Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Children Are Designed To Do

The bones of young children tend to be quite flexible, and even when they do break, they heal far more quickly than those of adults. 

Their bones are no match for their skin, however, which mends itself astonishingly quickly. 

While bloody owies tend to linger on my flesh for months, theirs often heal overnight.

Their skulls are not fully fused, leaving room for their brains to safely jiggle and swell when they've bumped their heads.

Their teeth replace themselves.

They cry passionately into their pain, unashamed, no concern for what the others might think, an act that not only draws aid, but also, on a basic physiological level, reduces the actual pain.

Both their bodies and memories are short. The former keeps them close to the ground meaning they don't have far fall, while the later makes it possible for them to get right back up again.

We do not encourage risky play at Woodland Park. 

We don't even encourage play for that matter. 

We simply provide a slice of the world: space, a variety of interesting materials, and, of course, other kids.

The children take it from there.

They are designed for this.

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Rethinking Childhood said...

Beautifully and simply put. Thank you! PS the public health and injury prevention folk are coming round to a similar view, I reckon...

Unknown said...

Yes!! A resounding yes. My goodness, the rules we must follow in the school system, as if every scrape, bruise, bump, and collision might result in a law suit. :( Luckily we live on a broken down old farm so there are plenty of opportunities for all of the above for my own kids!