(from The Art of Manliness, in part)
Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined. So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.
Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival. While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.
In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!
23 Dangerous Things You Should Let You Kids Do
Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city. And, my Dad was largely absent. I was given boundaries, though. Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids; Let us know where you are; Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.
Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices. Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits. Picking through discarded trash for treasures. Making rocket fuel and fireworks. Dissecting unexploded fireworks. Dirt clod fights. Rubber band guns with projectiles!
I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!
I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing. He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)
From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore. Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…
(And not in the traditional way! 😛 )
Toss your kid outside, without their electronics. And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.
They might learn something!
When I was growing up, there were numerous Westerns on television. Being raised by TV, I was familiar with most. One of them was The Rifleman (1958-1963).
The Rifleman, aka Lucas McCain, was played to his macho hilt by Chuck Connors, a 6’5″ athlete (from Wikipedia, in part):
Kevin Joseph Aloysius “Chuck” Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).
There was a book, first published in 1965, entitled Hollywood Babylon. There have been two subsequent printings. The book went out of it’s way to defame the famous in Hollywood, mentioning the scandals, the rumors, the crime, the ‘dirt’ for which the public was so hungry. Sal Mineo, Sharon Tate, Jayne Mansfield et al.
I don’t believe Chuck was mentioned in any of them.
The theme of the TV show was almost always (TV violence aside), a lesson which Lucas (a widower) would impart to his young son, Mark. I remember one particular episode wherein the lecture was (at the end of the show after much gunfighting) regarding people who are different. And just because they are different, doesn’t automatically make them BAD. And how we, as honest human beings should strive to be accepting of such folk.
Of course, I was a kid, so this message went over my head. When I saw the show again years later, some additional context was added.
An acquaintance, who has been a professional gun writer for many years, happened to see Chuck Connors at a large California gun show. IN FULL DRAG! – complete with a wig and makeup! This was a short time before he passed away.
This is not to defame Mr. Connors, but to suggest perhaps he and the TV show writers had a meeting-of-the-minds (?)
There are further rumors regarding Mr. Connors behavior all over the Internet. As there are with pretty much anyone regarded as ‘famous’.
Just because it says so on the Internet doesn’t make it true! – Abraham Lincoln
I remember sharing this tale with a collections manager @ TMCCC* (my last workplace). He ran away from me, covering his ears as though he were five years old! Obviously, I had been messing with a macho hero of his!
Be judicious with whom you share this tale.
*That Major Credit Card Company
Today’s award goes to a bunch of hysterical, pants-wetting, sissified social justice warriors at Edgewood College in Wisconsin.
The post-it-note says “Suck it up, pussies!” Whoever wrote it also drew a winking, tongue-out smiley face…
. . .
Students had been invited to express their feelings about the election by writing them on post-it-notes and placing them on a designated table. The post-it-note in question appeared in the window of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion instead, according to Campus Reform.
College Vice President Tony Chambers sent a letter to campus condemning this “act of cowardly hatred” and “intimidation.” He wrote:
A group of cross-functional college staff representing campus security, student conduct, human resources, Title IX enforcement, and diversity and inclusion measures convened Tuesday morning to discuss how to address the hateful message. This group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime…
College officials informed the Madison police, and now the cops are investigating. They are investigating a post-it-note. With a non-threatening message and a smiley face on it. After inviting students to express their feelings via post-it-note.
That’s hate for you, I guess.
There’s more at the link.
Ye Gods and little fishes . . . hysterical over-reaction, anyone? I wonder what they’d do with a real hate note?
“the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion”
I think that says it all. Someone’s college money is going to pay for said office.
I’m not a believer in ‘hate speech’. There’s speech. It may be colorful, laudatory, or vile. But so-called Freedom of Speech supports it. It’s protected.
Unless it’s an actual threat of criminal violence, libel, slander, or child porn – it’s protected.
Waa! He called us a name and drew an inoffensive cartoon is protected.
GROW UP! You’re in college now.
(as posted by Wirecutter
Hofstra University has posted a “trigger warning” sign to warn students about the potentially disturbing content that may be discussed during Monday night’s presidential debate.
According to CBS New York reporter Tony Aiello, a sign inside of the student center at Hofstra reads, “Trigger warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may contain triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to help you.”
