(You Should Let Your Children Do)
Parenting is a tough gig.
I’m married to a helicopter parent. It’s true. They would have no survival skills without me. My husband thinks everything will kill them. I tell him to suck it up and let them live life up!
What is the right balance in how much risk a parent should allow a child?
At our house playing in the mud (while Dad’s around) is taboo. Riding bikes (while Dad’s around) requires an adult to sit on the front step and the children to go only the length of our house. Climbing Trees (while Dad’s around) is a fear fest that has even the birds thinking they should be on the ground, with both feet, at all times.
I set out to change this. My children will call me “hero” when they discover 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do). It’s packed with projects, activities, experiments and things my husband would NEVER allow the children to do like “Play with Fire” and “Superglue Your Fingers Together”. It’s 50 ways my kiddos are being liberated this summer.
The book is for a novice like me, with easy to follow instructions that are complimented by facts that make us seem like brainiacs. Then there’s the challenges and I’m just going to lay it out there, we’re inspired by this book. It’s opening doors in communication as we discuss dangers (real dangers, not just being out of Dad’s sight) and my children are curious about new things!
The book is about balance. It’s teaching the how-tos and allows mastery so danger is minimized. I want my children to have adventure and be smart enough to think on their own to make decisions that are wise.
We started with “Cooking in the Dishwasher”. My husband had plenty to say and said he was not eating anything that came out of the dishwasher. I said, “Okay”.
We started with aluminum foil and a package of hot dogs.
Then we decided how many hot dogs we wanted. Turns out, when cooking in the dishwasher, appetites swell!
From here, we wrapped up the hot dogs, tightly. I followed the same procedure I do for making Hobo Meals when we go camping. And….for the Dad…I double wrapped them!
Then came the excitement. Into the dishwasher, top rack. I was disappointed we didn’t have more dirty dishes to accompany the hot dogs, but the kiddos felt that “some” dirty dishes made it still so dangerous….and DAD backed them up!
We ran the entire cycle. My kiddos have never been so eager for the dishes to get clean! When the drying cycle kicked the dishwasher to “off”, we unwrapped our hot dogs.
It just kept getting better because then we got to eat them. One by one, in front of my husband, my children devoured the hot dogs. They told their friends. I was truly at the top of Mother of the Year for this one!
I want my children to have the experiences author, Gever Tulley had growing up. His world was full of adventure. With his big brother they were permitted to explore and invent. I don’t think Helicopter parents had been created yet! The parents encouraged their curiosity and gave them opportunity for a smart way to approach their curiosity. Gever’s rule while babysitting, “If you’re going to play with fire, be sure to do it outside”. I wanna be like that!
His curiosity carried over into his adulthood, creating the Tinkering School in 2005. Opening the door to teach kids how to build things based on the belief we all learn by fooling around!
50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) is awesome! My children and I had so much fun exploring the dishwasher, learning how it cleans dishes and mastering a meal inside the appliance. I can admit it, even I was fascinated. I even found a recipe for “Dishwasher Lasanga” on the web, that I ‘m eager to try!
This is the book Summer’s been waiting for and we’re going to eat it up!
*I received a copy of 50 Dangerous Things in order to facilitate an honest review. No other compensation was received. The opinions, where expressed, are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others experiences may vary.