MFG 2.0

Cool Thing Of The Day: The "Free Range Kids" Movement

Just came across this concept, and as a former free range kid myself (heck, I've been a free range adult for most of my "mature years" with the scars to prove it) I have to applaud the honesty behind the concept as presented by the Iconoculture team: namely, that "many dangerous activities are interesting, eye-opening, enlightening or just fun."

The upshot seems pretty common sense -- you can't keep a kid from playing with fire (it's far too fascinating) so you teach them instead "how to avoid catastrophic outcomes -- to play with fire outside, away from buildings and cars" for instance, which "may benefit them more than stifling all urges" as they learn to handle a dangerous thing firsthand.

Maybe this seems especially relevant when you see the opposite so often -- for instance, young kids with helmets strapped on in strollers being slowly walked down the street by two over-attentive parents. And a kid that never gets to roam free, that has a parent looking over their shoulder at all times, comes to expect and depend upon that same level of supervision and hand-holding once they get into the workplace (witness Gen Y). So, whether at the workplace or at home, I think most reasonable person can agree that the pendulum should start swinging back a bit -- we can all use a little more free range in our mindset.

Graphic from the 50 Dangerous Things book:

TAGS: Innovation
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