Friday, July 19, 2024

This Is What I Wish We All Understood


She stopped right inside the gate. In fact, her mother had to nudge her through and there she stood looking at our junkyard playground for the first time. She was only two-years-old and her mother had brought her to the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschool for the first time. She was not going to be left with us. Her mother was going to stay with her, side-by-side, bottom-on-lap, arms wrapped around one another if that was necessary, because that's the way cooperatives work.

The girl's mother waved to me, then bent to talk softly into her daughter's ear. The girl was probably listening, but there was no visual indication that she heard her mother, or even that her mother was there. She was studying this new place, probably, knowing the way humans work, looking for something familiar. That would be her entry point.

For some kids, the newness is so overwhelming that the only familiar thing they can see is the adult who arrived with them, but this girl, Paula, spotted a small stuffed bear lying on its face. She took her mother's hand and toddled down the short stairway. When she hit the ground, she freed herself and careened toward the bear, falling on her belly. It was her first lesson in the slope and unevenness that characterizes our playground. She lay within inches of the bear. She turned over and, from her seat, she picked it up with one hand. With her other, she brushed at it, knocking off wood chips, decaying leaves, and sand. She scowled into its eyeless face, then, still holding it in one hand pushed herself onto her feet and toddled back to her mother, not falling this time. Wordlessly, she offered the bear to her mother and her mother took it, who replied with a torrent of enthusiastic words.

Knowing what I know about humans, and especially young children, I recognized that Paula had made a first connection between life as she knew it and this new place. 

As the days passed, she would hand many more things to her mother, who wouldn't always be enthusiastic. Indeed, as her mother likewise became better connected to our space, she was less inclined to nervous enthusiasm and more likely to respond informatively. She would say things like, "This looks like a steering wheel," or "Ugh, that's disgusting." 

As the days passed Paula began to connect me to her world by handing things to me as well. As she got to know the other children and the other children's parents, she would try out connecting with them too. None of us responded exactly as her mother had, even when handed the steering wheel. For instance, I pretended I was driving a car, saying, "Vroom, vroom" and "Honk, honk." The other children did even more interesting things in response to being connected to Paula through the steering wheel. Some banged it on the ground. Some tried to roll it down the slope. Many dropped it. Most, after putting it through its paces, handed it back to Paula.

Exploring the world is how we explore our minds. This lifelong expedition is about connecting what we know with the new things we come across until those new things are also part of what we know. No one needs to tell us, just as no one needed to tell Paula, that to really understand something, you must strive to have it in your hands and to look at it from a variety of perspectives. And there is nothing more natural, more normal, than to do it alongside loved ones. Eventually, Paula would be experienced or confident or curious enough to explore without her mother immediately at her side, at her own pace, until she could securely explore both alone and in the company of this wider "family" that she had both discovered and created.

"A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family," writes Kurt Vonnegut, "It's a terribly vulnerable survival unit . . . I met a man in Nigeria one time, an Ibo who had six hundred relatives he knew quite well. His wife had just had a baby, the best possible news in an extended family. They were going to take it to meet all its relatives, Ibos of all ages, sizes and shapes. It would even meet other babies, cousins not much older than it was. Everybody who was big enough and steady enough was going to get to hold it, cuddle it, gurgle it . . . Wouldn't you have loved to be that baby?"

This is what our children need, this extended family, this village of connection, this place of love and connection that is our birthright. I share Vonnegut's wish: "I really, over the long run, hope America would find some way to provide all of our citizens with extended families -- a large group of people they could call on for help."

That is what I set out to create as an educator, a place for families to connect, whether for a few years or a lifetime. This is what I wish we all understood as not just education, but life itself.

******

If you liked reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my books. To find out more, Click here! "Ready for a book that makes you want to underline and highlight? One that makes you draw arrows and write 'THIS!!!!!' in the margin? Then you are in for a treat." ~Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., author and Early Childhood Specialist, Ooey Gooey, Inc.

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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Genius Knows Itself


The boy was running at full speed when he tripped and fell chin first. As falls go, it wasn't a particularly hard one and thankfully the surface on which he fell was forgiving, but the impact startled him and he came up crying.

I wasn't far from where he fell, but still wasn't the first caretaker on the scene. That would be Hattie. Of course, it would be Hattie. This was one of the first days of a summer session which meant we were a multiage mixture of children who had been coming to Woodland Park for awhile alongside newcomers. Over the course of the previous two years, I'd gotten to know Hattie and her particular genius, which was caring for others. With Hattie on the scene, and without blood in evidence, I knew I could step back.


