cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Let Them: A Saturday Series

This first Saturday series is called "Let Them". There are so many things we just big, fat don't let our kids do. I'm meeting some of those things head-on and seeing what happens.

Let Them Juggle Knives

Well, OK. Maybe juggling isn't the brightest idea, but "Let Them Use Age-Appropriate Sharp Instruments" is just so dry and cumbersome, don't you agree?

Let me begin by saying, that YOU know your kids better than anyone else. You know if it's a good idea to let your six year-old handle a knife. This is my experience based on the children we currently parent.

Our oldest is nine. She's a girly-girl, with a tomboy streak buried in between layers of nail polish and lip gloss. A while back, she got the notion to whittle a stick. My husband handed her his Leatherman and let 'er have at it. She uses paring knives on a daily basis. Our second oldest is six. The Leatherman is harder for her to control, but she has tried her hand at whittling as well. When Mikayla doesn't cut up the snack, Naomi will grab a paring knife and do the job herself. 

For Mikayla's birthday last year, I decided that a Spirograph would make a fantastic gift. Imagine my horror when I discovered that all the new Spirographs are magnetic! No more push pins to hold the pieces down? What?!? How else will my child learn the delicate art of not stabbing her fingers with push pins? I'll tell you how. We bought an old Spirograph off of Ebay and provided our own weapons thumbtacks. 

It's OK for children to handle sharp objects. They will survive. A generation ago, children carried pocket knives to school.* Not once, in all my school years did someone get seriously injured with a knife. This is merely a symptom of a greater problem; We (as a society) are preoccupied with safety (our own as well as our children's). We cannot insulate our children from every danger and potential harm. Therefore, we may as well encourage our children to learn safe handling of "dangerous" tools. Trade out "sharp" for "pointy", "loaded", or any other conceivably risky gizmo. The message remains the same: Let them!

I'm giving you permission (if you feel you need it) to pop the bubble around your kids and let them live dangerously (not irresponsibly, just dangerously). Where else better to be trained to live dangerously than in one's own home with one's own parents? 

If I can't bring myself to let my children live dangerously with a 2" blade, how will I ever train them to live dangerously for the gospel?  

Next Up: A Whet Stone,

*Confession: It may have had something to do with growing up in a hick town (which I unashamedly loved). 


  1. As a child, I lived once on a hill with huge old trees all around. The biggest tree, an ancient maple, must have been 60 feet tall. There was a rope swing with 20 feet of rope. I would climb into the top branches of that tree where the limbs would barely hold my weight. From up there, I could see for miles in every direction. It ws wonderful. My mom couldn't bear to watch me climb so high, but she still let me do it. She just refused to look.

    1. LOVE it!! We used to go rock climbing (without ropes/harnesses). We got ourselves in a few predicaments, but never so much as broke a bone.

  2. Yes! I need to work on letting them cut more, heck even help more! I just do it all myself because its easier, but you know what that teaches them nothing. Except maybe that mom gets cranky doing all the work!
    Our 7yr old is great with a pocket knife and loves whittling/making pointed sticks. It actually tookme a while to realize that people were surprised we let him use one.

    1. It's inconvenient to train them to help. At first, they are more work than help, huh?
      You're doing a great job, Nicole!

  3. Thanks :) I am so inspired by you!

    1. Awww...As long as we're clear on one thing: I am a hot mess. :)

    2. And thats why I can relate so well ;)

  4. love it. You had me intrigued at the idea of juggling knives. :) We've been working on more 'dangerous' activities for our boys and making sure that we are teaching them how to properly do it! BTW, love the name of your blog. ;)

    1. Thank you, Heather!! I'm looking forward to the day we have boys in the mix. Enjoy training your boys to be dangerous. ;)


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