Risk taking. It's a funny thing that.
You know the saying 'don't play with fire'? Well, I confess that I've let my children play with fire since they were old enough to poke a stick into a bonfire. [note: at the age at which they were capable of doing it, not the age at which some parents might think they should be allowed to do it. ]. I think, for the most part, they have a good knowledge and a healthy respect for fire. They know how it behaves and can respond appropriately. They can use it, and they can play with it. And if they are foolish with it...well, let's just say it's a learning curve. But in a risk-averse society I suspect their fire-related activities would arouse disapproval and horror from many other parents.
[Note, no fingers were singed in the making of this video, though I do think we should cut ds2's hair in preparation for the next time. And yes, there will be a next time :) ]
And as my children travel on their educational learning curve I'm reminded of Gever Tulley and his video on 'Five dangerous things you should let your children do'. Sometimes you find a person in this crazy crazy world who actually talks sense.
As someone who was brought up to 'be careful' all the time, and who has spent their life avoiding risks, if there is anything I would wish for my children it would be to have a less timid life.