Hattie went first for the boy's head, placing a palm on it, lowering her own face to his. She might have said something to him or she might have just been making sure he knew she was there, locking eyes, sharing breath. Her other hand went to his chin, rubbing it gently. He raised his head, pushing himself up to a partial sitting position. Hattie's arm was now draped over his shoulders, her eyes still on his, studying, interpreting his expression which remained pained.

We adults had come to refer to her as Mother Hattie or Nurse Hattie and that's exactly how she appeared as she began to rub the boys back before noticing that one of his shoes had come off in the fall. She tried handing it to the boy, who whimpered, "I can't," so Hattie proceeded to gently wiggle his foot into the shoe.


As humans we have come to value a certain type of intelligence, the kind that is self-conscious, solves puzzles, uses language, and ciphers; the kind of thing that is measured by the crude instrument of what we call IQ tests. We arrogantly assert that our intelligence is a higher one and are forever ranking other species' intelligence in relationship with our own. Chimpanzee's are the second most intelligent animal. No, it's dolphins! Ravens! Pigs! Elephants! Anyone who has ever loved a dog, however, has seen the kind of intelligence Hattie was displaying as she wrestled that shoe onto the boy's foot: one that is about intuitive mood-enhancement and unselfconscious love, not puzzle-solving. And frankly, from a Darwinian point-of-view, one that favors traits that support survival, not of the individual, but of the species, then, in this moment of caring, this moment of crackling, breath-taking intelligence, Hattie demonstrated an intelligence neither higher nor lower, but just right for dealing with this moment.


By the time Hattie had finished with putting the shoe on his foot, the boy was finished crying. 

The kind of "feral" intelligence that Hattie mobilized in just the right moment, is often dismissed as a secondary kind, generally not even included in discussions of intelligence, but rather demoted with terms like "intuition" or, even lower down, "instinct." But watching Hattie, I knew I was witnessing the kind of genius we could do well to foster in ourselves and others. It's neither higher nor lower, but it seems to me to be exactly the kind of intelligence humans will need to rediscover if we are to survive much longer.

Back on his feet, the boy beamed his gratitude at Hattie. There was a brief moment in which I was tempted to say something to her like, "That was kind" or "Thank you." But I she didn't need me to say anything. Genius knows itself. When she finally looked at me after watching the boy dash away, however, I smiled as the boy had, and I knew, without a doubt, that she understood.

******


Not all risk taking is physical. Much of it involves questioning the status quo, whatever that is where we are. We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk-taking through play is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, 
Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play, or safety play, and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of appropriate risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. To register and learn more, click here.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Common Sense, the Status Quo, and Human Nature


"Common sense" once told us that the Earth is flat. Up until around 1800 the "status quo" was that three out of every four humans lived in some form of slavery. And "human nature" has been used as the shoulder-shrugging excuse for almost every atrocious or malignant act ever committed.

In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. told us that the three evils of society are racism, excessive materialism, and militarism. A half century later, these evils are still with us, of course, and continue to be defended by the absurdities of common sense, the status quo, and an evocation of a certain view of human nature.

Perhaps the most important thing I've learned from working with young children is to be suspicious of "common sense." Psychologists assert that humans reach the "age of reason" at around 7-years-old, which places them beyond the reach of this preschool teacher. They would have me believe that my colleagues lack common sense, but this is patently absurd. Each and every one of them is deeply reasonable, they always have a reason for what they do, they simply haven't yet learned which of their reasons are socially acceptable and which are not. Evocations of common sense is a tool of the kind of social power that French philosopher Michel Foucault called "normalization," in which our souls are imprisoned by expectations and standards. I find myself inspired by these newly minted humans who are not yet subject to the power of common sense. They allow me to see that just because it's common it doesn't mean it makes sense.

"We've always done it that way" is likewise an argument that carries no weight with a young child. The status quo means nothing to them because there is nothing status quo about their world. Each day, every moment, brings a new revelation, a new perspective, a new ability, and a new question. Adults, especially in groups, have learned the hazards of bucking the power of normalization, even if as individuals they see the absurdity. My young teachers, however, unencumbered by the status quo, are ready to rail against it when it doesn't suit them. By the time they're seven perhaps they've learned to not rock the boat, but a three-year-old who doesn't like the way things have always been done will let us know it, and I've found, quite often, they make perfectly valid points.

As for human nature, Emma Goldman writes, "Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! . . . The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weakness of human nature." What I've learned from young children is that human nature is a product of the society in which it finds itself. If placed in conditions of command and control it becomes one thing; if placed in conditions of trust and respect, it becomes another.

