In this TED talk the speaker says that we don’t help our kids by making the world around them as safe as possible. Gever Tully says that we can do a few simple things to make our things creative, confident and in control of the environment around them. So what are these things.
#1: play with fire: Understanding how fire works – its intake, combustion and exhaust is an important life skill. This is more useful than playing with Avengers or Dora The Explorer toys.
#2: own a pocketknife: A pocketknife is a universal tool – a screwdriver, knife, spoon, spatula all in one. It is an empowering tool. Inuit children are given knives as babies for them to help them understand how blades work!
#3: throw a spear: Our brains are geared for throwing things and like muscle, if we don’t use parts of our brains, they atrophy over time. When you exercise these parts of the brain, you stimulate the parts of the brain which help in visual acuity and structural problem solving. Throwing is an analytical and physical skill.
#4: deconstruct appliances: Next time you are about to throw out an appliance, help your child take it apart first and see what is inside it. Puzzling over what the parts are for are useful for kids. This eventually helps kids believe that the black boxes we use are knowable.
#5: break the copyright act: Buy a song on iTunes, rip it on to a CD. Then from the CD transfer the file on to a MP3 player and play it. You have just broken a law and taught your child to do it as well. It is important for kids to understand that laws can be broken by accident and that laws have to be interpreted. If you are not comfortable doing this then the TED speaker says that you should let your child drive a car. This is a great stage for a kid – it gives them a handle on the world that they don’t often have access to.
If we in Marcellus can do all five things with our kids, that should take care of their lockdown boredom.
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