Christian Long

Gever Tulley: 5 Dangerous Things for Kids

In TED Talks on May 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Extra credit reflection by KEITH C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Gever Tulley:  5 Dangerous Things for Kids

In this video, I felt like I could relate with Gever in many ways. I find his way of raising children to be very interesting and different from usual methods. Gever explains how everything that is being produce recently has been children proofed. From plastic bags to any remotely sharp objects, there is a warning label on it. He makes a great point when he says that if we are always protecting are children from these kinds of situations, how are they going to handle it when they are out on their own. Gever says, “As the safety zone grows smaller, we cut off valuable opportunities for our children to interact with the world around them.”

If we keep our children from exploring on their own, how are they ever going to learn those essential life lessons? I think that if children learn these lessons on their own, it will be much more meaningful to them. Children can also learn a lot more from the environment around them when their parents are not there to hold your hand and walk them through it. He also make a great point when he reminds us that, no matter how hard we try to keep them in our little safe zone, they will always find a way to do something dangerous. I also think the same concept applies to older kids as well. I remember when my parents first made me order at a restaurant all by myself. At the time it was one of the scariest things in my life, but now I realize how helpful it really was. To me, simple things like this really help prepare you for the real world where your parents aren’t going to be there to walk you through everything.

I also think that being able to explore and learn things on your own is what defines people to be independent when they grow up. Gever gives a great example of this when he discusses one of the five dangerous things, “playing with fire.” He explains how children can learn so many things by carefully playing with fire. To me, this relates to the lesson Gever mentioned earlier about how if you do not introduce them to it now and let them learn fro it, they we get her later on. When the play with dangerous things such as fire, they can learn the basic principle and get a feel for how dangerous it really is. I also like the point that Gever makes about children throwing things.

This is something that you generally think that someone would tell a kid not to do, right?

Well when I think about, when I was a kid I was always throwing things, whether it is a baseball, rocks, or even a wadded up pair of socks when I was bored. Gever says that a part of our brains is designed to throw thing, and just like a muscle, the more we exercise this part of the brain, the more precise it becomes. Throwing also help kids gain depth perception, hand-eye coordination, and three dimensional understanding. Gever also explains how throwing improves children’s attention and concentration skills, which I am sure in turn help out with athletic abilities. Another lesson that Gever shares is to take apart old appliances that are not going to be used again. He says that even if the children do not know what these individual parts are for, they can begin to assume and better understand how things generally work.

I believe that sometimes parents have to be able to let their children go off on their own to get a feel for not being constantly with their family. For example, a child’s first sleepover away from his parents is a very crucial part in their childhood. The first night that they are away from home without their parents they really get a feel for the first stages of becoming independent, and get those first feeling of homesickness that they will later overcome. Children that learn to become independent sooner also mature faster and are going to be the kids that are prepared for the real world.

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