23 August 2010

Bringing Up Children Who Can Deal With Risk

Things children should be encouraged to do:
1. Play with fire
2. Own a pocket knife
3. Throw a spear
4. Deconstruct appliances
5. Break the DMCA
6. Drive a car
_Gever Tulley_quoted in openeducation.net
Tulley's TED Talk:

Modern society makes a fetish of safety and security. We can see many examples of how the compulsion for security is destroying the economies of western societies -- take public sector union pensions and benefits as an example of the unsustainability of hyper risk-aversion in adults. Tenure for public school teachers and college professors (higher education bubble) are other examples of the destructiveness and counter-productiveness of excessive clinging to security.

Raising children according to the risk-aversive mindset of modern western societies, is to raise children who will feel more comfortable staying home with their parents, rather than going out and making a life for himself. Such children are taught to be afraid of everything around them, and learn risk-aversion from their parents, teachers, and society at large.

But children must learn to take risks, because they are growing up in a world full of risk. They must learn to deal with hazards safely while still children, or they will turn to excessive risks such as drugs, drinking and driving, etc. or turn to excessive caution as a permanent attitude.

Training generations of children who are afraid to take risks, creates a huge risk all in itself. A risk-averse society will focus intently upon minimal and pseudo-risks which are close at hand, while ignoring much greater risks which may be developing just out of sight (or mind). The combination of risk aversion with political correctness multiplies the genuine risk by orders of magnitude -- because people are forbidden to discuss very real risks -- which are officially said not to exist, by the PC police.

And so after a few generations of risk averse children are raised to be afraid of their own shadows, but blind to real risks, your society is ripe for the fall. Most modern western children may very well fall within this category by now.

If so, wise persons will want to know where children are still being raised to take responsibility and to rationally deal with risks. Just in case they may someday wish to re-locate themselves to a place with a more robust and less unstable societal infrastructure.

Becoming a risk-taker

Tinkering School

50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Children Do

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Blogger Borepatch said...

Take your children to the shooting range.

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Right. Teach them to shoot, to wrestle, to box by the rules and to fight dirty, to cross swords and sticks, and to survive a wide range of natural and manmade hazards while keeping their heads about them.

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010  
Blogger nemesis said...

I am curious to know how many 'developed' nations have reached this stage of risk aversion. Perhaps as we developed we had less to lose, now that we live relatively comfortable lives complacency has taken over.

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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