When Wilderness Dad is in charge, my kids get to do all kinds of amazing things. Things I don’t want them to do. I don’t want them to swing too high on the swings. I don’t want them to run down hills fast. I don’t want them to use power drills in the kitchen.
I’m crazy right?
We went camping this past August. The Princess and the Butterfly tended to the camp fire (throwing things into it compulsively, poking it with a stick, finding out what would burn) for 4 hours straight. For them, it was bliss.
I sat back at least 20 feet, setting a new personal record in containing my anxiety. On the inside I was screaming. “Get away from the fire! Your hair is going to catch! Do you kids have a death wish?” On the outside I appeared calm. I mapped the closest ER on my iPhone. I took pictures of them dancing around the fire. I smiled occasionally.
And then this fall, the Butterfly wanted to build a bat box, because she loves bats and having a few living on the side of our house would be awesome.
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.
So out came the power tools. In my kitchen. And Wilderness Dad taught her how to use them.
I don’t have any pictures of her holding the drill or the saw because I had to leave the room. I couldn’t watch without freaking out.
There is no doubt that kids dive into these opportunities. Wilderness Dad is not the only wacko who thinks that kids benefit from doing dangerous things. So does this guy in the TedTalks video below. He thinks it’s important to a child’s creativity and development. I continue to struggle with letting my kids take risks, but I’m pretty sure these guys are right.
Have a look at the 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Child Do.
What are your thoughts? Do you let your child use power tools if they are well supervised? Cook on their own? Play with fire? Why or why not?