I'm not saying that there is no value in "common sense" or that "status quo" is entirely corrupt. And I'm certainly not insisting that "human nature" is that of the angels. What I've come to, however, with no little help from preschoolers, is to always be suspicious whenever anyone, even someone I trust and respect, evokes them. Perhaps, in the end, that is what education is all about. We should demand an education that teaches us to view "common sense," "the status quo," and "human nature" from perspectives that reveal their inherent absurdity. When we can do that, especially when we can see it as absurd from multiple perspectives, we will see that we can never simply accept any of it as truth, there is always something more, and that is what will ultimately set us free.

******

Not all risk taking is physical. Much of it involves questioning the status quo, whatever that is where we are. We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk-taking through play is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, 
Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play, or safety play, and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of appropriate risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. To register and learn more, click here.


I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

"Children Do Not Like Being Incompetent Any More Than They Like Being Ignorant"


As a child, there were certain adults who I instantly liked, whereas there were others for whom I would take an immediate dislike. It generally came down to how they treated me. If they looked me in the eye, spoke in their normal voice, laughed at my jokes, not my mistakes, and refrained from such intrusive things as patting me on the head, pinching my cheeks, or picking me up without my consent, then they were one of the "good guys."


Most adults in mixed-age social settings would just ignore me, which was fine, because I would likewise ignore them, preferring the company of my fellow children, but there were always some who would loom at me, smiling too widely, speaking too loudly, sometimes even descending into a kind of baby talk. They might have been well-intended, but I resented their insipid, prying questions, questions they would never dare ask an adult they didn't know: "What are you going to be when you grow up?" or "Are you a good boy for your teacher?" They would look around at the other adults as I obediently replied beaming condescendingly as if they were a confederacy of superior beings deigning to include the cute, precious, innocent child for a moment.

To this day, there are few things more certain to set this early childhood educator's teeth on edge than adults who condescend to children. As a boy, the irritation was with their obvious phoniness and their clear, insulting assumption that I was some kind of baby. Now, however, I understand that it is even worse. These are adults, and there are more of them now than ever, who see children not as an individual humans, but rather as an idea, a stereotype. They don't see actual people, but rather their concept of children as incomplete adults -- simple, unformed, incompetent, and so so so charmingly innocent. It is okay to command or control them, to even lie to them, just so long as they can convince themselves that it's "for their own good."


Many of these people are in charge of schools and curriculum. Many are teachers. There are even parents who start off with this attitude only to spend the next couple decades mourning the loss of their vision of what a child is as their own child proves to be an actual human being. These are the parents who think they are doing their child a service by protecting them from learning about sex or bigotry because they are too tender and dear to be exposed to such things.

John Holt writes, "It is condescending when we respond to qualities that enable us to feel superior to the child. It is sentimental when we respond to qualities that do not exist in the child but only in some vision or theory that we have about children . . . Children do not like being incompetent any more than they like being ignorant. They want to learn to do, and do well, the things they see being done by bigger people around them. This is why they soon find school such a disappointment; they so seldom get a chance to learn anything important or do anything real. But many of the defenders of childhood, in or out of school, seem to have this vested interest in the children's incompetence, which they often call 'letting the child be a child.'"


We are born into the shock of light, cold, and sound, then must spend our first days learning to live with it. From the moment we come into this world, we are fully aware that there is pain, fear, and that life is often unfair. We are never innocent in this life: the idea of childhood innocence is really just adults romanticizing ignorance. Our children do not need to be protected from the hard lessons of life, even if that were possible. They do not benefit from our theories about what children are and are not. They are here on this earth, like all of us, to learn what it means to be alive and our responsibility as important adults in their lives is to be fellow travelers, consoling them when the lessons are hard, helping them when the tasks are difficult, but most of all loving them as the capable, competent humans they are.

******


We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk-taking through play is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, 
Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play, or safety play, and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of appropriate risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. To register and learn more, click here.


I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
Bookmark and Share

Monday, July 15, 2024

Embodied Dreaming


I've been having fantastic dreams lately. I won't bore you with the details because no one cares much about another person's dream (unless, of course, they themselves show up in it). This is probably because, if you believe those who study dreams, they are largely egocentric wishes, fears, and desires cast in our deepest sleep as stories in which we are the protagonist.

Of course, there are some who believe that dreams are essentially meaningless, the product of our minds' random electrical operations or something. And they may be right, although it's hard, especially when one's dream has been particularly good, bad, or novel to not connect them to the realities of our waking life.

