As a parent and a teacher, I am keenly aware of the need to provide children with a safe environment in which to grow up and learn. However, at a certain point, too much safety begins to deny children the opportunities to assess and take risks, to push themselves, and to learn what is and is not safe and acceptable. Children need these experiences to develop confidence, self esteem and common sense. Personally, I feel that by denying children the opportunity to take suitable risks (owning pen knives, hiking, making bike ramps, etc.), we are pushing children to take unacceptable risks (taking drugs, driving under the influence, unprotected sex, etc). In this video, Gever Tulley gives examples of dangerous things we should encourage children to do, for these very reasons. With proper guidance, these activities can really help children to develop a better understand of themselves and the world around them.
Right, I am off to play with fire…it is, after all, educational.