“This past weekend we went camping. The highlight of the weekend, for the kids, was carving sticks with knives. Now, this isn’t the first time that they’ve carved before, but they still need supervision, especially my youngest who is seven. To be perfectly honest, knife carving raises my blood pressure a little. The kids can’t be left alone with the knives… well at least my daughter can’t. My son is getting a lot better.
“There were plenty of times that we had to take the knife away from my daughter and make her take a break because she wasn’t behaving properly with it. That brings me to the whole reason why we let the kids engage in a somewhat dangerous activity. My husband and I want the kids to learn how to take risks, how to learn about danger and to handle it respectfully and responsibly, and to do so in a safe environment where we can help them. It’s also important for us that they learn to be trustworthy, and we learn to trust them. If we try to shelter our kids all the time, then they won’t be equipped to handle danger and risks as teenagers and adults. Now is the time to teach them, in a safe and supervised way. Instead of sheltering them from knives and telling them they are dangerous, without teaching them how to deal with that danger, we try to embrace it and let them learn. By the third day we didn’t have to take the knife away from my daughter once.
“Along with knife carving, we let the kids go play by the lake by themselves, roast all their own food (maybe that’s a given when camping), and go off on trails around the camping area far out of our sight. It was a great weekend. Interestingly enough, given more freedom, and more responsibility, the kids got along better with each other, fought less and behaved more. It was a great weekend.”
Thanks for sharing your story Jacey! And way to say YES!