Back when I was in college (covered wagons, etc.) there were those doing their duty. Either by questioning the authority of the government to facilitate wars, or by going to fight them! People on both sides of the issue were VERY vocal and emotional.
Yet rarely did either side feel ‘triggered’ and in need of a ‘safe space’ or ‘counseling’ based on someone’s speech alone!
Have our youth become so overly sensitive that this is thought necessary? By the nature of societal evolution?
Or, has this been the plan all along?
So, a guy walks up to a sentry and asks, “Hi, sentry, new in town?”
Back-in-the-day, when I was young and foolish (I’m not so young, anymore) I used to read Soldier Of Fortune magazine. (In addition to Shotgun News, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Guns Magazine and pretty much every firearms periodical I could find!) This was before they were sued for facilitating a hitman in their classifieds, and LTC Robert Brown (founder and publisher – U.S.Army-Retired) reportedly discharged a 1911 underwater at a Scottsdale resort pool. Just to see if it would function. Rumor was some alcohol was involved.
For me, being unable to get into the military, I was, as Brown described it, truly an armchair adventurer.
And, unlike Playboy’s centerfold (that used to be nude women – sigh), SOF had a centerfold with a different focus. Sentry removal.
I’m certain Michael Echanis, premier martial arts editor, had something to do with the content.
It would illustrate techniques like the Turkish twist, and judiciously-lethal dagger placement, as though all the readership had been to the CIA’s ‘Farm’ or Ranger School.
Like we were all spec-ops assassins just aching to ‘take out a sentry’, silently.
Of course, we weren’t, but enjoyed reading such macho fodder, nevertheless.
And we’d do the joke about ‘taking out’ sentries whenever a new issue arrived on the newsstand.
And absorb tales of mercenaries world-wide, new gun reviews, read about the latest in electronic surveillance gear, U.S. and foreign military actions and macho TV and movies.
Mike Echanis died in a plane crash en route training in Central America. And more lawsuits continued.
April 2016 was the last paper edition of SOF. It continues to be available online.
I’ve not read it regularly for some years. For me, just getting out of the armchair requires effort enough. Forget adventure or sentries.
FTC – I bought my own. Get your own!
Yes, my friends, he is still here. Hanging on.
My blogfriend Wirecutter posted the following:
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Liberty advocate, citizen journalist and self-described “smuggler” Mike Vanderboegh talked about his health, his blog and the principles of the “Three Percent” movement in an exclusive interview with this correspondent, recorded in late May. The audio file, converted to a YouTube video, is presented at the end of this introduction.
The file is a bit rough, and I need to take responsibility for that. I make no pretenses of being a videographer, and had never tried to record a Skype call before, which is how we did the interview. Since that doesn’t have a recording feature, free software was used which did not record video. Due to inexperience and lack of proper equipment, I was getting a reverberation loop or whatever you call it whenever Mike spoke — his voice going into his laptop microphone and then coming back out from his speakers after a fraction-of-a-second lag made the whole interview seem like a wasted effort. Fortunately, my son and his friend have both the software and skills to take the repetition out, so there are only a few instances of garbling. And in this case, it’s the message, not the presentation, that’s significant, and that comes through loud and clear.
Below is the video on youtube. Please share this everywhere. Send it to your friends, share it on facebook, share it on your firearms forums and tell them to start paying serious attention around the 9 minute mark.
Here is a man who is giving (has given?) his life for the American Principles on which he stands. He has traveled the Nation, at great personal expense, to debate issues of civil rights and liberties now largely lost to the American electorate.
My past couple of posts have asked you to take action. One was about letting BIGGOV know we won’t stand for them blocking rights of Social Security recipients. The second was asking you to send a message to the Troops, of thanks, via the USO.
Today, I have a third request. I asked this once before, back in January. Mike Vanderboegh has given so much to the cause of Liberty. Please help his family to deal with the many hits to their finances because of his declining health.
Paypal to email@example.com*
Check, money order, cash, etc. to Mike Vanderboegh, PO Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126.**
Thank you for your kindness.
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #10 of 22)
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is one of my childhood heroes. Not so much because of specifics (being a great athlete/boxer – which he was), but because he stood for something. And if his goals were boasts, he surpassed them.
