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Author Topic: are children really as incompetent as many adults make them out to be?
otter
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posted 09 September 2006 11:47 AM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It may be my own critical observations, but it sure seems like there are some folks that want to put rubber bumpers on everything in the world so that no child ever has a skinned knee again. I see far too many adults these days that refuse to allow a child to take any 'risk' whatsoever. "Don't be doing that!" and its variations seem, by far, to be the most common form of communication between adults and kids today.

Many, many times I have seen children be far more aware of their environment and the risks it presents than i have witnessed from the adults with them. The major difference is that the kids will make note of the risk and move on. But when the adults preceive a potential risk they then feel it is their duty to point it out in a loud authoritarian voice and will even harangue the child about the risk ad nauseum.

Personally, i feel very sad for a child that does not sport a wound of some kind, be it a bruise, a scrape, a bleeder or a scar. Such a child seems to me to be one that has never actually experienced the world and is probably going to spend a great deal of its life being afraid of, or at least intimidated by, the world s/he lives in.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 09 September 2006 12:43 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's the same kind of thinking that says the government (our parents) must protect us (the children) absolutely against terrorist attacks. Even though the risk of any given individual's being killed or injured in a terrorist attack is vanishingly small, no risk level above absolute zero is deemed acceptable.

This is held by many as an article of faith, even if it means taking away our civil liberties, creating armed fortresses out of our states, torturing prisoners, and treating everyone like a potential terrorist until they prove otherwise; and even if it costs enormous sums of money that would be better spent on reducing other very real and reducible risks.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
erroneousrebelrouser
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posted 09 September 2006 07:55 PM      Profile for erroneousrebelrouser   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My kid's way too competent -- or should I say "saavy?" The reason I say that is because I am completely honest with him whenever he asks me questions, of any kind. Sometimes it kind of blows his mind, too. "How's that for brutal honesty?" We were laughing last weekend; after I answered a question that kind of left him speechless.

I think it's our duty to be fearless with our honesty. That way maybe my kid won't turn out to be as big of a fuck up as I did. !

And if it makes you feel better...yes. I was the first one who bought him that damned skateboard. Little did I know what I was getting into. Bruises he's had ever since; and scrapes. But no real "injuries." At least not while he's in my care.

(knock on wood) I got into an argument with his stepmother this weekend; and it was about several different things, but we talked about it and ended up working everything out and getting through it. What was funny was the part that came up about how "over-protective" that I am...she made the statement "he won't get injured in your care, unless he falls off the sofa!"

(It happened to be that we both went to extremes and got each other mad...I'm glad that we ended up talking about it!) We're both two 'hot reactors.' So we made a 'moratorium' on emails; we promised each other to wait at least twenty four hours if we're mad at each other to email the other one. Good idea!

Yea, I didn't realize how dangerous those skateboards are. But it made him quite athletic. But scrapes never really "hurt" a kid. They've got to have some fun.

I had to laugh about that one.


From: home sweet home | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 09 September 2006 07:58 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
M. Spector
quote:
It's the same kind of thinking that says the government (our parents) must protect us (the children) absolutely against terrorist attacks.

No, the government and the parent are not operating in the same sphere or even from the same perspective.
But there is a connection. The government has been complicit, if not wholly instrumental, in creating an atmospehere of anxiety affecting parents. Plus, the government has enacted laws that hold parents [criminally and financially] responsible for everything that kids do and everything that befalls them. Life has become a whole lot more complicated since my glorious days as a latch-key kid, playing chicken on the incomplete Gardiner expressway on my wonky second-hand bicycle. (Geez! When i think of what might have happened...! But it didn't, partly because we were careful not to get caught; partly because we were pretty competent.)

Another factor is media. Whenever somebody abducts and/or molests and/or kills a kid, anywhere, the media makes it look like an every-day occurance in your neighbourhood. Granted, it happens more than it used to (and there is a reason for this, not unconnected with the actions of government and media over the years) it still doesn't happen every day, everywhere, but the fear is universal.

The really bad outcome is that children who are not allowed to take risks don't learn the skills to deal with risky situations, so, the first time they flout the rules and take a risk - and they will; they must - they almost certainly will be injured.

[ 09 September 2006: Message edited by: nonsuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 09 September 2006 09:46 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nonsuch:
No, the government and the parent are not operating in the same sphere or even from the same perspective.
But the parents who are so uptight about protecting their kids from each and every possible risk are in many cases the same citizens who are demanding that the government protect them absolutely from terrorist attacks.

When the government says they have to be fingerprinted and strip-searched before boarding an aircraft and can't bring their false teeth with them except in checked luggage (I exaggerate only a bit) they shrug and say, "well, it's worth it, because we must be protected absolutely against terrorism."

(Then they board the aircraft and die when the plane crashes on takeoff due to human error, which is several orders of magnitude more likely to happen than a hijacking or a bomb.)


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 09 September 2006 10:18 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, there are several perceptual, logical and conceptual errors in play. We seem to have fallen into the anxiety-loop.
The same fallacy applies to accident, bad luck and crime, acts of god and acts of war. There is a basic tenet: nothing bad should ever happen to us. Corollary: If anything bad happens to us, it is 1.) somebody's fault, 2.) preventable next time, if 3.) there is a law. Quick, somebody make a law to keep me safe from everything, always!

Look: we're all scared shitless that Bushco will blow up the world and there's sweet fa we can do about that. So we're trying to control everything short of that, to feel a little less scared. We're all nuts, because we're living in nutso times. Nothing makes sense out of context. If we ignore the context, we can't understand or talk about anything intellegibly.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pearson
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posted 11 September 2006 07:14 AM      Profile for Pearson        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was a study on this back in 1997.

LOS ANGELES - A surprising new study released Monday by UCLA's Institute For Child Development revealed that human babies, long thought by psychologists to be highly inquisitive and adaptable, are actually extraordinarily stupid.

The study, an 18-month battery of intelligence tests administered to over 3,500 babies, concluded categorically that babies are "so stupid, it's not even funny."

According to Institute president Molly Bentley, in an effort to determine infant survival instincts when attacked, the babies were prodded in an aggressive manner with a broken broom handle. Over 90 percent of them, when poked, failed to make even rudimentary attempts to defend themselves. The remaining 10 percent responded by vacating their bowels.

http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~arobic/funny/babies.html


From: 905 Oasis | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 11 September 2006 03:51 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess that is why parents are supposed to care for them until they are able to defend and care for themselves.
From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
moal
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posted 11 September 2006 04:13 PM      Profile for moal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think I was the last generation who will have had slightly dangerous and way more fun playground equipment. No more tall slides, no more fire poles, no more ten-foot high monkey bars. I feel sorry for kids now. New playgrounds don't look like any fun.
From: flat places | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged

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