Kids will be kids. That may mean they get scrapes and bruises and the occasional cut. A lot of parents now, though, don’t let their children do anything they see as dangerous. Many of these activities, if monitored and properly taught, aren’t as dangerous as they are made out to be. Now, we’re not saying let your kids ride bikes on busy streets or run with a pack of wild animals, but there are some dangerous things you should let your kids do.
We’re not talking the kinds of fireworks you see at professional shows, but fireworks can be fun and help teach children responsibility regarding lighters and fireworks. When they are young, start them off with the poppers that make a loud pop when thrown to the ground. As they get older, you can let them light fireworks like smoke bombs and other ones that don’t throw sparks and explode. Once you believe they are mature enough to try other fireworks, there’s no harm in letting them light some of the bigger fireworks you guys have, so long as they are watched and instructed how to do so properly.
You’re gonna stand there, ownin’ fireworks, and tell me you won’t let your kids light no whistlin’ bungholes, no spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistlin’ kitty chaser?
Fire a Gun
Guns are a touchy subject in today’s world, considering how often we hear about shootings in the news. However, there’s no reason you can’t teach your children how to properly handle and shoot a firearm. The most important thing when teaching them how to handle guns is to instill the importance of firearm safety. Remind them as often as you need to not to have their finger on the trigger until they are ready to fire, and to keep the safety on until they are ready to use it as well. Also instill in them not to point the firearm at anybody while they are learning, loaded or not.
As most adults learned, I highly suggest starting with a bb gun (Red Ryder anyone?) or air soft gun. Treat these as serious as other firearms so they understand that, although not deadly, it is critical to treat guns with extreme caution.
Basic repair skills should be taught starting at a young age when their brains are sponges and absorb information. This includes using a hammer. Many parents may not be comfortable letting their child hammer a nail for fear they’ll hit their finger or hand but allowing them to try hammering nails will increase their coordination with the tool significantly. You can even start as young as 3 using a ball peen hammer!
Buying a new bookshelf you need to assemble? Start the screw in the right spot and let your kid finish it off with the screwdriver (or drill if you’re impatient like me). Allowing them to help will also make them feel more appreciative of the item you’re building. That will lead to less destruction later…hopefully (no guarantees there).
Cooking is another basic life skill that kids aren’t being taught early enough. This is most likely due to parents being afraid they’ll cut or burn themselves. Cooking itself isn’t particularly dangerous, but once you’re slicing onions with a sharp knife and your child wants to help, that may change your mind. Start them off with small tasks when they are young, and once they are responsible enough to handle sharp objects safely, allow them to slice up the veggies, or whatever needs cut. Not only does this teach them how to cook various foods, but it teaches them how to prepare and cook them safely.
Don’t know where to start? Start with easy things like baking cookies from store-bought dough, or helping make spaghetti. With simple tasks, they will start to understand while you teach the importance of safety with these easy tasks.
Climb a Tree
Climbing a tree is an initiation into childhood! Let your children climb trees and experience the world from a new height. It’s not as dangerous as it is made out to be and it is a whole new world of fun up there! Remember how accomplishing it felt to climb trees and reach a whole new level? They need that feeling of accomplishment too. This is something you cannot recreate–they need to experience it firsthand.
Most kids have a natural ability to climb and know how to get down by themselves. One rule I made was, don’t go so high that you’re scared to climb down.
Let your kids play and explore and let them do things others may see as dangerous. With proper instruction and supervision, let your kids light fireworks, fire guns, cook, and hammer a nail. Don’t forget to let them do a childhood favorite and climb trees! If you don’t allow them to do it under your supervision, they’ll do it when you’re not there…just like you did!