Playing with fire

I have just seen a talk by Gever Tulley called “5 Dangerous Things for Kids” which you can see here:

I really liked this video because he speaks the words that many of us think but have never really voiced in public. I know that I have often had conversations with people who have said that they cannot understand the rules and regulations about safety that we have in our society in relation to children.

Watching this video I can only stand and applause the statements that Gever makes about the fact that children are learning machines and somehow we cut all the curiosity and interest that they show by having prohibitions on them exploring their world.

At the expense of seeming like an old groaner saying “it was better in my day” I have to say that, as a child, I cut myself on knives, I fell over too many times, I burnt myself and yet I am here still to write this blog today!

I feel that we must allow our children the chance to protect themselves when they are older by experiencing the effects of fire, of jagged rocks, of climbing trees and falling. Throughout human history our children have learnt and experienced the world in these ways.

There is, of course, a further implication to these ideas. We must allow children the chance to play in and out of school. I am concerned about the restrictions that surround children in their lives. In a later talk that Gever gave at The Big Ideas Fest of 2009 (see video below) he discussed the neurological evidence of just what happens to our brains when we are allowed to explore and experience things.

I think that he speaks very good common sense and I wish that our bureaucrats and politicians would take heed of his words and his ideas because,as he states in his talks, in the end, exploration and experience at an early age are the things that keep us safe and help us to grow when we mature.

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