Hey, kids, build your own A-bomb!
Children love risk. Just give a kid a motorcycle and watch him go! Tweet
Childhood is full of risk-filled moments you should never relive as an adult.
"Look, ma! No hands," is not something you want to hear your dentist shout.
So, there's a time and a place for everything...
...except Lawn Darts.
Back in the Fifties, when the only helicopter parents were the ones who actually flew helicopters, no one paid much attention to the dangerous stuff kids did. Or even noticed. Remember that scene in Mad Men when Mrs. Don Draper spots little Sally running around covered head to toe in dry cleaning plastic? Her reaction: “Young lady, if my dress is wrinkled, someone is going to be in trouble!”
In that happier time before insane liability laws, that was pretty much the attitude of everyone, including toy manufacturers. More than a few of the toys from back then would boggle the contemporary, risk-averse mind. Sure, there was a downside — one in ten thousand kids did shoot his eye out. And who could forget lawn darts? But the attitude was that just came with the territory, kid-dom.
The message was as simple as it was vital: risk is part of life, and one way or another, trough trial and triage, you just learn to navigate it.
And along the way, you might just produce a few atomic scientists. Or get rid of a few: