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
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).