To be honest, I've never really taken my dreams seriously, but I've recently read science journalist David Toomey's book Kingdom of Play in which he writes, "Dreaming . . . (l)ike play and sleep . . . is patently disadvantageous: an impudent use of time and energy at best, and downright dangerous at worst. Yet since many animals dream, evolutionary biologists assume that it must have adaptive advantages . . . In dreams we are attracted to abstractions, to novelty and hyper-associativeness. We are, one might say, more playful."

Kelly Bulkeley, a psychologist and author who specializes in dream research speculates that "dreaming is play enacted within the mind and freed of the body, and so freed of the body's needs and limitations."

Toomey builds on this, writing, "If dreaming is disembodied play, then perhaps play is embodied dreaming. If in dreaming we are playing without bodies, then perhaps in play we are using our bodies to dream."

What an intriguing idea, one that fits my own observations of play, especially pretend or dramatic play in which children embody superheroes and princesses and firefighters and doctors. It is dreamlike the way they freely associate, transforming sticks into weapons and wands, ropes into fire hoses, and fingers into scalpels. And like in dreams there is an ebb and flow from one thing to the next as their games easily, and often surprisingly, evolve from one thing to the next; in which difficulties resolve or become nightmarish in an instant; and it all ends with an "awakening" be it a school bell, an injury, or an adult intervention, after which they return to the humdrum of reality.

The big difference, of course, is that in a dream it's said that all the characters represent an aspect of dreamer's self. In play, in contrast, everyone else is likewise an embodied dreamer, and the game we play, the story we tell, is a collective dream.

******

We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk-taking through play is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, 
Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play, or safety play, and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of appropriate risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. To register and learn more, click here.


I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
Bookmark and Share

Friday, July 12, 2024

Hiding, Disappearing, and Getting Lost

People are often surprised when I say or write that safety is our number one responsibility when it comes to our work with young children. After all, human babies are born uniquely vulnerable compared to other species and they stay that way for quite some time. Psychologist and author Alison Gopnik argues that adults caring for the young is so important for the survival of Homo sapiens that we are among the only species to have evolved grandparents to compensate for how long they remain in a state of relative helplessness.



I don't want the children in my care, or any child, to be injured, which is why I have always started each day by removing and mitigating hazards in their environment.

If there is a rusty nail sticking out at eye level, I pound it down.

If I find broken glass on the playground, I remove it.

If the railing surrounding a high place is wobbly, I shore it up.

It's common sense to identify and remove hazards. But keeping children safe does not mean removing opportunities for children to explore and play with risk. Indeed, brain science tells us that children need risk, genuine risk, if their brains, and the pre-front cortex in particular is to develop properly. If for nothing else, children must experience risk in childhood if they are going to grow into adults who know how to keep themselves safe. 


I want children to be safe, not just for an hour or a day, but for a lifetime, which is why I allow children in my care to play with self-selected risk. It's why I refer to all those bumps, scrapes, cuts and bruises as "learning ouchies." Each bandage, each ice pack, each body part that requires a loving rub or a kiss, represents a moment that a child has challenged themself in order to learn an aspect of the most important lesson there is; to keep themselves safe in this world; to learn their limits, to learn about consequences, and to learn about healing.

Norwegian professor and researcher Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter is considered one of the world's leading authorities on the value of playground risk taking. In her doctoral thesis, entitled, delightfully, Scary Funny, she identifies six categories of risk that young children must explore in the quest of experiencing the "exhilaration and fear" that we all need in order to develop properly: great heights, rapid speeds, dangerous tools, dangerous elements, rough and tumble play, and (perhaps the one that frightens us adults the most in today's climate fear about children) disappearing or getting lost.

There are children hidden in the branches of all of these trees and not an adult (other than me) in sight.

I've been thinking quite a bit about that final one in the afterglow of my recent trip to Iceland to take part in the Play Iceland experience. Most play-based settings I've observed on this side of the pond do a decent job of allowing children opportunities to explore the other modes of risk taking, but we tend to freak out about the idea of children disappearing or getting lost. Even the extremely risk-friendly Woodland Park playground is designed to allow adult eyes on every corner.

In contrast, I've never visited an Icelandic preschool that didn't include places for children to experience the exhilaration of disappearing, at least momentarily. The playground pictured in this post is large compared to most American preschool playgrounds and it features stands of trees and patches of shrubbery ideally suited for children to "get lost." As I toured the place, both outdoors and indoors, I came across children, both alone and in groups, playing in out of the way corners, in the branches of trees, and pretty much anyplace that provided them a respite from the adult gaze that follows our children for the entirety of their young lives.

Everywhere I looked, I found these worn places behind rocks and amidst trees where a generation of children have experienced the thrill of being "lost."

