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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

Not My Kids

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

Not My Kids

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johnny cash
This graphic shows the gradual decay of "stomping grounds", a naturally important aspect of growing up. This show the change in a single family, from the great-grandfather who, in 1919, at the age of 8, covered six miles of territory, to a modern child of age eight, allowed to go to the end of his street- 300 yards or so.

The next thing someone will say is, "Well, it's so much more dangerous today," which is bullshit. When you look at the statistics, crime rates are down. Parents are more likely to abduct, murder, or beat their children than strangers are. We aren't less safe than we were in the past- we're just more informed and connected.

I've discussed this before. Our minds evolved in an environment where what we saw was immediate. When you saw a lion, it's because there was a lion RIGHT THE FUCK THERE HOLY SHIT GET IN THE CAR RUN AWAY! Today, we're connected in a way that we haven't been before. Today, when we see a lion, it's probably on TV. But that "RIGHT THE FUCK THERE" immediacy is still in our brains, and it comes out when we start evaluating risks.

We know that there are no lions handy. But when we hear that people put razor blades in candy to give to children it sounds like a credible threat. Even if the chances are really really slim (and once again, a relative is the most likely source of tainted candy), our brains don't evaluate the risk that way. "I've heard about it, it's possible, therefore I must defend against it".

You can see this in the response to terrorism. There's a woman at work that talks about what to do when planes start hitting the big building in our complex. Rationally, we know that this is really unlikely, but our brains saw it on TV- we saw it happen, which at some basic level, is the same as being there. If I see it, it could happen to me!

This goes double when it comes to children. Nobody ever got eaten by a lion by underestimating the risks of lions. When it comes to children, we overreact even farther- because organisms that don't go to drastic measures to protect their offspring don't live to reproduce.

Which brings us to Ms. Skenazy, who- are you ready for this? - lets her 9 year old son use the NYC subways alone. She actually left her child at Bloomingdales, at his request, with money, quarters, and instructions, and let him navigate home alone, unaided and unsupervised.

Me? I'm in favor of that. Once I learned to ride a bike, I was gone baby. All over town, into the next town. I was out exploring hidden trails and finding old quarries and generally getting my ass lost, and always getting home with nothing worse than some scraped knees.

That's life. It's got sharp corners, but the only way to deal with them is to learn by doing.
  • I'm with you 100% on this one.

    Teach the kid coping skills. Head off major disasters. Help pick up the pieces. But kids are PEOPLE, and as such, they need to live in order to learn how to live.
  • Its like this is the week of protect thine little snowflake.

    A teacher in Wisconsin had the audacity to come out as a lesbian in a health class about homosexuality to pre-empt the yearly round of "are you a dyke?" questions. Parents are screaming for an apology; the students are like "um... did you see the woman? It's obvious. Props to her for admitting she's homosexual and props to her for being mature and upfront about it."
    • another pet peve. I find it amusing when people say that kids need to be "protected" from sexuality - as if they didn't have any of their own.

      also, the number of "liberal" people that don't think small children should be exposed to "alternative sexuality" but also think that it's bad to say that queer folks should not be allowed to have kids confuses the fuck outta me. How can my kids not be aware that they have two queer mommies? but that's another story.

  • This is one of the issues that my partner and I disagree on most - what is "safe" and what is "too far" or "too strange" for our kids. I expect this younger one, being much more adventuresome, will be much more of an issue than the older one has been.

    My 9 year old wouldn't be able to get home on the bus/subway (he'd get distracted and then lost and then start crying) but I think that my 4 year old will be able to by the time he's 9 (if he doesn't get distracted by a pretty girl and get her to take him home).

    That was a really awesome graphical depiction of what I suspected was true. I'll have to show it to my partner when these things come up next.

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