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Being only 19, I still have a ways to go before I would consider having children. Nonetheless, I know a few of you on this board have kids, and I came across this TED Talks video about teaching children some very basic things. I thought it was an interesting approach to learning, and refreshing to see in this age where everything has been made "Child-safe".

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/202

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I think the part about owning a pocket knife could create trouble. Imagine if junior takes it to school and one of the other kids finds it. Next thing you know, the principal is calling you in for a meeting with a policeman and a representative from child services to explain why the kid has a lethal weapon on school property. There's probably some kind of anti-terror statute that would apply to the situation!*

Seriously, though, he makes a good point in the talk. Physically interacting with "dangerous" things is good for kids, given supervision. I imagine the cumulative effect of sheltering kids from scrapes & scratches, and the micro-managed world of local, state, and federal regulatory laws could have troublesome cultural and economic repercussions ... parents say "you can't", then you grow up to find that the state says "you can't" as well.

I also imagine that the hyper-safety-conscious upbringing of children plays a large part in things like teen pregnancy, teen violence, etc.; if the notion that kids are naturally adventurous is correct, attempting to suppress those urges only motivates them to act out in destructive ways.

(* It's not so hard to imagine. No lie, a couple of cousins of mine were threatened with anti-terror prosecution after accidentally hitting a cop car on a night of Halloween car egging.)

Edited by Lemuel
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I think the part about owning a pocket knife could create trouble. Imagine if junior takes it to school and one of the other kids finds it. Next thing you know, the principal is calling you in for a meeting with a policeman and a representative from child services to explain why the kid has a lethal weapon on school property. There's probably some kind of anti-terror statute that would apply to the situation!*

That's not only not hard to imagine, as you say in the footnote, but not even necessary. A few weeks ago an elementary schoolstudent got in trouble for bringing a steak knife to school (to be used on the steak he brought for lunch). I don't recall any details, but it was all over the news. There have been cases of children getting in trouble for bringing plastic knives, too (Ok, you can kill someone with a plastic knife, sure, but also with a pencil, a pen, a staple remover, a screw-driver and any of a myriad objects common to schools).

When I was a child I recall students who were in the Boy Scouts (I wasn't) would bring pocket knives and other assorted tools sometimes, usually on Fridays when the Scout meeetings were held after school. I don't recall any of them misusing or playing with their knives. On the contrary, they were very serious about handling them, storing them and using them safely (these were 11 or 12 year olds)

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  • 1 month later...
(* It's not so hard to imagine. No lie, a couple of cousins of mine were threatened with anti-terror prosecution after accidentally hitting a cop car on a night of Halloween car egging.)

Yikes. It kind of makes me think... shouldn't we have a constitutional amendment defining what a terrorist is, just as we have treachery defined in the constitution? I think that would have a major impact on terrorism bills, but it would probably be opposed by most Republicans and even some Democrats. But hey, it's worth a shot, isn't it?

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  • 1 month later...

I completely agree.

My father is one of those intellectual types and would often take me and my sisters to museums and such as children. Well, I got the bright idea to build a campfire like I saw at the museums one day while my father was at work and my mother was watching her soap operas as she always does. What I figured at the time, was that as long as you had stones piled in a circle, there would be no possibility of fire escaping (as if by some magical law I didn't fully understand). So of course the first thing I did was to get my stones ready. When I was satisfied I went to ask my mother for some matches. I specifically remember her saying, "What the hell do you need matches for? You better not be messing with fire!" and then going on about watching her soap operas. Of course I ignored her and though I don't specifically remember how I eventually was able to start my campfire I do remember quite well that the stones didn't work as well as I thought they would at the small fire quickly became a large one.

My father did not punish me, much to the discontent of many, but he did ask me if I now understood what had happened and why I did it to which I replied yes, I did. I realize now that all my mother had to do was to take an afternoon off from watching soap operas to have a little fun with me and satisfy my curious nature in discovering what fire was all about.

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I specifically remember her saying, "What the hell do you need matches for? You better not be messing with fire!" and then going on about watching her soap operas.
I guess it would have been OK if you were just using the matches to light a cigarette or a joint, just so long as you werent "messing with fire."
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  • 2 months later...
Yikes. It kind of makes me think... shouldn't we have a constitutional amendment defining what a terrorist is, just as we have treachery defined in the constitution? I think that would have a major impact on terrorism bills, but it would probably be opposed by most Republicans and even some Democrats. But hey, it's worth a shot, isn't it?

Maybe we should have an ammendment that there will be no more stupid frivolous amendments.

Government is not the answer. Take your kids out of public school where they're bred to obey, not think. That's the answer.

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(* It's not so hard to imagine. No lie, a couple of cousins of mine were threatened with anti-terror prosecution after accidentally hitting a cop car on a night of Halloween car egging.)

My school has a partial ban on cell phones because, according to the administration, they could be used for terrorist activities.

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