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Off The Leash?

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I watched yet another video from and this one really got me thinking. Do I really give my girls enough opportunities to learn? This presentation from Gever Tulley titled 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do (see video at bottom of page) suggests that we need to ease the leash a little to let kids learn. Let them play with a campfire, let them own a pocket knife, let them climb up the wet slide in their socks.

So I started think about what learning opportunities I have given my girls. Sure I let Kid A cross the road by herself, but that's hardly ground breaking - the kid's seven and we live in a quiet street. Here's a couple of examples of where I have let a kid off the leash so to speak.

Swearing in context

Kid A still thinks stupid is a swear word so when I gave her the OK to sing the lyrics "fuckin’ high", a key part of her favourite song, she thought I was joking. With me playing guitar and trying to sing myself, I had to keep nodding at her every time we approached that part of the song to encourage her to sing the F word. At first she sang it with a wry smile each time as if she was being naughty, now she just understands that she's using the word in context, though she won't sing it when singing the song to herself. I doubt very much she uses the word at school (though I could be wrong) and she has never attempted to use the word outside of singing the song.

Playing with fire

Like the Ted video, we let both Kids A and B play with the campfire. We go camping regularly so they're always going to have opportunities to be around an open fire. There's nothing wrong with letting them throw the odd twig on, sacrifice a cereal box or two, or cook their own marshmallows. Kid A helped Q start the fire and watched intently as I, on all fours, blew at the flames to get the fire going. I'm sure she'll be the starting the fire herself in the next year or so.


Maybe the more appropriate term is cleansing. Kid A has been bugging me for some time to take her fishing. So on our annual Murray River camping trip I bought Kid A a fishing rod and a bucket of works. I encouraged her to bait the hook but she wasn't real happy about having worm blood on her fingers - maybe next year. We caught a lot of carp and a small trout (I think). Kid A enjoyed the experience but had more fun digging for worms and kicking around a dead carp. Next year I’m sure she’ll ‘take care of the carp’ herself...maybe it’s time to buy Kid A her first pocket knife.

How have you 'let the kid off the leash' for the purpose of providing learning opportunities?

Last modified on Friday, 09 March 2012 07:39

Bucky is a proud triple dad to three girls aged eight and under (Bookworm, Foghorn and Boo). He left the full time corporate world in late 2012 and he's not sure whether he's a SAHD or a WAHD, but either way he's spenidng more time at home with his family. Once upon a time Bucky played guitar for a garage band, now he can only play nursery rhymes.

Bucky would like to be an official chocolate, beer and scotch tester - please contact him here if you can help with this.Aussie Daddy Blogger Member

You can follow Bucky on nearly every social media network known to man, but maybe start with Twitter. You can also follow his dog on Twitter if you really like.

You can give Bucky Klout for "Parenting", "Dads" or "Social Media" here (Thanks!).

Bucky is a proud Aussie Daddy Blogger.



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5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do Gever Tully via

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