Sandsetter writes about exhilaration and fear, but as I've spent time in Icelandic preschools, I get a sense that for many children, these moments of disappearing and getting lost also contain an element of relief. There is a special kind of freedom that I recall from my own childhood that comes from being away, finally, from the critical eyes of adults.

Most impressively, I think, was that other than this intrusive tourist, stumbling across them in their hiding places, the actual adults responsible for them were emphatically not hunting them out. They were not constantly counting heads or calling their names. They left the children to be lost, trusting that they would allow themselves to be found when the time came to reveal themselves.

Do the children in our care have these important opportunities disappear or get lost, and if not, how can we provide them? Perhaps it is as simple as adding blankets under which they can hide or large appliance boxes or rooms where they can simply shut the door. It's a start at least. It's something we should all be thinking about, especially if we want children to grow up to know how to keep themselves safe.

******

Getting "lost" or hiding is just one of the many ways that young children need to explore risk, or challenge, in their lives. We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk-taking through play is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, 
Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play, or safety play, and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of appropriate risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. To register and learn more, click here.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

The Only Way to Learn to Keep Yourself Safe is to Take Risks


I was watching a boy playing around under the swings as a classmate was swinging. It wasn't a particularly risky activity in my view. I mean, I was standing right there, taking pictures, discussing it with him, and it didn't set off any alarm bells for me in the moment, although after the fact, while going through the photos, it occurred to me that it was something that would be scuttled in other settings. My lack of concern probably stems from the fact that it's far from the first time this sort of thing has happened.


Many schools have removed their swings altogether, so maybe the very existence of swings is shocking to some. 


I imagine that in some dystopian future we'll become notorious for being the only school left with a swing set, let alone not having a set of rules about how the kids can use them. That's because, in our decades with swings, we've never found a need for safety rules. The reason is that the kids, the ones that live in the world outside our catastrophic imaginations, haven't shown a particular propensity to hurt themselves or one another.


Oh sure they get hurt like all kids do, like all people, but most of the injuries don't come from what people call "risky play," but rather from day-to-day activities, things you would think children had mastered. For instance, the worst injury we experienced during my nearly two decade tenure at Woodland Park came when a boy fell on his chin while walking on a flat, dry, linoleum floor. He needed a couple stitches. Another boy wound up with stitches when he fell while walking in the sandpit. 


Increasingly, I find myself bristling when I hear folks talk about "risky play," even when it's framed positively. From my experience, this sort of play is objectively not risky, in the sense that those activities like swinging or climbing or playing with long sticks, those things that tend to wear the label of "risky" are more properly viewed as "safety play," because that's exactly what the kids are doing: practicing keeping themselves and others safe. It's almost as if they are engaging in their own, self-correcting safety drills. Indeed, the only way to learn to keep yourself safe is to take risks.

When a group of four and five year olds load up the pallet swing with junk, then work together to wind it up higher and higher, then, on the count of three, let it go, ducking away as they do it, creating distance between themselves and this rapidly spinning flat of wood that they've learned is libel to release it's contents in random directions, they are practicing keeping themselves and others safe. They don't need adults there telling them to "be careful" or to impose rules based on our fears because those things are so manifestly necessary to this sort of thing that they are an unspoken part of the play.














When children pick up long sticks and start employing them as light sabers, swinging them at one another, they are practicing keeping themselves and others safe. The safety is built into it.







When children wrestle they are practicing caring for themselves and their friends.


When preschoolers are provided with carving tools and a pumpkin they automatically include their own safety and that of others into their play. Adult warnings to "be careful" are redundant at best and, at worst, become focal points for rebellion (which, in turn, can lead to truly risky behavior) or a sense that the world is full of unperceived dangers that only the all-knowing adults can see (which, in turn, can lead to the sort of unspecified anxiety we see so much of these days). Every time we say "be careful" we express, quite clearly, our lack of faith in our children's judgement, which too often becomes the foundation of self-doubt.




The truth is that they already are being careful. The instinct for self-preservation is quite strong in humans. It's a pity when we feel we must teach them to live within our catastrophic imaginations.


******

We live in an era of "bubble wrapped" children and helicopter parents, yet we know that healthy exposure to risk is essential for proper brain development, self-confidence, and physical competence, not to mention social-emotional and intellectual development. My 6-week course, Teacher Tom's Risky Play, is a deep-dive into the value and importance of risky play and an exploration of how we can overcome media fear-mongering and catastrophic imaginations, and work with regulators, to create "safe enough" environments in which the children in our lives can engage in the kind of healthy risk-taking they need to thrive, both today and into the future. This is the only time the course will be offered this year. To register and learn more, click here.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
Bookmark and Share