At lunch today, Ian decided he wanted to eat a cored apple. We have no apple corer in the house, so he grabbed a steak knife and temporarily upped my insurance premium as he began stabbing away at his piece of fruit. “Woah, woah, woah,” I said. “Not the best of ideas, my dear son, don’t you think?” Actually, it was probably more like “cut it out before you chop your hand off!” But it’s my blog, and I’ll chose my own retelling, thank you.
Ian’s response was simply, “but I want to core my apple.” I shrugged and pulled out the pumpkin carver tool (blunt end, dull, serrated blade), and told him to go for it. And as you can see from the photo, he did.
A small lesson, but one that bears repeating. When kids come up with new ideas, it is our job as teachers and parents to NOT say “no,” no matter how silly, unpractical, or pointless the idea may seem to us. It is our responsibility simply to affirm our children, and then to make sure they don’t injure themselves or siblings, pets, or house, etc. in the process. In this case, my job was simply to remove the dangerous knife and replace it with a safer tool. And not to say “no.” But it is only when we offer these basic gifts of affirmation and appropriate tools that our children will reach their own creative potential.