By taking risks.
In spite of being a member of a controversial religious sect, he gave millions to charities for all races.
One of his biggest supporters was broadcaster Howard Cosell, who was unashamedly Jewish.
Hardly following the party line of radical Islam there, Mr. Ali. Good for you!
He passed yesterday from complications due to Parkinson’s disease. Not a serene way to go. Just short miles from a hospital wing bearing he and his wife’s name. For treatment of Parkinson’s.
“I AM THE GREATEST!” he used to boast.
Today is the 27th Anniversary of the ending to the protests in Tianamen Square, Peking, P.R.C. We all remember that famous photo of the guy and the tank.
Here it is, in a wider view:
Makes me think of the force of unfettered government versus the individual.
I wonder if he had heard of Muhammad Ali?
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #2 of 22)
It’s a cereal; it’s a board game. A defunct television series.
It also is what it is.
My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”
And that might be one definition of Life. Things changing.
Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School. Others having birthdays. A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!
That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.
Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.
Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill. Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?
And some already gone. More than I ever expected.
Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present. Apparently, friends no longer. 😦
“Things change, Guffaw.”
I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.
I already know.
Things are as they are.
This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.
I’m more tough than I used to be – but hardly a marathon-running spec ops guy. I’ve beaten cancer (2x) and a serious car wreck.
Frankly, most days just walking is a challenge. 😦
But, I read about these bubble-wrapped snowflakes in colleges, demanding safe spaces to share their feelings, because they say a chalk writing on the pavement in support of a presidential candidate with whom they disagree distresses them!
And that makes me sick!
THEN, I read about THIS guy (courtesy of my friend Borepatch)
Why is it I keep reading about Russians and Ghurkas and other furrin’ folk who are TOUGH – but no ‘Mericans? Enquiring minds want to know…?
Bayou Renaissance Man reports (in part):
Today’s award goes to all the politically correct students and staff at Bowdoin College in Maine.
Some students wore sombreros to a tequila-themed birthday party at Bowdoin College — and others were so offended that the school had to provide them with safe spaces and counseling to deal with it.
According to the school’s newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, the e-mail invitation to the event called it “a ‘tequila’ party” and then added, “we’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that 🙂 (we’re not saying that).”
This phrasing was, presumably, aiming to poke fun at the way the PC police often lose their minds over pretty much any party where tequila is present — which wound up being exactly what happened with this one.
Yep. According to the Orient, one student (1) reported that some of the attendees had been wearing sombreros at the same time as they were drinking tequila at the party, and all hell broke loose.
In an e-mail to National Review Online, sophomore Richard Arms states that there have been “3 school-wide emails from deans and our president, and there have been several ‘safe-space’ opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended” by the party.
. . .
Yes — safe spaces for people who have been hurt by the very existence of tequila parties and punishment for the people responsible for them.
There’s more at the link.
I’m not for outright hatred of either the participants, nor those offended, but SERIOUSLY?
Should we revert to the days of minstrel shows with White folk in Black face eating watermelon, or Speedy Gonzales cartoons with mice in sombreros with stereotypical accents (all performed by a Jewish guy) winning against the cat? (Even though they always WON?)
HOWEVER, should we be so offended by drunken college hi-jinks more about tequila than being stereotypically Mexican?
Was anyone maimed or killed?
Were those in sombreros summarily sent back across a symbolic border without due process?
SKIN – White, Brown, Black, Yellow, or some variant or combination NEEDS TO BE THICKER!
I’ve been seriously rail thin – skinny – in my lifetime (140 pounds), and also obese. Just over six foot and 350 pounds! And have been physically disabled since age 12.
You think I’ve not been called skinny, fatty, crippled, Forrest Gump, a ‘fat f**k’ and a number of other unkind things. Sure, it hurt at the time, but I know myself and my character have atoned for my mistakes and moved on.
And I never needed a ‘safe space’ to discuss how these epithets affected my life!
What’s going to happen when these bubble-wrapped snowflakes enter the real world? (I’m thinking a melt down.)
I’ve a dear friend who is less than average height. I’m disabled. On occasion, we’ve been known to address one another as shorty and gimpy. No harm or disrespect meant.
I’m tellin’ ya.
PS – Who PAYS for these ‘safe spaces’?