourage their kids to play with fire. Maybe a little supervised pyromania would help protect kids from the very real tragedies that happen when kids play with fire without adult supervision.

Own A Pocket Knife – You could never get a way with this in today’s society. “Weapons” are just so forbidden for kids. But really a pocket knife is a tool; a can opener, glue scraper, screwdriver, letter opener and so many other things all in one. There are so many non-dangerous things I could have done with a pocket knife as a kid that I’m kind of annoyed that I didn’t have one. Anymore, some kind of a screwdriver tool should be required for all kids. How else are they going to be able to open the “child safe” battery compartments to change the batteries in their own toys.

Throw A Spear – Man I wish I would have had a chance to chuck some spears around when I was a kid. There are very few things that are more caveman than tossing a piece of wood the length of your own body and trying to make it hit a target. We don’t even get to use the real Jarts anymore. Imagine the whole body strength, balance and coordination developed with this activity. And no, any javelin throwing game for the Ninteno Wii does not count.

Deconstruct Appliances – Remember when Radio Shack used to be popular because people liked to build circuit boards and fix their TVs. BAGM gets nervous when I take apart the computer case to put in a new video card. Who knows what’s on the inside of toasters and old remotes? I remember taking apart a few things as a kid and having no idea what I was looking at. With the internet today, kids can probably get access to all of the information to describe what is inside the objects and ways to modify the insides and put it back together to work in fun new ways. Plus, let’s face it, most people under 35 or so know so little about electronics and mechanics that we are functionally useless if our appliances break.

Break the DMCA – I love it. First of all, I think that the DMCA is stupid. If I want to take an item that I have purchased and rip it, break it, mutate it, redesign it for my own private purposes then so be it. Learning how to use computers to make back up copies of our digital media is crucial these days. Another great lesson would be to have your kids buy some iTunes music, delete the iTunes software and then discuss why they are not able to use the music they just bought on their computer on any of the other media players available. Then ask them what will happen if iTunes ever decides to change their DRM scheme and not support the old DRM scheme in the new versions of iTunes. Ouch! Teaching kids about what the laws and punishments are is important, too. You don’t want your kid ripping your entire CD/DVD collection, sharing them on the internet and having the Movie/Record Associations knocking on your door.

Now I’m sure some of those things would cause parents around the country to cringe and fire off a rapid rebuttal comment, but if you watch the video, he’s suggesting that parents should let their kids do these things mostly while supervised by adults. Letting kids do things unsupervised is a different, and just as serious, issue.

What do you think? Which would you let your kids do?

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